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RS ALEPH Cataloging Trainers Group

October 15, 2003

Betsy welcomed Jane Anne Carey as a new member of the group, replacing David Allerton and thanked Daniel Cromwell for coming. 

Draft customization recommendations 

Betsy and Jimmie are working on a draft to present to the RS Migration Group at the meeting Oct. 30.  They have touched bases with Doug Smith, Cecilia Botero and Priscilla Williams. Betsy passed out a copy of draft recommendations developed so far (see linked document).  Betsy asked the group to look over these after the meeting and to give her and Jimmie feedback.  She mentioned some specifics that she and Jimmie were wondering about:

  • Should SYS be one of the "find" searches in Cataloging?  (Can use "Load record from server" instead)
  • Is the keyword title search useful for Cataloging (WTI in "find")?

Searching choices: Daniel confirmed that browse and keyword searching choices are limited to 8 each in all modules except Search (OPAC).  It is not complicated for FCLA to change these later if we decide to.

Templates: The group consensus was that it would be good to have templates for all bib formats, for holdings, as well as specialized templates that are often used (e.g., for theses, course reserves).  Daniel said that FCLA can put templates on the server, but that they can also reside on a LAN or an individual PC.

Lock Record Function: Daniel suggested that we encourage staff to unlock records when finished with them, in spite of the automatic unlocking. 

Reports from teams on review of Harvard training documentation 

Cataloging for Non-catalogers (Doug, Julia) 

Doug and Julia felt this was a bit much for student workers and way too in-depth even for Acquisitions staff.  Staff they have spoken to have requested more hands-on training and less text to read through.

Tech Services Lite: It was mentioned that Cataloging for Non-catalogers could also be geared to CM and Reference staff, and then that this class might be better framed as a Tech Services Lite class.  Tech Services Lite would have a little cataloging, a little acquisitions, and a little circulation training. The group consensus was to plan for such a class rather than one focusing on cataloging.  Good resources to help us know how to address the needs of CM and Reference: Barbara Gundersen for CM, Marilyn Ochoa for Ref, Lori Driscoll for Circ.  This class could also include Acquisitions for catalogers.  It should probably be required for everyone, like Aleph 101.  There was a reminder that some branch staff will need more intensive cataloging training.

Aleph templates: Cecilia felt that the Acquisitions brief record was inadequate.  She suggested that many specific bib templates could be created for CM, Acquisitions, Special Collections, etc., staff who need to create provisional records in Aleph.  She noted that in most cases an item record will be created at the point of order or receipt.  This is because the "on order" or "received" note in the OPAC is generated from the item record.  She wondered whether Acquisitions wanted to also create a holdings record when ordering or receiving monographs.  If so, holdings templates could be used.  (Holdings records will need to be created for serial titles.) 

Cataloging for Catalogers A, B and C 

A class (Betsy, Cecilia): Cecilia felt that the A class documentation was too wordy and repeats much of what is in Aleph 101.  Betsy wasn't as put-off by the text and thought it might be useful to staff to have some amount of detail.  Jimmie mentioned that a certain amount of repetition can be good.  While hands-on is important, the class is too long because there is hands-on practice for too many specific functions.  Betsy felt that the comparison of searches in Search module vs. Cataloging module was helpful.

B class (Jackie, Jorge): Jackie and Jorge tried to come up with the best way to accomplish the tasks covered in B: creating original bibs, holdings and item records.  They decided to create a bib using CatME, then imported the record to Aleph.  To add key data such as the call number to the item record, they discovered that it is best to create a holdings record and link it to the item record rather than manually updating the item record.  The linking process automatically pulls needed information from the holdings to the item.  There are templates for different formats (books, serials, etc.) in CatME.  Enhancing of existing OCLC records may also need to be done in CatME.  (Daniel said that there is a way to export records from Aleph to another system, but he will need to investigate more.)  Jackie and Jorge also felt the documentation was too wordy, that there was too much review of A and that the class could be cut down to an hour.

OCLC record overlay: Daniel was still working on this.  Several people thought that it would be better to have the Aleph system no. as a match point for overlay rather than the OCLC no.  [Update: OCLC record overlay now works with incoming 035 $a as a match point.  Normally this will be the OCLC no. ExLibris documentation indicates that the Aleph system no. can also be used as a match point.  Daniel will be working on making that option available.]

Yankee record loads: Daniel said that a test of downloading YBP records to Aleph should happen soon. He has seen a PowerPoint presentation on loading Yankee records, creating orders and encumbering funds.  It may be possible to set holdings in OCLC using an OCLC service that we would have to pay for in conjunction with whatever agreement/workflow we have with YBP.  Someone thought that it may be possible to load the YBP file into CatME, add our holdings to OCLC, put the OCLC nos. on our YBP records and load them into Aleph.

Floating Keyboard (Tatiana): Tatiana handed out brief instructions on using the floating keyboard and on using Unicode mode in Aleph and a Harvard document on "Unicode and Aleph."  (Unicode mode has to be used for some letter-diacritic combinations.)  She asked the group to play with the keyboard and to give her feedback on the keyboard setup and on the documentation.

C Class (Tatiana, Gerald): Tatiana and Gerald felt that basic functions needed in normal workflow situations should be covered in A and B. The C class should cover functions needed less routinely as well ads alternate ways of accomplishing functions.

Further discussions on cataloging workflow 

Creation of items and holdings: Daniel mentioned that items and holdings records can be created automatically when an OCLC record is brought into Aleph (only when it's a new record or also when it's overlaying an existing record?).  The work for the needed table settings is on FCLA's agenda.  In connection with this, Mary Ann O'Daniel will be sending out a list of 049 codes for our Aleph sublibraries and collections.  Daniel suggested that we may want to use different workflows for different types of materials. 

Levels of cataloging permission: Daniel was asked about how many levels there would be and said it would depend on how many we wanted.  When a higher-level cataloger touches a record created by a lower-level cataloger, the record can be saved to the server at the lower level.  Rich will be attending a class on Aleph permissions later this month at FCLA.

CatME and Aleph: Jorge asked if other Aleph libraries are using CatME with Aleph.  Tatiana thinks Maryland is.  The CatME Circle thinks that we will need to use CatME until we can work with Connexion offline.  The Circle is thinking about requiring everyone to use CatME instead of Passport but there needs to be a procedure for using CatME in CatPro first.

Questions for Daniel: Cecilia suggested that when one of us e-mails Daniel with a question he/she should copy the group so that we will all get the reply and Daniel won't get the same question repeated.  

Decisions re: which classes to offer and length of classes 

The consensus was to plan for six classes:

  • Tech Services Lite - this will need to be planned in coordination with Acquisitions and Circ [Cecilia, Betsy]

  • Cataloging A (basic copy cataloging)  -- this will need to include creation of local authorities and MARC holdings "lite" [Doug, Julia]

  • Cataloging B (basic original monograph cataloging using CatME) [Jackie, Jorge]

  • Cataloging C (more on authorities, creating templates, alternate ways of performing functions) [Tatiana, Gerald]

  • Serials (cataloging, acquisitions, holdings, patterns) [Naomi, Jane Anne, others?]

  • MARC21 Holdings  (more in-depth)  -- Harvard has two classes, one on holdings and one on prediction patterns. Daniel thought most staff would not need the class on prediction patterns  [Naomi?]

The cataloging classes will run about 2 hours with a break in the middle.  Length of other classes: to be determined.

Tatiana suggested an advanced class devoted exclusively to authorities, to be taught post-migration.

[Daniel told Gerald that he expected that UF Test would be available during the freeze period for training purposes.  He said that it might be used post-STP for another purpose, however, related to UNF's database.]

Standards for training documentation: Tatiana asked if we wanted to set up some standards.  For example, will we use screen shots?  The consensus was that screen shots are helpful and that lots of text is not.  We will see what formats different groups come up with and then choose a preferred one. 

Training session for trainers 

Betsy attended a very helpful class at FLA taught by SOLINET, "I'm the new technology trainer-now what?"  The class talked about planning classes to accommodate different learning styles, about having clearly outlined objectives and about how to assess if people have learned.  She asked if the group would be interested in attending a similar class.  The consensus was that we would.  The class won't be scheduled during the SUL Joint Meeting or during Thanksgiving week. 

Next meeting 

December 11, 9 a.m. to noon, MSL 308.  Doug and Julia, Jackie and Jorge will demo their scripts for Cataloging A and B.

Prepared by: Gerald Langford
Last updated: October 23, 2003


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