UH Hilo ​S​trategic ​P​lanning​ Listening Tour: ​Edwin H. ​Mookini Library​ staff prepares to migrate library management system

The staff at Mookini Library is proud to support UH Hilo’s academic environment and they embrace change because it benefits the campus community and allows them the opportunity to build an ‘ohana culture.

By Kathleen Baumgardner
This story is the second in a series from the UH Hilo Strategic Planning Listening Tour. 

Mokini Library at night, fully lit.
Mookini Library, click to enlarge.

Editor’s note: The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is in the planning stage of a new Strategic Plan. The process is being guided by Kathleen Baumgardner, strategic planning project manager, who started her appointment at UH Hilo on Oct. 1, 2017. Currently, a listening tour, a series of conversations with faculty, staff, students, alumni, community members and business partners, is being conducted.​ This story was uncovered during a session with staff at Edwin H. Mookini Library.

Kathleen Stacey
Kathleen Stacey

In the last 12 years, Kathleen Stacey, head of collection management at the Edwin H. Mookini Library, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, has seen a dramatic change in the format of the library’s collection, steadily moving from print to electronic. A surprised patron recently saw her reading a book on an electronic device and teased her for not using the print version. “It’s a book,” Kathleen responded. “It doesn’t matter what container it comes in.”

Kathleen serves on the UH System’s Library Migration Core Committee. After years of changing standards, new formats, and increasing amounts of data to manage, she and the staff at UH Hilo and all UH System libraries are preparing for a library management system migration. Kathleen is one of the many librarians in the UH System working on the process, representing the unique needs of Mookini Library.

“The last such transition, when UH libraries migrated from Carl to Voyager, was in 1999, so it is well past time,” says Kathleen.

The current Voyager system is client based (not in the cloud) and has many other age-related and hardware issues. The decision to stay with ExLibris, the company that provides both Voyager and Alma, was made at the UH System level. “We now have to do our best to make it happen smoothly,” Kathleen says. Librarians from all UH facilities are in the first stages of the migration process, which began this October and is targeted for completion in January 2020.

Mookini Library is quite unusual in the UH System. Unlike other libraries, Mookini serves two campuses—UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College, in addition to providing database resources for the Pālamanui campus located in North Kona. As with all UH System libraries, the collections and resources available through each facility are unique. Those at UH Hilo are designed for the end user and driven by the academic programs and research efforts across the campuses it serves. Therefore, the migration will be a bit different for each library.

Internally, the system migration is expected to greatly improve and streamline acquisition efforts for the library staff. As for the end users, UH Hilo’s students will benefit from a “discovery layer” called Primo that most university libraries have implemented in the past several years. This single interface will allow simultaneous searches of the catalog and databases, returning results and linked citations for print, electronic, and digital materials. And, because the tool is cloud based, users can employ any device at any location.

The Primo product, also from ExLibris, was established at UH Libraries around 2009. “We call the Hilo version ‘Mookini MegaSearch,'” Kathleen says. At other UH campuses it’s called OneSearch. It is meant to provide a single search interface for our users—searching both the Voyager catalog and article databases simultaneously.

“With the advent of Alma, we will no longer have a separate Voyager interface to just the catalog,” Kathleen explains. “Primo will be the only way our users can find our books, both print and electronic.”

Throughout 2019, Mookini Library staff will be working behind-the-scenes on the migration project. For many, this project will be part of their legacy and support their effort to encourage students to become lifelong learners. While the library staff completes this daunting project, Librarian Kathleen Stacey suggests the UH Hilo community spend some time exploring the library website. “You might be surprised by what you discover in that container,” she says.

Strategic planning process

This story was uncovered during a listening tour session designed to invite participants to create the future they want by building on the best of the past. The staff at Mookini Library are proud to support UH Hilo’s academic environment and they embrace change because it benefits the campus community and allows them the opportunity to build an ‘ohana culture. Stories like this help inform the strategic planning process and serve as evidence of UH Hilo’s purpose, aspirations, and what the university community sees as its values and mission.

Members of the UH Hilo community are encouraged to participate in the strategic planning process. One way to provide input is by answering the “Question of the Month,” found on the UH Hilo Strategic Planning website. This will help inform the strategic planning process.


Kathleen Baumgardner
Kathleen Baumgardner

Prior to coming to UH Hilo to manage the strategic planning process, Kathleen Baumgardner co-founded and operated a nonprofit organization, a donation-only farm-to-fork restaurant that has served nearly 90,000 meals. In addition to nonprofit strategic planning, she served as the director of strategic communications for Colorado State University’s College of Engineering. She worked on two strategic plans at Colorado State and another while serving as the Director of Communications at Knox College in Illinois. In addition to these planning efforts, she has focused on branding activities and communication strategies to actively support strategic goals and initiatives.


Also in this series: