11 Jan 19 Information Technology & Telecommunication Services (ITTS) Midwinter 2019 Update

Information Technology Assessment

ALA contracted with DelCor Technology Solutions (DelCor) to conduct an Information Technology Assessment in August 2018.  The results of the information technology assessment will be reported by DelCor during the ALA 2019 Midwinter conference in Seattle in January 2019. ALA provided DelCor with the necessary information to perform the assessment.

 eStore/eLearning eCommerce

The goal of the eStore/eLearning project is to add all ALA eLearning offerings to the store so that it is easy for members and other potential registrants to find and purchase/register for any ALA eLearning event in one place. We are adding more service integrations and adding this activity into iMIS.

Accomplishments for 2018 include:

  • Successfully pushed out 5 major releases to the ALA Store, with new features and back-end eLearning-related functionality
  • Improved search and overhauled cross-selling functionality (recommended items)
  • Enhanced marketing capabilities (added blogs, improved product images, introduced custom pages for product groups)
  • Added workflow for publishing content to facilitate more users working on the Store
  • Integrated Zoom, Adobe Connect and Moodle options into the eLearning product type
  • Created a new eLearning homepage and calendar view for events

Currently, we are working on a major release to:

  • Finalize iMIS integration for event creation and transaction recording
  • Improve order process
  • Complete GoToWebinar integration

Our plan going forward is to:

  • Complete functional testing and perform User Acceptance Testing on the final major releases
  • Test and schedule migration of eLearning products to define responsibilities and workflows
  • Finalize customer service plan for once items are in the store
  • Provide documentation and training

Promet currently estimates a feature complete date of the end of February.

Membership Dues and Donations eCommerce

The goal for the Membership Dues and Donations project is to improve the membership and customer experience for processing dues and donations.  This system has been live for just over two years but has had several issues. We are trying to get back to a regular cadence of new releases to fix a number of outstanding issues.

Accomplishments for 2018 include:

  • Successfully pushed out a security release
  • iMIS web service provider rolled out a major release that caused the vendor to have to refactor their code, causing a major delay in rolling out new releases
  • Vendor refactored business logic for complex pricing rules

Currently, we are working on rolling out a major release to:

  • Install the new iMIS web services in our production environment in January 2019

Our plan going forward is to:

  • Test new releases to fix known issues and security updates
  • Install these new releases in our production environment
  • Work on new features to improve the member and customer experience as required

ALA Connect

The goal of the ALA Connect project is provide the ability to do committee work, community work, networking, member engagement, non-member engagement, and marketing of products and services to our members and non-members.

Accomplishments for 2018 include:

  • Migration of 2,500+ committees/communities from the old ALA Connect
  • Launch of the system with basic functionality in May 2018
  • Working with Higher Logic on solving issues related to our 33 microsites and nested infrastructure
  • Working with Higher Logic on solving permission related issues

Currently, we are working with Higher Logic:

  • To solve issues related to our 33 microsites and nested infrastructure
  • To solve permission related issues

Our plan going forward is to:

  • Work with staff starting in January 2019 to standardize the functionality (menus, design, use, etc.) across the microsites within ALA Connect.
  • Implement Mentor Match Module
  • Implement Work Space for collaboration on documents with versioning and Balloting Module
  • Implement Volunteer Manager Module

SalesForce Project

The goals of the Salesforce project are to provide a tool that will increase the capabilities for Advocacy and Development.

Detailed Goals:

Public Policy and Advocacy unit (Advocacy ) –

  • Track cultivation of new and existing advocates across the organization
  • Look up ALA members and advocates by zip code / Congressional District
  • Annotate records with “soft touch” data, including points of contact and areas of interest
  • Track interactions and information about (current and past) members of Congress and elected officials
  • Track interactions and points of contact between Advocacy/Public Policy staff and members of Congress, elected officials, and Federal agencies
  • Surface relationships between advocates and (current and past) members of Congress and elected officials
  • Track and report on advocate actions based on zip code / Congressional District

Development office (Fundraising) –

  • Track cultivation of new and existing donors across the organization
  • Annotate records and track “soft touch” data, including points of contact, areas of interest, and likeliness of donations
  • Better reporting capabilities than currently available
  • Use data to generate leads from the prospect pool and from the advocate population


  • Implement a well-integrated system that is scalable to other departments at ALA if applicable
  • Create new business intelligence information
  • Explore Salesforces data analytics module “Einstein” capabilities for future uses

Accomplishments for 2018 include:

  • Select third party Salesforce Partner in October
  • Identify data integration product to bridge Salesforce and iMIS (Membership DB) in November
  • Contract negotiated and signed with Salesforce Partner (Traction on Demand) in December
  • Contract signed with data integration company (Dell Boomi) in December
  • Contract for twenty-three user licenses of Salesforce signed in December

Our plan going forward is to:

  • Traction is now developing timelines and resourcing
  • Kick-off meeting and timelines expected in February
  • Implement Salesforce in 2019

iMIS Membership System Upgrade

The goal of the iMIS membership system upgrade is to move to the current web-based version which tracks our member and customer information. The upgrade includes data dashboards showing trend data that can be used to improve member engagement.

Accomplishments for 2018 include:

  • Setting up a complete test environment
  • Test Migration of 700,000+ member and customer information

Currently, we are working on:

  • An upgrade to the most recent version of our Shibboleth Single Sign-on Technology Component.

Our plan going forward is to:

  • Complete the Shibboleth Upgrade
  • Complete User Acceptance Testing of iMIS
  • Perform the upgrade in February/March 2018

Infrastructure Upgrades

The current project is part of the lifecycle of ALA’s internal storage systems.

  • ALA is replacing storage devices that have reached the end of their useful life, and that have insufficient capacity to meet current and projected needs.
  • The new storage devices need more high-speed ports than are available on the current switches, so the next step to activate the new storage is to add two new switches and reconfigure the switch stacks.

Windows 10 Laptop Rollout

The goal of this project is to replace all desktops with laptops running the Windows 10 operating system.

  • Approximately 1/3 of ALA desktops have been replaced
  • Another 1/3 will be rolled out in January and February 2019
  • The final 1/3 will be rolled out in the next Fiscal Year

ITTS Staffing Changes

  • Our new IT Project Manager, Shakir Akbari, starts on January 14, 2019
  • Pam Akins, our Technical Services Specialist is leaving ALA to move to California on February 22, 2019
  • Patrick Harrington has been hired as a temporary full-time employee to take over Pam Akins responsibilities for training and support

Sherri Vanyek
Director, Information Technology & Telecommunication Services
American Library Association

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