There comes a time in every librarian’s life when your library decides to migrate the catalog. No matter what role you play in the organization, you’re gonna feel it. This past year, MPOW moved from Sierra to Alma, the first such migration in 30 years. As the head of outreach and engagement, I would be responsible for overseeing campus messaging. 

In September 2022, I drafted the initial communications plan. This included key messages and their explanation, a list of target audiences (both primary and secondary), communications channels, deliverables and assets to be created, a production and implementation timeline, and a matrix of responsibility that listed who was responsible for creating what and when. I presented this draft to our ILS Migration Steering Committee, the library’s leadership council, and various stakeholders. Six iterations later I had a completed plan. 

Along the way, I asked for buy-in from each and every stakeholder. I recorded the changes to the plan in a change log, and noted the date of each stakeholder approval. A created lists of every action item and recorded who was responsible for every asset and its deadline. I created a list of check-in dates—three for every stakeholder—by which I would touch base about various aspects of the plan.

It was a robust plan. The most robust plan I’ve ever created. And while I cannot prove that it was foolproof, the library successfully migrated its catalog with no campus outcry. Certainly, there were some complaints: many of the functions previously available are currently still in production as we slowly check off all our post-migration to-dos. But not a single person has said they were unaware of the change. In fact, many faculty and staff have made comments to the effect of “oh, I heard your have a big systems change happening…”

Now, one could read this as indifference, but as a the person who oversees communications, I read this as success. “So, you’ve heard of me, then.”

What I’m reading

In this essay I will: On distraction by David Schurman Wallace

“A common idea of distraction presupposes that you’re turning away from something more important that you ought to be paying attention to instead. And you ought to be working all the time.”

LeVar Burton Wants You to Read Banned Books by Heven Haile

“I think, in truth, the effect of book bans has been limited. What happens, though, is people who engage in this kind of censorship self-identify as folks you need to keep your eye on. And for me, that’s gold, because now I see you.”

Six Months Ago NPR Left Twitter. The Effects Have Been Negligible by Gabe Bullard

“Recognizing that social media is not a key to clicks seems like a correction to years of chasing traffic through outside platforms.”

Links to the past

  • 1 year ago: Service work is broken. Relying on committees to accomplish work that is operationally necessary to the library, while also expecting (read: allowing) those committee seats to be filled by “volunteers” is a recipe for failure.
  • 6 years ago: Subtle nudges in library programming. How we at MPOW try to subtly remind our guests about future events (other attempts are not so subtle).
  • 10 years ago: When parenting was easy. It’s been mostly downhill since then.

Overheard online

Correspondence disclaimers through history

1660: I have written you a long letter because I did not have time to write a short one.
1950: Dictated but not read
2010: Sent from my phone, please excuse typos
2030: Composed by AI

overholt on Mastodon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *