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RS ALEPH Cataloging Trainers Group
Minutes

June 11, 2003

NAAUG Annual Meeting
Betsy reported the following related to the NAAUG (North American Aleph Users Group) 2003 Annual Meeting held at the University of Iowa May 31-June 2:

  • A meeting CD, which will include various meeting reports, presentations, poster sessions, and handouts, is forthcoming.
  • Numerous institutions shared their Aleph procedures and policies through a documentation exchange. Betsy circulated the handouts.
  • The process whereby the Users Group negotiates enhancement requests resulted in the approval of two cataloging proposals: 1) CAT-2002-01 re. authority improvements for ambiguous and conflicting headings and 2) CAT-2002-04-F re. the Items Module filter/sort function. The 2003 Users Group enhancement requests are scheduled for release with Aleph Version 17. Sandy Card and Andy Perry, SUNY Binghamton, described workarounds to address authority problems in the interim. Betsy circulated a printout of their PowerPoint presentation.
  • Barbara Rad-El from Ex Libris gave a presentation about Aleph Version 16. Among other features, it will include a new Cataloging Client interface that incorporates the Search and Items modules. In addition, the Acquisitions and Serials modules will be combined and there will be improved options for adding serials patterns. Parallel indexing will allow work to continue during index generation. Per Martha’s 6/9/03 email outlining these and other changes, Harvard is beta testing Version 16 this summer. It is scheduled for general release in December 2003-January 2004. Betsy reported that FCLA is investigating the possibility of our migrating to Version 16 due to the significant improvements it offers. [Subsequent to the Cataloging Trainers Group meeting, FCLA announced that we will not migrate to Version 16. Doing so could seriously jeopardize our current STP. Our plan is to migrate to Version 15.5.]
  • Discussion meetings were held for the various functional groups. At the cataloging meeting Betsy learned that institutions are experiencing difficulties uploading records to OCLC. We may find we need to adjust our monographic original and enhance/upgrade workflows so that we catalog and upload records via CatME or Connexion, then derive these records back into the local system. In addition, it appears that many institutions are continuing to rely on manual record-keeping for cataloging statistics.

Aleph full test dataload review
The dataload review highlighted the challenges staff face as a result of using the system infrequently. Tatiana suggested that we might encourage staff to use Aleph on a regular basis (e.g., weekly) to minimize the amount of relearning required each time there is a review, but the group opted not to do this because of their sense that staff already have many work demands and other ongoing training with which to contend.

Betsy circulated FCLA’s Critical Path Tasks spreadsheet, which documents migration activities to be accomplished pre-STP. Summer plans include work related to AUT/BIB updating, CAT tables basics, CAT tables refinement, printer testing, OCLC batch loaders, etc. These activities will lead to improved system functionality, which in turn will give a clearer picture of the Aleph workflow and should move the group forward in its efforts to establish a training curriculum.

ALA Annual Conference
Some of the cataloging trainers are planning to attend ALA’s Annual Conference and will make an effort to network with colleagues at Aleph institutions, attend relevant Ex Libris demonstrations, and visit the Ex Libris booth.

The group plans to meet again at the end of the summer.

 

Prepared by: Betsy Simpson
Last updated: June 19, 2003


 

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