FOLIO Update September 2020

It has been awhile since we have had a general update regarding the Five College’s implementation of FOLIO.  The good news is that during these trying times of COVID-19, work has continued on FOLIO, both at the broader community level and here at the Five Colleges.   The Five Colleges now have the latest release of FOLIO installed, ‘Goldenrod’, and are currently in  production for the core modules of Electronic Resource Management (ERM).   The Five College ERM working group did an amazing job testing software and looking at data migrated from both ALEPH and Coral.   A big shout-out to the Five College ERM working group for all their work on testing and to Aaron Neslin at UMass and Alex Soto at EBSCO for all their hard work related to data conversion of agreements and organization data.  Thanks to all their efforts, the Five Colleges have now begun managing parts of our e-resources using the Agreements and Organizations modules in FOLIO.

Work continues in other areas of FOLIO also.  Other Five College working groups have been busy evaluating data conversion related to inventory, continuing to work circulation rules and procedures, and working on acquisitions procedures and order data conversion.  Stay tuned for more information on these areas in the near future.

Additionally the FOLIO community at large is making a shift in the production release cycle.   FOLIO has been releasing a new version 4 times a year, which allowed for rapid deployment of new features.   However the FOLIO community will be moving to 3 major releases per year; March, July and November.  This will have some affect on our details of our schedule but it is something we need to evaluate in relation to new features we are waiting for and when they will be released.

Welcome to the start of the new academic year and stay safe.

Folio Timeline Update January 2020

As mentioned in previous post the Five College libraries are adjusting our  FOLIO implementation timeline based on the pace of software development in the FOLIO community and local considerations.  The bottom line is that we will be implementing a suite of features in FOLIO related to the management of e-resources during the summer of 2020.  The goal for entire suite of FOLIO apps will be summer of 2021.

For more information you can watch a presentation on the Five College Folio Timeline or if you would to have a copy of the slides from the presentation it is available here.

Please let me or any member of the Folio Implementation Team (FIT) know if you have any questions.

Bibliographic Record Merge -Update

You might have read that there is a shift in the FOLIO implementation timeline. In light of this decision, the working group has an amended timeline. 

BSLW Testing: Ongoing 2019-2020:  Work on BSLW sample sets, deciphering reports, and collection codes

 Open House for BSLW Reports: Mid-late February 2020:  Provide an open house on deciphering BSLW reports and updates 

 Deduplication Profile: May 2020:   Work on deduplication profile

 Open House on Deduplication Profile: June 2020:  Share deduplication profile with community

 Refine Deduplication profile & retest: August 2020:   Based on feedback from open house, make any modifications to profile

 Full test with test FOLIO & test EDS: September – December 2020:  Complete full test with refined/tested deduplication profile and community input

Please note that all dates are tentative and subject to change. For feedback, you can reach the working group on its Slack channel #5crmwg, via email, phone, or in person. 

FOLIO timeline

The FOLIO Implementation Team met with the leads of the Five College Libraries working groups and representatives from FCLC earlier this week.   We discussed the current FOLIO software development plan released by the FOLIO Product Council at the end of September and what we perceived as gaps in software functionality.   Based on the pace of the software development and the set of features that will be available in early 2020 the Five College FOLIO Implementation Team has decided to focus our efforts on Electronic Resources Management and Acquisitions.  The new plan we are developing will propose implementing parts of Electronic Resource Management and Acquisitions in FOLIO during the summer of 2020.

The plan is to continue work on implementing the other modules with the goal of having all modules live by the summer of 2021.  The FOLIO community will simultaneously continue to complete and add new features which we think are important for our implementation as a consortium.


We plan on presenting a detailed project plan that reflects these changes later this fall.

Bibliographic Record Merge — Updates

The 5C Record Merge Working Group is currently working on a match profile, which we sometimes refer to as a mapping. This match profile will include all the MARC fields in our bibliographic records that are part of the merge and notes on what to do on merge. In short, these notes will be the decisions that we make for each field. For example, for 590 field, do we map this to a 500 note and add a subfield 5 with the code for the owning institution? The merge profile will also add comments on the type of behavior we’d like to see on merge, whether certain fields need to be normalized, what to do with like or exact matches, etc. 

One of our first steps towards this match profile is to look at our collection codes. Our decisions are not based solely on location. However, this first entry will help us see what collections and/or locations we have across the 5C and ask questions as to what should be included and excluded. This process is just fine tuning what we recommended in our Recommendations Document.

Alongside this work, the members of the group will be doing small tests with Backstage to tease out more questions and start forming a decision narrative for the merge profile. You can follow our tests from our Sample Tests with Backstage spreadsheet.

Five College Record Merge working group update

The Five College Record Merge Working Group submitted its Recommendations report to FIT and FCLC in June of this year. If you remember, the charge of this working group has multiple phases. The first was to create a recommendations document on how to merge bibliographic records in preparation for the migration to a single tenant FOLIO. The second phase is to act on those recommendations to deduplicate bibliographic records. 

FCLC endorsed the decision to use Backstage Library Works (BSLW) as our vendor to help us deduplicate bibliographic records within the scope of the record merge. Because of the number of bibliographic records involved, approximately 5 million, FIT and FCLC have decided to forgo authority control loads until this can be handled by FOLIO. The entire file will be reset at that time.

The group has a number of items to address in these early stages to prepare for deduplicating bibliographic records. We will be working with BSLW  on refining the contract, timeline of events, algorithm used for deduplication, and testing samples. The working group is also beginning to work on a testing procedure and mapping document.

EBSCO Beta Partners meeting

The three institutions partnering with EBSCO as Beta partners for FOLIO implementation and support services met on March 25th-27th in the DuBois Library at  UMass / Amherst .   The Folio implementation teams  from Chalmers University in Sweden, The University of Alabama, and the Five Colleges met over the course of three days along with staff from EBSCO representing implementation services, FOLIO support, and FOLIO product owners from various functional areas.  The teams had a chance to meet each other and various EBSCO personnel in person for the first time.   They also discussed local implementation and communication plans, heard updates on the status of various modules and the overall FOLIO project from various product owners The FITs and product owners also spent significant time reviewing features and gap analysis related to FOLIO feature development.   The various FOLIO implementation teams hope this is a start of a long and fruitful collaboration on the path to implementing and using FOLIO.

The Five Colleges Record Merge Working Group Launches

On June 5, 2018, EBSCO Information Services announced that the Five Colleges agreed to be an EBSCO FOLIO Beta partner. Since that time, much has happened to steer our Five Colleges towards FOLIO implementation. A new landing page for the FOLIO project was created. There is the FOLIO Implementation Team (FIT) whose members come from all the Five Colleges. And FIT has been working hard to coordinate implementation as can be seen from the documentation and regular updates communicated through Newsletters and now the Five Colleges FOLIO News.


As we enter Phase 03 of the implementation milestones or data migration and testing, FIT has launched the Record Merge Working Group. The members of this working group are Steven Bischof, Sharon Domier, Jennifer Eustis (lead), Rebecca Henning, and Colin Van Alstine. The Record Merge Working Group (5CRMWG) is tasked with creating a recommendations document for the merge, and, has also created a charge. Members of our working group will be reaching out to you to open and continue discussions on what it means to merge records, what records should be merged or not, and any questions about the merge. Our first group discussion is scheduled for April 12, 2019 from 9:30 am – 11:00 am in the UMass W.E.B. Du Bois Library in Room 1920. We encourage people to come in person. Realizing that is not always possible, a virtual option will be available.


As we work on the recommendations document, the 5CRMWG will share updates via this blog, Five Colleges listservs, and slack (via the #5crmwg channel). We encourage the entire Five College community to participate in these discussions.