New Mexico State Library

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Tales of Migration, Part 10
In which we “attend” the First Migration Meeting

This is the tenth in a series covering the library system migration of the Bartlett Library at the Museum of International Folk Art and our partner library at the Laboratory of Anthropology, aka “Museum Hill Libraries.”

In January we held our first migration team “meeting” via phone conference. This was a chance for the MOIFA and LoA librarians to get to know the ByWater migration team, and for ByWater to bring us up to speed on how the migration would progress.

Every vendor sets up the migration team a little differently. There should always be one person on the vendor side who coordinates the migration. This person may not know the nitty-gritty details of each decision, but this is the go-to person if you don’t know what’s going on, can’t figure out what comes next, are unhappy with the way things are happening, and so on. You need to be able to trust this person to keep your migration on track. If you get the sense that you can’t, then you will need to be extra-organized yourself. In addition to the coordinator you’ll probably also have specialists in data manipulation and online catalog configuration as well as a trainer.

The opening meeting is a chance to find out who the players are, and begin to build a working relationship with each of them. It’s not a great time to go into detailed explanations of your data or the color of your catalog page, but it is the perfect time to make sure you know who’s who and how to communicate. It’s also an opportunity to discuss the timeline you should already have created, and to begin to fill in some more details.

Our first meeting went well. Our conversations were clear, friendly, and helpful. The ByWater team listened carefully to us librarians. Their responses made it plain that they understood what they heard. We were able to ask lots of questions; the questions were clearly answered.

We learned how to communicate via ByWater’s ticket system and how to share data with them via Dropbox. Shortly after the meeting we were added to their Koha listserv, sent credentials for Dropbox and the ticketing system, and provided with contact information for everyone we “met” during the phone call. It’s clear they have a tried and true process.

Some vendors will immediately send you oodles of checklists, forms to fill in, and the like. ByWater doesn’t do this. They seem to be asking for little bite-sized bits of information. There’s a brief worksheet that goes along with each meeting, so information is gathered step-by-step in a manageable way. They are making every effort to ease us into the process. After my last experience with a migration, I’m grateful for this.

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