SILS News – May 8, 2020

Date: May 08, 2020
Title: SILS Phase 3 Report

Dear colleagues,

With phase 4 of SILS (implementation phase) underway, we are overdue for an official closure to phase 3 (RFP phase). Many of you contributed to the Request for Proposal (RFP) that resulted in the selection of Ex Libris as the SILS contract awardee. This SILS News post serves to surface two critical documents from this past phase as well as provide yet another opportunity to acknowledge the phase 3 cohort’s collaborative efforts.

The Phase 3 October Report (Public Version) is now available on the SILS website. The report, submitted to the Council of University Librarians (CoUL) in October 2019, provides a summary of work and recommendations going forward. Here is an executive summary:

  • Moving to a SILS and pursuing shared practices, policies, and governance will bring about opportunities for technical and workflow-based innovation that benefit the UC Libraries and their patrons. 

  • The act of coming together for SILS has already brought about change for our libraries.

  • Trust and relationship building – connecting those within the project, but also engaging the broader UC Libraries’ community – have been, and will continue to be, core tenets of the SILS Project.

  • The RFP identified Ex Libris as providing the best vendor product solution at this time to meet the UC Libraries’ needs and goals for a SILS.

The SILS Working Group made the following six recommendations which were unanimously endorsed by CoUL:

  1. Empower the Working Group to pursue negotiations with apparent awardee Ex Libris for the SILS contract; before the contract is ratified, it will be shared with CoUL for endorsement. 

  2. Extend the Working Group’s current charge to cover phase 3.5, which will include the following activities to be carried out between November 2019 and March 2020:

    1. Charge a Contract and Negotiation Task Force to develop a statement of work and negotiate a SILS implementation and operations contract with Ex Libris; 

    2. Extend and adapt the charges for existing phase 3 groups as needed for activities such as implementation and harmonization planning; 

    3. Plan phase 4 kickoff meetings; and d. Submit a final report to CoUL in spring 2020, briefly outlining the work accomplished and further recommendations. 

  3. Authorize the California Digital Library to submit a revised MPI to the Office of the President, based on revised costs. 

  4. Empower the Working Group to charge and staff some phase 4 teams in advance of the actual start of phase 4 (March 2020); the working group will consult with DOC to populate these rosters. 

  5. Affirm that the California Digital Library will serve as the systemwide operations center for the SILS. 

  6. Affirm that CoUL members and leadership teams consider the impact of the SILS migration effort on their local roadmaps and ensure local resource and project planning reflects the need to prioritize SILS work in FY19-20 and FY20-21. 

As the phase 4 cohort initiates its implementation of Ex Libris’ Alma and Primo VE services, we wanted to take a final look at how this vendor decision was reached. The UC Systemwide ILS Request for Proposal published on May 28, 2019, has now been posted to the SILS website and may be freely shared with other institutions. A detailed explanation of the UC’s Best Value procurement process, which resulted in Ex Libris selected as the SILS contract awardee, can be found on pages three and four of the aforementioned phase 3 public report.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact


The SILS Working Group 

Chris Shaffer, University Librarian & Assistant Vice Chancellor, UC San Francisco (Co-Chair)
Günter Waibel, Executive Director & Associate Vice Provost, California Digital Library (Co-Chair)
Ben Alkaly, Communications Manager, UCLA (Chair, Communication Operation Leads)
Donald Barclay, Deputy University Librarian, UC Merced
Christine Barone, Collections Project Coordinator, Southern Regional Library Facility (Project Co-Manager)
Peter Brantley, Director of Online Strategy, UC Davis
Todd Grappone, Associate University Librarian for Research and Development, UCLA
Sarah Houghton, Discovery & Delivery Director, California Digital Library
Salwa Ismail, Associate University Librarian for Digital Initiatives and Information Technology, UC Berkeley
Cathy Martyniak, Director, Southern Regional Library Facility
Erik Mitchell, Audrey Geisel University Librarian, UC San Diego
Caitlin Nelson, Product Manager, California Digital Library (interim project lead until SILS Service Manager is hired)
Aislinn Sotelo, Program Director for Metadata Services, UC San Diego
Lena Zentall, Discovery & Delivery Associate Director, California Digital Library (Project Co-Manager)


SILS mission: Transform library services and operations through innovation and collaboration


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