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RS ALEPH Cataloging Trainers Group

March 27, 2003


Each trainer was asked to state his/her goals for the meeting. General consensus was that, at this stage, we need to spend more time learning and discussing cataloging performance in Aleph. Gerald reiterated his concern about attempting to train staff with a client lacking many key functions such as authority linking and import/export operations. Jorge stressed the importance of looking at how cataloging fits into the bigger picture, and Doug echoed this sentiment when expressing his desire to focus on workflow. David and Jean, having recently completed the ExLibris Serials Functional Training, were particularly interested in integrating the specialized needs of serials into our thinking and planning. Jackie emphasized the goal of zeroing in on cataloging tasks and providing a practical crosswalk from NOTIS to Aleph to assist staff with the transition to Aleph.

Aleph training draft

Betsy distributed a copy of a UF Aleph training draft created by Rich Bennett to give Library Council an overview of training activities. In the document Rich explains that functional training classes are being developed by the functional training groups and will likely be similar, but not identical to the Harvard classes described in the draft.

Team reports

Jackie/Jorge - monograph original cataloging

Creating a bib record via templates is a straightforward process that's relatively easy to master. Manipulating a bib record seems manageable - just a matter of learning the various menus and keystrokes for editing. However, understanding how the holdings and items relate and navigating between them is difficult.

At what stage in the workflow will the HOL and ITM be created?
Will the HOL and ITM be automatically generated?
Is there a way to reformat (similar to NOTIS F12) without losing empty fields?

Gerald/Tatiana - authorities work

The check record function reports back different levels of validation problems. The validation reports will be much more meaningful when the authorities are linked to the bib record and authority related problems are identified in the reports.

Aleph provides for the automatic generation of authority records based on the 1XX fields in the bib records, but not the 7XX fields. Automatically generating an authority record from 7XX headings in bib records is convoluted and requires the cataloger to temporarily change the 7XX to a 1XX field. The automatic process creates a 670 with only title and date, and the specific source of the heading has to be manually input.

When creating authority records, it is possible to use an authority record template instead of automatically generating an authority record from the bib, but all variable fields have to be completed by the cataloger. Gerald believes series, uniform titles, and subjects have to be created using the authority record template. It's not clear whether or not a 4XX field can be changed to a 130 field in order to facilitate the automatic creation of a series authority record from the bib. [Update: Authority records for personal, corporate and conference names, series and uniform titles can be automatically generated from the bib by temporarily changing the relevant field to a 1xx field; subject authority records cannot.]


Questions about "Check Record" function and authority records in Aleph

How configurable are the three levels of messages in the "Check Record" report (see Cataloging manual, section 4, p. 24, bottom of page)?

"Check Record" appears to detect when there is a new heading. I don't think it's checking the authority database even though it says "is a new heading and is not in authority database." True? Can we assume that it will check the authority database once the authority headings are linked to the bib file?

The "Search field headings of current library" and "Search field headings of other library" functions don't work right now. Do you know when they will be available?

One of the options under "Edit/Derive new record" is "Create a new record in the Authority DB, based on 100 field." The record created has several 008 values we would like changed. Is it possible to reconfigure the template used to create these records? (See "fix_doc_new_aut_2", Cataloging manual, section 10, p. 24?)

Jimmie pointed out that CATME, a cataloging software program being investigated for use during the NOTIS freeze and possibly longer term, might be able to be used for authority record creation after migration to Aleph.

David/Naomi and Jean - serials cataloging workflow; LL cataloging workflow

David read the following report which discusses Serials Cataloging training needs:

Serials Aleph Workflow Issues
As of 3/27/03 (rev. 3/31/03)

Although Serials staff has not conferred since attending the Aleph Serials Module training and integrated the new information and procedures gleaned from that module, it has become clear that SERCAT training will require more additional specific training than the standard approach for the other cataloging units.

Several issues come to mind when considering workflows for SERCAT in Aleph. These are by no means complete:

  1. Serials Cataloging will require a thorough grounding in and the ability to navigate the Serials, Acquisitions and Cataloging modules at the very minimum.
  2. UF implementation decisions will seriously affect how training and workflow will be undertaken within the Serials Units (SERCAT and SERACQ) to implement Aleph.
  3. Serials staff will need additional training in MARC and especially in managing 866 Marc tags which are presently not been used in NOTIS Serial Holdings (899).
  4. The duties of SERCAT and SERACQ will complement and supplement each other in ways that will be in some ways different from the current NOTIS practices.
  5. Serials staff will need additional training in Aleph 853 and Aleph 853X fields and OCLC 891 fields to address pattern data considerations.

In view of the above, SERCAT considers that the differences between serials treatment in Aleph and NOTIS will necessitate specialized and customized training for SERCAT staff. SERCAT trainers have begun to address the workflow considerations by offering a seminar on April 2nd on serials issues to lay the groundwork for future proposed Aleph training classes. Non-trainers in SERCAT have been urged to sign up for Aleph 101 classes to facilitate understanding of the GUI handling and navigation. It is my understanding that all SERCAT non-trainers have already signed up for an ALEPH 101 session. In addition, a specific customized seminar will be offered on April 2nd to address MARC familiarity in particular with the 866 tags which are presently not been used in this institution for Serials holdings.

In addition, SERCAT trainers will merge MARC training with CONSER training to address another critical need of the department caused by the influx of relatively recent staff. Serials cataloging considers CONSER level training a necessary step in acquiring additional familiarity with MARC and also enhance skills that were not required in NOTIS but are required in ALEPH.

David and Jean expressed concern about the serials workflow after migration. Patterns for predictive check-in have yet to be added to the UF test database, and even if FCLA can add patterns for many records there will still be the need to establish workflow for manually inputting many more.

Doug/Betsy - monograph copy cataloging

Betsy distributed the following spreadsheet, which outlines: 1) core monograph copy cataloging tasks culled from existing cataloging procedures 2) related questions for FCLA 3) the Aleph Cataloging manual chapter that covers the particular task in Aleph and 4) the Harvard class that covers the particular task in Aleph.

Copy Cataloging Workflow (Excel spreadsheet)

As was noted earlier in the meeting, editing the bib is easily mastered. The Help information is good, particularly for MARC21 fields. There are numerous questions related to inputting holdings and items data. Doug experimented with creating triggers, which appear to serve the purpose of providing a way to record personal notes about a record as well as notes to facilitate broader internal communication.

Restrictions re: access to records for editing purposes could cause cataloging workflow problems. Doug recommended that one person in each unit be given the highest level of authorization level to prevent workflow bottlenecks. Betsy reported that Rich plans to request permissions templates from FCLA, which will give us a broad view of the permissions structure. The FCLA training session for Phase 1 libraries about permissions and other issues was rescheduled from March 20-21 to May 5-6.

Cecilia - HC cataloging workflow

Cecilia couldn't attend the meeting, but had previously sent the group her beginning list of questions for FCLA:

Is there anything alerts you when a record has a "trigger"?
Is there an authorization level associated with the ability to delete/modify "triggers"?
Is running a report the only way to know there's a "trigger" present?
What happens when a trigger expires and no report has been run?

What criteria will we be using in deciding what are "similar" records (Edit/Locate similar record)?

What will our "fix" routines do?

Where are the STA field defined? On p. 47 of cataloging manual it says the STA $$aSUPPRESSED "does not prevent the generation of index entries. To prevent the public from seeing these entries, it is necessary to explicitly exclude the STA $$aSUPPRESSED field through the standard logical bases mechanism." What does that mean to us exactly?
Does it suppress all aspects of the record hldgs., items, etc.?

When would we use the STA$$aDELETE as opposed from using the delete from the service menu? I'm not clear on what the difference is between the two, but there appears to be one from reading the documentation.

How does the LKR field relate to the 780/785?
What is the functionality of these LKR fields and what is the actual difference between UP and DN (other than the obvious directional one)?

A thought: Do we want to consider making ELEC records "global" so we can all help in maintaining and we can add the appropriate subjects etc.

What does a "Catalog Proxy" do, what would be its potential use for us?

??Can only use the "search field" and have it automatically populate the field if the UPD is set to Y?? What happens if it's set to N?

Holdings record defaults to a monograph. Can we create templates for holdings in other formats?

What's a "copyright article fee" code?

Documentation says, "It is important to link the subscription to the holdings record before item records are created so that the holdings record system number is automatically copied to the items created during the serial check-in process." So what happens if you don't and how do you overcome it if you accidentally create the item first?

Would we add the 856's to the bib or the hldgs or both? What difference does it make?

In items, is there some way to get rid of the "save default" record other than creating a new one?

Can an item circulate using the default barcode assigned by the system? If so, what happens when the barcode # is changed to the regular library barcodes?

When creating items for a multi-volume monograph the "material type" should be entered as "issue" rather than "book"?

The group discussed the idea of inviting Daniel Cromwell to meet with us and decided that prior to doing so the group should first meet in the MSL training room to walk through the cataloging workflows together to address the outstanding questions. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 7, 10:30-12:30, MSL training room.


Prepared by: Betsy Simpson
Last updated: April 8, 2003


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