Montana Shared Catalog


Message from the MSC Executive Board

The following information is provided as a follow-up to our discussions during the Fall Members meeting in Helena on Sept. 26, 2013 concerning the options necessary to reduce system operational costs and, at the same time, better position our consortium for potential future changes.  PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY AS IT WILL AFFECT YOUR CURRENT CIRCULATION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES in the coming year:

On Nov 4, 2013, the Executive Board approved three State Library recommendations for the reorganization project:

  1. The State Library and the MSC membership proceed with the new FTE as part of the FY2015 membership budget based on the vote of the membership at the Sept 26 meeting.
  2. Of the four possible options researched and compiled by the MSC staff, the "moderate” option of reorganizing system policies has the best chance of being the most successful. The “moderate” option for reorganizing and streamlining system circulation policies and reports basically builds upon the steps already taken four years ago to reduce the number of circulation policies in use.
  3. Enterprise will continue to be developed as the MSC’s new patron interface, replacing the current eLibrary front end for the catalog.  Implementation will be limited in the number of profile templates based on library type.  The limitations on templates will be part of the overall reorganization within the MSC, focusing on simplification, collaboration and reduced cost to the membership.  Discover IT! will continue to be the preferred discovery tool for Montana’s library patrons.  

The first steps of the process include informing the Network Advisory Council (completed on Nov 12, 2013) and the State Library Commission (completed on Dec 11, 2013).  A detailed timeline with task assignments, milestone dates and goals is currently being developed.  The first task has already been identified for creating and presenting training webinars on basic system configuration policies and how they are tied together in circulation policies, cataloging and reports.  These webinars are scheduled to be delivered to the membership by mid-December.

Keep in mind that the current description of the tasks is "fluid" by necessity, and further refinement will take place as we move closer to implementing the changes.  We will update this page with information and documentation as we move thrrough the policies refinement process.

The reorganization process will begin in early January, 2014, and we anticipate at least a year of work before it is completed.  Member libraries should begin to assess their system requirements and try to identify item types, home locations, loan periods, fine/bills structures and reports that they can live without or change.  Once the reorganization begins, MSC staff will contact each library directly to go over their options, help make policy decisions and simplify as much as possible in making the changes.

Documents and Task Descriptions

***NOTE*** that DOCS labeled as DRAFT are proposals and will be updated/refined as we move along with the project.  When the project starts, changes will be made in batch for selected library groups.  Library groups and change deadlines will be published when defined.

Training Documents and Recordings

Video:  Introduction to MSC system policies and the reorganization project

Video:  MSC Reorganization Round 2: Item Types and Report Templates

Video:  MSC Reorganization Round 3: Item Types and User Profiles

Presentation (ppsx format):  Introduction to MSC system policies and the reorg project


Click This Link for Project Timeline (Updated Sept 29, 2015)

Important Upcoming Dates:

Round 5 in progress - See revised schedule.

Sep 30-Oct 2 - MSC Committee Meetings, Members Fall Meeting and Fall Workshop - Helena

Oct 15 - Disseminate approved circ policies and suggestions for switching.  

Nov 1 - Begin requirement for all libraries to change their Workflows passwords

Nov 1 - Begin final work with item categories

Nov 19 - Garfield County and CJI School District go live in the MSC

Dec 1 - The Acquisitions, Serial Control, Reserves and other inactive modules will be disabled except for those libraries that are actively using them.

Dec 1 - All CIRC and TECH logins that still have the default passwords will be changed to more secure passwords.

Dec 1 - Deadline to respond about Item Categories and Circulation Policies

Jan 1 2016 - All Circulation Rules, Policies and Item Categories will be updated to the current, allowable list.

Jan 1 2016 - Members will begin review of Home locations.

Feb 1 2016 - Deadline to respond about Home Locations

May 1 2016 - All Home locations will be updated to the current allowable list

May 1 2016 - The Policies Reorganization project concludes.

Dec 1 - Reorg project complete.