We have been having various issues with Vega Discover basically since we signed the contract. Very little has gone right and we are still, a year later having major difficulty with the eContent integration. Innovative has fixed many of the issues that have occurred, but we still have two major problems with features that have not been resolved to our satisfaction. They also happen to be the features we most wanted and the reason we chose Vega. This is an oversimplification of the process we have been through.
Has anyone else been having issues with implementing Vega Discover?
What are the 2 major problems/unresolved features?
There have been a few issues that continue to disappoint us (below), but nothing that has been a “last straw.” We were an early adopter and there have been a ton of improvements since we switched over (and improvements every 2 weeks), but unfortunately patrons/staff who experienced the hiccups have been hard to get back/revisit what Vega has to offer. A lot of the ongoing requests and inputs to Idea Exchange seem to make it in the product roadmap.
- Call number display (even after latest update, requires scenarios to be in place in order to display at all)
- No ability to filter out results from your reading history (on roadmap)
- Vega not following rules for requesting/suppression in some instances (we use a workaround; on roadmap)
- Printing from Vega – no print-ready/optimized for bookmarks, etc. (on roadmap)
- Vega homepage scheduling
- Vega homepage reporting/click through for promotions
- Vega homepage – storing reusable assets
- Reporting in general (would like search terms used)
Honestly, we haven’t experienced most of what you have listed because we aren’t using it. We went live on May 1st and on May 18th, I emailed our staff and told them to stop using it because it wasn’t reliable. We were told in August of 2022 that the eContent was all included, OverDrive and hoopla and that patrons could see everything in one interface and items could be checked out right in Vega. We were also told that items would rollup together so there would be less results to scroll through. Those were the two big selling points. It was very much presented as more functional than it really was. Even now, I doubt we would have purchased it yet, even with all the improvements they are making. Without badmouthing or getting into to much detail, we discovered in March 2023 that the eContent as advertised wasn’t even going live until April. And it hasn’t worked correctly since. We are in Indiana which has a state-wide consortia for OverDrive content and that seems to be causing issues. However, there are other related problems. Rollups are also not working correctly. Innovative is aware and has been actively working to fix the problems, but it has been months and we are disappointed and frustrated. Because of this we haven’t even set up the homepage with showcases. I was mostly just wondering if we were alone in this. I am on the Vega listserv, which has been a wonderful source of other’s ongoing problems, but I didn’t see much about our specific issues. Thanks for replying and I’ll be sure to keep your list in mind as problems to be aware of.
Yeah, the rollups are great, but when we first got Vega, we realized we had a ton of cleanup to do, as many things were NOT rolling up. The vendor records are pretty terrible, and things like errant commas in the title, etc., cause stuff to not roll up. I’m sure my cataloger who handles all the e-materials can iterate all of the checks she has in place (she has a bunch of saved commands for the records in Global Update, but there are certain things she looks for specifically in the title, etc., too), plus we look at tips such as https://iii.rightanswers.com/portal/app/portlets/results/viewsolution.jsp?solutionid=220805110931020. Bottom line is that yes, the rollups do work, but any system should understand that in order for them to roll up correctly/together will require attention to/tackling record cleanup. From my memory, it wasn’t too onerous and we do have a system in place now.
BTW, even if you tell staff not to use it, it looks like Vega is the default catalog for your patrons (if https://www.myepl.org/ is your library?), and stuff appears to be rolling up correctly (ex. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets). We do put a link to our Classic Catalog on our Vega menu for the people (staff, patrons) who just don’t like Vega, but otherwise we only promote materials in Vega (Showcases, etc.).
There is the option to turn on ingestion of all of your OverDrive collection into Vega, but we haven’t done that yet. While it would expose our users to everything in our OverDrive consortium, and any records we’ve edited would be what is displayed to the user (vs. crappy vendor record), at this point we would just prefer to show what we know we purchased (and reviewed/feel the title fits our collection policy) vs. everything. Also, trying to explain to staff why something is in Vega but not Sierra or the classic catalog (since the bibs are not actually loaded into Sierra, only show in Vega), was just going to be too confusing.
I’m sorry your experience has been so disappointing. The Vega and Sierra lists are very helpful and with this IUG list, you can speak a bit more freely since it’s not maintained/owned by the vendor. You should also reach out to your customer success manager, who should act as your advocate. Ours is Martha Rice-Sanders, who is awesome. The few times where we felt like we weren’t being listened to or things heading towards the untenable, I have asked for her help and she has been able to get III to promptly address the outstanding issue(s).
One of main reasons we wanted Vega was that we would not have to catalog all of our OverDrive records and certainly not all our over a million hoopla records. I think much of our issues are not only that the product doesn’t work correctly, it is that we were basically lied to, or at least misled as to what was available or possible. We are having a meeting with Innovative staff next week. We’ll see how it goes. I had a meeting in June with our customer success manager. It got some things started and we had a meeting with some of the higher ups in July. We have Polaris, or I might try to pick your brain more on what work arounds you did with Sierra.
Thanks so much for your responses.
I would echo Alison’s experience. We went live with Vega in April but were dev partners for a long while leading up to that. There have been a lot of improvements but there are still some things that we consider basic and key that are outstanding. We have not opted to turn on eContent integration at this point. For hoopla, we don’t want to expose the entire catalogue and for OverDrive, we just don’t feel confident in the quality of the records.
Like, Alison, we did a large amount of record cleanup before going live with vega and have developed some new practices when editing OverDrive records to improve rollup behaviour. Based on how often these records need to be edited in order to match with records for other formats, we just didn’t think rollups would work well if we turned on the integration.
All-in-all, I do think that Vega is heading in the right direction and is more modern and responsive than our previous catalogue. That said, it presents information in a very different way so that, along with the things that aren’t yet perfect, has made it difficult for staff and patrons to get over a rough first impression and embrace Vega.
It has been beyond frustrating. The very things we wanted the most and not working correctly. Unless it is just a problem with Indiana Digital Library, not OverDrive in general, I’ll tell you right now that not all records show, the cataloging is sub-standard and rollups do not work in the way we were told they would. We were actually told we could rollup DVDs with books. Not sure if that would be good or not, but we asked and were told that. We were also told we could add some of our online resources/database. Not so much. And those were some of the things library leadership asked about. No one here is happy. At all.
Thanks for the info. It is appreciated.
DVDs do not roll up with books (nor would we want them to, because they’re an adaptation).
Vendor records, whether OverDrive or others is usually substandard, so you really do need to edit them when they come in to make sure the roll up works correctly, among other issues outside of Vega. So while in theory the eContent integration sounds wonderful (no need to bother with the OverDrive records!), in practice you’d still need to edit them (along with confirming they are showing up in the first place). I think there was an update this week that fixed missing OverDrive records via eContent integration, btw.
You can add your online resources/databases, but as far as I know, it’s not set up so it’s like a federated search or anything. We add bib records that point to the home page of specific subscription databases, ex. New York Times digital news, which then rolls up with our print edition), and in some cases, individual modules for things like LearningExpress or Peterson’s Test Prep. So if you search “SAT prep” in our catalog, you’ll go to specific practice tests on the Gale/Peterson’s site. Those are a pain because I have to remember to remove them all each quarter and re-load the latest versions. I had to create a custom book jacket with their branding, add the 856 and include directions to log in with a library card, etc. Maybe someone else has an easier way they are doing this. We certainly don’t do anything like put in everything that’s in MasterFile…just one bib for Masterfile in general, in case someone never goes to our website (research page) and is only using the online catalog.
BTW, I am not getting paid by III to sell you on Vega or anything, I just wanted to share that we’ve been in your shoes, just a lot earlier on, and it really does get better.
I’m not sold on the rolling up of DVDs with books, but one of our staffers asked and we were told it could be done. We have also been told this year that we couldn’t add databases. So, it is good to know that we possibly can. I may pick your brain on that more later, it that is okay. I’m not a cataloger, so it would likely be someone from our Tech Services department. I don’t think leadership wants us to have to have our catalogers spend all that time fixing the eContent cataloging. They have enough to do with getting our physical materials cataloged!
As for the “update this week that fixed missing OverDrive records via eContent integration, btw.” Yeah, not so much for us. I think it has something to do with the way the Indiana Digital Library is set up. We have had a ticket open with OverDrive about our Vega issues previously. So far there has been no solution.
I’ll pass on your information. Thanks for the reassurance.
Hi Alison! Are you using Vega’s econtent management to ingest the records from Overdrive and/or Hoopla into Vega? Are you also importing these into Sierra to edit them or are you using a different method to edit what gets brought into Vega?
Tazewell County Public Library