Welcome to the New Year from Lucy Harrison
As the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, nothing is constant except change. That’s certainly true of GALILEO as we leave 2022 behind and head into 2023.
This year brought us a new chancellor, Sonny Perdue; a new executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, Ashwani Monga; and our longtime colleague Julie Walker took on a new responsibility as vice chancellor for libraries and archives, with GPLS, GALILEO and the Georgia Archives now reporting to her.
We released a spate of new functionality in our GALILEO Bento search interface, including new date range, Lexile, and other limiters; more robust searching of the Digital Library of Georgia; and more customization options for libraries. Our development team finished a fantastic update to the Civil Rights Digital Library in September. We added some exciting new databases for all libraries – at no additional charge – including Points of View Reference Center, Science Reference Center, Ethnic Diversity Source, upgrades to MAS and Masterfile, and new test prep resources.
Sometimes change brings unexpected challenges. A new platform for our annual survey resulted in a spate of unwanted spam responses that will make parsing the data more difficult. We’re still grappling with the ramifications of a budget cut a couple of years ago. And of course, the effects of the pandemic still linger – though we are planning to return to some in-person events in the new year, including a spring meeting of the USG library directors, and our summer GALILEO Annual Conference (save the date: June 14, 2023).
New Library Services Platform
Our GALILEO Interconnected Libraries (mostly the USG libraries) are still in the middle of a procurement process for a library services platform. We’re currently in negotiation with potential vendors, and plan to make a decision in the spring. While we know a new contract will bring reduced costs and new functionality, a potential move away from our current platform brings some risks and makes planning difficult until a decision is made.
Luckily, we have a wonderful in-house team that has years of experience in supporting, evaluating, and migrating systems, and a robust network of library experts around the state who are fully involved in the process.
USG procurement tells us this is one of the most detailed RFPs they have ever done, so we know that when we make a decision it will be the right one for our libraries. We’ll use our GIL User Group Meeting (GUGM), scheduled for May 16-18 as a virtual conference, to talk through the changes in that area.
New Strategic Plan
Once we’ve made that ILS decision, we look forward to working with you all to update our overall GALILEO Strategic Plan. We wrote that plan – which included robust input from all stakeholder groups – back in 2017, intending for it to last for 3 – 5 years. While our mission and vision have not changed, we would like to reconfirm or update our long-term goals and get your input on what is most important to you for the next five years. With the new reporting structure at the Board of Regents, there may be an opportunity to work even more closely with our colleagues at GPLS and the Georgia Archives on some shared goals.
A Constant for Georgians
Heraclitus also famously said that you can never step in the same river twice. The river changes constantly – and so do you. But GALILEO is a constant for all Georgians on their journey of lifelong learning, from kindergarten to graduate school, and from private higher ed to the public library. The river may change, but we’re here to help you navigate it.
– Lucy Harrison, GALILEO director (pictured)