Big changes have taken place in the library this summer, as two years of preparation culminate in an almost complete upgrade of library systems from the back end to the front. The library invites the campus to celebrate this transition with us at our launch party Monday, August 20, at 2 pm on the first floor of Van Wylen Library. Join us for refreshments, giveaways, an introduction to the new system, and a chance to check out our new Steelcase furniture.
Dean of Libraries Kelly Jacobsma highlights the collaborative efforts of all departments of the library during the transition. “Completing the implementation of Alma and Primo is a huge accomplishment for the library staff. It brings next-generation systems architecture so that the user will have a more seamless experience wherever they start their research.”
Hope College has partnered with six other Michigan academic libraries (Western Theological Seminary, Albion, Kalamazoo College, Michigan Technological University, Ferris State University, and Oakland University) through the Michigan Shared System Alliance in order to coordinate negotiations and share knowledge. Alma and Primo are an increasingly popular choice among academic libraries both domestic and international. Brian Yost, Head of Technical Services, shares the impact that the new systems have on both library staff and users: “Our new Alma system will allow us to create more efficient workflows in acquisitions, serials, cataloging, and electronic resource management that will result in providing better service to Van Wylen Library users.” This is a particularly positive upgrade for electronic resources. “In the past, several different systems were needed to manage the life-cycle of electronic resources. With Alma, nearly all of this can be done in one system, from initially purchasing resources to analyzing usage data to determine whether to continue a subscription.”
For users doing library-based research, Hope Primo replaces The MightyFind, Library Catalog (HopeCat), and the Journal Finder, and provides a new link resolver within databases. The goal is that this centralized search experience will result in more comfort within library research tools overall. Instead of having to jump between several different interfaces and remember what tool locates each kind of resource, Primo will offer a unified interface for the beginning stages of research and then provide links to specialized databases and additional resources through InterLibrary Loan. Have questions about Hope Primo? Stick around after the launch party for a hands-on workshop on the new system led by librarians Todd Wiebe and Jessica Hronchek at 3 pm in the Granberg Room.
In addition to the migration to the new system, the library has been busy updating the first floor of the library. Through a partnership with Steelcase Corp., we are trying out some innovative products that provide learning spaces for both individual and collaborative study. In April, we concluded an 8-month planning process with Ratio Architects to develop a master plan for library renovation. The plan calls for a new learning commons that brings together research, writing, and academic success on the first floor and re-envisioned technology spaces, classrooms and a Center for Teaching and Learning on the second floor. While a larger renovation will require fundraising, the Steelcase project allows us to experiment and demonstrate the difference that effective, active learning spaces can make in the lives of students and faculty.