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Ex Libris Support Sails to the Rescue and Saves the Day


Michael Kaplan, Director of Marketing, Ex Libris North America

Saint Peter’s College (SPC), located on twin campuses in Jersey City and Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey (in the United States), is a relatively small college, with approximately 3,000 full-time and part-time students from across the United States and 60 other countries. Founded in 1872, SPC is a Jesuit, Catholic, liberal arts college whose goal is to “develop the whole person in preparation for a lifetime of learning, leadership, and service in a diverse and global society.” 

When David Orenstein arrived as the new director in July 2009, he encountered “challenges and issues in all areas of the library, including operation of the Voyager® ILS.” In a story that is typical for small institutions with limited resources, many valuable features and functions in Voyager remained unused by the small team of librarians. Dr. Orenstein and the library staff compiled a list of essential actions points for Voyager. The college’s highly skilled library-systems and electronic-resources librarian—thrilled to have a mandate for change—began implementing many of the action points. 

But fate intervened in the form of a disastrous server failure. At the first sign of trouble, library staff quickly determined that the best course of action was to turn to Ex Libris. Dr. Orenstein and Ex Libris sales staff had already discussed a migration from a local server to a hosted environment. As soon as Ex Libris was notified of the problem, the Company’s support staff took over the entire project and moved SPC “from crashed to hosted and live in two days,” described Dr Orenstein.

The team leader of technical hosting services in the Ex Libris Chicago office reflected on the rescue: “SPC was planning to begin a migration to Remote IT Services (RITS) (hosted, or managed, services) for Voyager sometime in the near future. But before the migration schedule was confirmed, the library had a hardware failure on their self-hosted Voyager server. Immediately the sales and support teams jumped into action.

“A customer support analyst on the Voyager team fielded the failed system, quickly extracted the database, and copied it to a hosted server,” continued the hosting-services team leader. “At this point, the goal was simply to build a robust backup for the customer. Hosting-services personnel then took over from the support team and began migrating the system immediately to RITS. Less than eight hours had elapsed from the time of SPC’s initial support call to the time the system was live in the RITS environment. Everyone involved acted with precision and speed, which led to a very successful and fast migration.”

“I can sleep soundly at night now that the server is hosted,” Dr. Orenstein commented. “The system is well managed, and we at St. Peter’s College library no longer have to invest time in the server. Upgrades and backups are managed by Ex Libris, and our staff members can focus their resources on delivering fantastic library service to our users.”

Dr. Orenstein recalls that “most of our users were unaware of the crash and how the system had been restored. Faculty members who knew of the problem were extremely pleased that it was resolved so quickly.”

A grateful Dr. Orenstein concludes: “Ex Libris and the wonderful support and managed-care teams were truly our “first responders.” We couldn’t be more satisfied with the hugely successful outcome of a hosted Voyager environment. Ex Libris has our firm loyalty. We got where we wanted to go—and to think we saved months of planning time in the process!”

Saint Peter's College, Jersey City campus