VALE VALID: Frequently Asked Questions

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Q01: What’s the connection between VALID and OLE?

A: For a number of years a VALID team has been working on a new vision for the VALE consortium, one in which New Jersey academic libraries would, where possible, unify policies, collaborate in their operations, and work to provide a sum greater than their parts. Part of this vision is the adoption of a shared, open-source, library system that will allow us to coordinate and support online services delivered at the network level yet decrease our reliance on commercial system vendors. Since 2007 VALE members have evaluated several open-source library products, including Evergreen and Koha, and determined that the efforts and potential of OLE are most aligned with this vision for VALE’s future.

Q02: What are the advantages of VALID?

A: VALID will allow New Jersey’s academic libraries to ...
• Participate in a shared, community-developed, next-generation library system that is efficient and easy to use for no more than the cost of what one would pay for a stand-alone legacy ILS.
• Offer users an online system that allows both resource discovery and direct borrowing across the combined holdings of member institutions. Users may borrow materials directly from member libraries by requesting them through the system and have them delivered to their own library
• Standardize how we acquire, catalog and loan materials in order to improve resource sharing and promote discovery of unique collections
•  Benefit from new products developed by the OLE user community responding to its individual and collective needs, and from the ability of VALE to adapt these products to its goals and ends
•  Enable library systems to communicate seamlessly with financial (ERP), learning management (LMS) and other institutional enterprise systems.

Q03: Who is participating in VALID?

A: Early Implementers

  • Drew University
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey 
  • The College of New Jersey
  • William Paterson University

First Adopters

  • Brookdale Community College
  • Camden County College
  • College of St. Elizabeth
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • Kean University
  • Monmouth University
  • New Jersey City University
  • Ocean County College
  • Raritan Valley Community College
  • Richard Stockton College of New Jersey 
  • Rider University
  • Rowan University

Q04: Will participation in VALID be mandatory for VALE member libraries?

A: Participation in VALID is voluntary. No VALE institution will be obligated to participate. Every institution will have opportunities to explore VALID and decide for itself if it wishes to join.

Q05: What is the governance structure for VALID?

A: A system of shared governance for VALID has been established by the VALE Executive Committee and ratified by the VALE Members’ Council. All institutions participating in VALID will have an opportunity to stand for election to the Steering Committee.

Q06: Will the VALID system be a good choice for both large research institutions as well as for smaller academic institutions?

A: VALID is envisioned as being flexible. It will have the advanced features and capabilities required by a large research institution. At the same time, it will scale equally well to smaller institutions, requiring only simple implementation and support.

Q07: Will libraries be able to try out the VALID system before deciding to join?

A: Institutions who wish to participate in VALID can do so at no risk to their current collection or library automation system. They will be able to test VALID with their own data before making any commitment to join.

Q08: How much will VALID cost?

A: The initial cost of membership shall be equal to or less than any VALE member institution’s commitment to its current ILS in the year that it joins VALID. The annual cost of membership (as determined by the Steering Committee) will reflect the actual cost of running the system, including both operational and development costs.

Q09: What is the timeline for VALID becoming operational?

A: VALE intends to begin implementing Kuali OLE as soon as it becomes available, currently projected to be Q1 2013. A one-year testing and development cycle is anticipated, with early implementers beginning to migrate to VALID during the 2015 academic year.

Q10: How will the protocols governing acquisitions, cataloging, patrons, loans and other operations be standardized?

A: The VALID Steering Committee will leverage the expertise of the VALE membership to help develop models of all these services. Models will then be refined and voted upon by the Steering Committee.

Q11: What will the OPAC be like?

A: As of January, 2013 the Implementation Taskforce (VOIT) recommended and the Steering Committee (VOSC) approved the use of the open-source interface VuFind. The recommdation document can be viewed here. Further development is underway and individual participants will be able to customize the interface with their own institutional identity.

Q12: What is the amount and level of technical support needed to run the VALID system? How much additional support would be needed for customization?

A: As the VALID system is hosted in a central location and maintained by designated technical personnel, the amount and level of technical support is minimal for participating libraries. However, a certain amount of customization will be possible at the local level. The level of support for any such customization will likewise be minimal.

Q13: How clean does my data have to be? What are the data cleanup standards?

A: Institutional data will have to conform to mutually agreed-upon standards. Data cleanup standards are currently being developed by the Implementation Task Force.

Q14: Will member libraries be responsible for data cleanup?

A: Although there may be some economies of scale and collaboration, each participating member will be responsible for ensuring that its records and files meet all required data and policy standards.

Q15: How will VALID keep track of currently enrolled students and currently employed librarians, faculty, and staff?

A: Identity management will be a central component of the system, enabling strong individualization of collections to be maintained and access to resources provided based on the identity and role of the user. Rather than re-invent the wheel, VALID will leverage the identity management work of the individual institutions and NJTrust.

Q16: What will the VALID system look like?

A: A test environment of VALID will be initially developed, used for demonstration and promotion, and eventually used as a training and certification environment as participants begin to join and migrate.

Q17: How will I keep up-do-date with VALID development?

A: Abundant communication between and among VALID users, developers and administrators will be established at the outset and be used for news, announcements, and updates. This communications framework will eventually become the vehicle for improvement requests and resource sharing.

Q18: Will there be test servers?

A: A VALID test environment will be created for demonstration and promotion purposes as well as for training and certification activities prior to implementation.

Q19: Who will host the initial test servers?

A: Not yet determined; possibly one of the early implementing institutions.

Q20: With whom and where would the server operations be based?

A: The Implementation Taskforce (VOIT) with VOSC approval, has begun using Amazon Web Services as a cloud server host environment for the VALID project. Use of AWS allows flexibility in the server size and configuration and will allow us to start "small and inexpensive" before adding capacity to serve more extensive requirements. Use of AWS will also simplfy access by adminsitrative users from multiple institutions and avoid fixed, physical server depreciation and obsolescence.