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RS ALEPH Cataloging Trainers Group

March 12, 2003


  • Functional training (general impressions, workflow implications, etc.)
  • Proposed ALEPH introduction sponsored by RS Training Committee
  • ALEPH 101 Preview by Denise Bennett
  • Cataloging classes: where do we go from here? what kinds of cataloging classes should we offer? What do we want to do vis a vis the training documentation.
General Impressions of Functional Training

The group's general impression of the functional training was that it was adequate but important pieces of the system were still missing, such as the ability to load records into OCLC, a full diacritic menu, and some of the information was irrelevant to actual training, such as the focus on FCLA tables, so that the training fell short of providing all the information we may need to train others. The group decided to create a list of questions to be addressed to FCLA which will help the trainers fill in the gaps in the functional training. Issues of workflow and exact operations will be addressed during training if possible. The training itself will be based primarily on ALEPH documentation as it now exists and will focus on the basic tasks each individual needs to perform their work. An important focus of all training will be: that ALEPH is an "integrated system" like NOTIS. How is ALEPH different from NOTIS? Where is it similar? What are ALEPH's strengths? The RS Training Committee members offered to augment the functional training with roundtables that address other issues. One idea was to have a meeting where the trainers could speak about their impressions of ALEPH to date and answer questions. Lawan Orser said she has approached Michele Crump to speak about how changes in the ALEPH Acquisitions Module will affect the workflow in Resource Services generally.

Impressions of ALEPH 101 (organized by Rich Bennett and Denise Bennett)

ALEPH 101 is a class based on the Staff Searching Module and everyone in The Libraries will be expected to attend this. Those members of the group who had already attended a session felt it was very good. Denise Bennett was also considering various levels of ALEPH training for those staff members who may do many different types of work, especially in the branches, and others who may need a working knowledge of other modules. It was felt for example that knowledge of the Circulation module would be useful to everyone. Denise referred to these various levels as ALEPH Light, Medium, and Heavy. It was decided that all functional trainers would be responsible for providing some "light" version of their chief responsibility.

Scheduling and Class Requirements

All training sessions will be open to anyone in terms of scheduling. It was suggested that Trudi DiTrolio might be the person who could assist in creating a schedule and keeping track of who has completed what training. Rich Bennett was also suggested. Jorge Gonzalez asked for input on his EXCEL spreadsheet of staff who receive training.

Evaluating Competency Achieved After Training

The group then discussed mechanisms that will ensure that everyone achieves required competencies and make it able to assess acquired skills. Several ideas that were suggested were:

  • Create a list of goals for each training session
  • Create a checklist of tasks necessary to perform each function
  • Provide a list of sessions to guide each individual in planning the training they will need
  • Provide a test for individuals to take on their own to evaluate their own competency

Documentation and Training

The group was split into teams to review ALEPH documentation and outline cataloging classes and core functions.

Teaming up as follows:

Doug/Betsy - monograph copy cataloging
Jackie/Jorge - monograph original cataloging
Tatiana/Gerald - authorities work
David/Naomi - serials cataloging workflow

Jean and Cecilia will look at their workflows, too.

  • Some units many need larger overview of workflow before actually beginning to catalog
  • Trainers should take documentation and experiment with it by creating a cataloging record
  • Jackie Brown will share the list of questions and functions she formulated with the help of the catalogers in the Social Science Unit.
  • The ALEPH documentation is available as a Word document that can be edited and streamlined for UF training
  • Daniel Cromwell will be invited to speak to the group on his role regarding ALEPH and will be available to try to answer our questions in order to help us develop the cataloging training.

The trainers can begin to give basic functional training: searching, editing, navigating, and cataloging with the latest loading of the ALEPH 500 UF database, which contains a sample of about 100,000 UF records.


Prepared by: Tatiana Barr
Last updated: March 27, 2003


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