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SILS Operations Center at CDL

The SILS Operations Center at CDL is a dedicated service team located within the California Digital Library (CDL). This team is tasked with coordinating a core shared service – the Systemwide ILS – on behalf of all the UC Libraries. The SILS Operations Center partners with SILS Teams to carry out the vision, strategies, priorities and policies decided within the SILS shared governance structure.

SILS Operations Center Principles

  • We prioritize the quality of the patron and staff experience, and the “why” of what we do.
  • We do work where it adds value; conversely, we get out of the way to avoid being a bottleneck.
  • We believe innovation is built on great infrastructure.
  • We believe in iterative assessment, and in pivoting when better options emerge.

What does the SILS Operations Center do?

The mission of the SILS Operations Center is to ensure the health of the SILS service so that UC Libraries patrons have a successful experience using UC Library Search, Get it at UC, and other services, and UC Libraries staff can accomplish their work smoothly and effectively. SILS Operations Center staff primarily focus on the health and maintenance of the software powering these services: Ex Libris’ Alma and Primo VE, and OCLC’s VDX.  The SILS Operations Center manages technical troubleshooting, performance monitoring, and system configuration as it relates to systemwide settings, reports, and processes, such as those in the Network Zone. 

What does the SILS Operations Center not do?

The SILS Operations Center does not make SILS policy; no one campus or CDL prescribes policy or practice for systemwide work. This work is done within the collaborative structure of the SILS shared governance, where campus experts come together to make these decisions formally.

SILS Operations Center does not make decisions for any campus in their use of Alma or Primo VE. Campuses have a great deal of autonomy when it comes to their own Alma / Primo VE instances. Harmonization becomes essential when we start working together for systemwide benefits, and these decisions get made within the governance structure as well.

The SILS Operations Center is also separate from the CDL Collection Development and Management teams who handle licensing, shared acquisitions, and shared cataloging for e-resources. For example, SILS Operations Center staff handle issues related to the SILS software, while CDL Collections staff handle issues related to content and access to content.

SILS is new – will things change as we learn more? 

Yes! SILS Operations Center staff foresee multiple milestones that will characterize the work being done over the next year. In each of these periods, staff will be iteratively assessing what UC Libraries needs are and how best to use CDL resources to support those needs.

  • August 2021 – October 2021  Major milestone: “Switch to Support”
    • Work with campuses and Ex Libris to complete anything related to implementation; determine what Ex Libris will support and what expertise we’ll need to develop internally; work on transition to Ex Libris support services.
  • November 2021 – January 2022  Major milestone: Transition from SILS Project to SILS Service
    • Create a working relationship with the new Ex Libris support team; get data points on what kinds of issues occur and where those are best handled (SILS teams vs SILS Ops vs Ex Libris or some combination); work with the transition team on how best to support the new governance structure.
  • January 2022 – April 2022  Major milestone: SILS Service and new shared governance
    • Learn more about the functioning of the new governance structure; refine plans and assumptions from previous stages.
  • April 2022 and onward  Major milestones TBD as we assess our first year of SILS! 


This summary is a living document and will be updated throughout the next year as each of these milestones is achieved.

SILS Operations Center Team

As of September 2021, in addition to development staff within D2D, three full-time staff members at CDL comprise the SILS Operations Center.

Caitlin NelsonSILS Service Manager View profile
Alison RaySenior Systems Analyst – Network Zone AdministratorView profile
Gem Stone-LoganSenior Systems Analyst – Network Zone Administrator View profile