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mid-semester platform changes -- please don't!

This is an open letter to Vendors and Publishers and I apologize 
if this is not the appropriate listserv.

Although it seems obvious, apparently it isn't, so I feel the 
need to make this statement:

*It is usually a very bad idea to make platform changes in the 
middle of the academic semester.*

We've had 3 vendors announce interface changes within the past 2 
weeks -- one is causing significant problems, despite the usual 
promises of it being "seamles  And these are not business 
databases, but ones where the academic community represents major 
portions of their customer base.

While I realize the calendars are not the same for all colleges, 
universities, countries, or continents, some consideration has to 
be given to the academic calendars.  Major changes can (and often 
do) produce confusion for our students, faculty, librarians and 
staff throughout the library.  The impact can be observed in 
broken links in course management systems, MARC records that have 
to be reloaded, bibliographic instruction materials requiring 
revision, reference staff and virtual reference staff requiring 
retraining, and lost use data, to name just a few aspects coming 
to light in the wake of these "seamless transitions".

Thank you,


Katherine A. Perry
VIVA Director