TS Aleph Implementation Group Meeting
June 14, 2007
Greetings were extended to Nancy Poehlmann, who attended her first TS Aleph meeting.
Jason, Ben Walker, and Marilyn Ochoa represented UF at the ELUNA (Ex Libris Users of North America) meeting held in early June in Spearfish, South Dakota. Jason shared information about a number of planned enhancements. For example, Ex Libris will examine the "total cost of ownership" (i.e., vendor as well as institutional commitments to implementing and maintaining products) and is working toward greater interoperability among products. Ex Libris apologized for flaws with Verde and announced that version 19 will include improvements, such as better linking between Verde and Aleph and the ability to map staff permissions to Verde.
Jason commented that a new Aleph enhancement process took effect this year. Instead of each functional area separately sending forward proposed enhancements last fall, a module - Course Reserves - was selected and improvements pursued that have cross-functional impact. Ex Libris determined that it could manage additional improvements outside Course Reserves this year and solicited suggestions but also cautioned ELUNA not to expect this to occur in future years. Jason offered to pass along any ideas from the group, and Naomi requested that Ex Libris implement all the values in HOL 008.
Jason also mentioned that he attended the EDI group meeting where plans were discussed to create a wiki for sharing information on configuration files and an SQL workshop, which covered issues related to custom report capability.
Aleph 18 Training
Matthew announced that the Circulation classes have finished. Approximately 200 staff attended 8 classes offered in 15 sessions. Overall, feedback was positive. The goal of the curriculum was twofold - to introduce staff to the changes with version 18 and to review existing policies and procedures. All the classes are available online.
Matthew's training tips include:
- go slowly
- encourage questions during the presentations/demo
- keep on track as much as possible
Looking ahead, classes will be offered to targeted populations - Michael Dietz for reference, Alex Annis for Education, Jody Hewitt for Documents.
Doug reported that the CatMet Training Committee has been working hard on the cataloging training class, and it is essentially ready. Currently, the committee is finalizing the handouts, including a keystroke equivalents template and a cheat sheet on moving holdings and items. The committee has found that the basic functions are the same with version 18. The biggest change involves navigating within the module. The committee tested the class on a small group of staff and received helpful feedback.
Paul Lightcap, Raimonda, and Jason outlined AcqLic training plans. The classes will include a PowerPoint presentation plus live demo.
June 28 Print Media Management Committee
This class will be primarily focused on serials and will include binding. Naomi offered to speak with Jackie Brown about sharing the handout on holdings and items being developed for the cataloging class.
July 9 and 10 General session
This class will target the collection managers and be oriented toward monographs and budget information.
July 11 AcqLic Department
This class will provide a general introduction for AcqLic staff as the foundation for unit-specific meetings later.
The first two sessions are open to staff from other areas. They will be held in Smathers Room 1A.
Aleph 18 Testing
Betsy reported that functionality testing for cataloging is progressing. FCLA has been very helpful in responding to problem reports and resolving issues. Per Gerald, GenLoad testing is completed. Doug announced that he and Judy tested label printing, and it's working well.
Matthew said that Circulation is working on the functionality for e-mail notifications and using the print daemon.
Rich commented on the importance of testing joblists to make sure these services are working properly. He has a couple of outstanding permissions-related problems that he will correct before ALA Annual.
Jason reported that EDI testing is underway. General acquisitions workflow testing has gone well.
Naomi announced an upcoming meeting on June 14 to discuss workflow for locally digitized material, including the interface between DLU01, a new Aleph library, and DigiTool and UFDC, the Digital Library Center's Greenstone database. Attendees will include staff from the CatMet Department, Digital Library Center, and FCLA, but others are welcome. There is also a CAGER conference call scheduled for earlier in the day that will address these topics.
Item Record Material Type
Raimonda updated the group on a change in the decision about the material type procedure discussed at the last meeting. Instead of limiting the use of ISSBD to those instances where Aleph automatically assigns it when collapsing items for binding, staff will be instructed to assign ISSBD to all barcoded serials (e.g., annuals). The rationale behind the earlier decision was to minimize staff work, but later Raimonda discovered that it would not serve that purpose because staff would have to take an additional step if ISSUE were used. Naomi pointed out that the new method will be consistent with the cataloging statistics procedure, which instructs catalogers to differentiate serials based on the presence or absence of a barcode.
While neither approach affects the OPAC sort in Aleph or Endeca, Lawan suggested that it would be a good idea to correct item records retrospectively for consistency sake. Doug added that this would also prevent staff from inputting the wrong material type based on previous data. Raimonda volunteered to investigate possibilities for a global correction.
Rich and Jason explained that the soft launch of Endeca is expected in the near future, but a decision is pending as to whether Endeca will become UF's primary OPAC after the upgrade. Further work is needed on user functions such as signing in and placing holds and renewing items.
There will be nightly updates to holdings and items. Rich commented that the full record view in Endeca will reflect updated holdings data, but the results view will not until the bib updates are run, which is scheduled to occur weekly. Naomi reminded the group that staff will be able to check bib updates in the Aleph v18 OPAC via the client. FCLA plans to implement nightly updates for bibs. In fact, Jason commented that FCLA has suggested the possibility of updates more frequently (twice daily) at some point in the future.
Jan mentioned that the current weekly bib updates significantly impact course reserves. On June 20 the Public Services Steering Committee is scheduled to meet with Judy Russell to discuss these issues.
Betsy referred to the e-mail from Beverly Pope, librarian at the Division of Plant Industry, sent with the agenda. Beverly noticed that the Find It at UF (SFX) button in Endeca displays for print material. Rich explained that the button appears for all records containing an ISSN. ISSNs are present in print serial records, including records for monographic series. Some concern was expressed that users will assume the presence of the button indicates the item is an electronic resource and will be frustrated when they learn it is not. Jason reported that he has forwarded the issue to the Resource Navigation Group.
Betsy explained that the Endeca display is highlighting the need for various clean-up projects for SUL libraries. For example, 856 coding is being revised to eliminate non-full text resources (e.g., table of contents) from appearing in Endeca's Available Online facet. In addition, the presence of non-standard subject headings, particularly those entered by foreign libraries, in the subject index is prompting discussion and possible revision.
CSUL Directors meeting
Betsy asked if anyone had news about the CSUL Directors meeting held the end of May. Betsy and Rich commented that recent OPAC Subcommittee minutes indicated that issues surrounding merged records were raised with the directors as well as the costs associated with having separate institutional records ($250,000 plus $50,000 annually), but no proposal to that effect was presented.
Jan added that a shared storage facility was discussed at the meeting. Items going into a shared storage facility would have to be cataloged. Currently, ALF holds numerous uncataloged items. Jan mentioned uncataloged government documents that were moved to ALF during the Library West renovation. Also, Nancy explained that during the retrospective conversion in the 1980s, cataloging for periodicals did not fully capture all title changes. As a result, there may be periodical runs in storage attached to catalog records for later titles. Naomi further commented that there may be serials lacking any cataloging in ALF.
Jean asked if the group was aware of an end-of-life date for NOTIS. Priscilla said that the Authorities Subcommittee sent forward a request to the CSUL Directors to maintain NOTIS until authority updates and reports are available in Aleph, and the response to that request has not been conveyed.
Jan requested agenda topics for the next TS/PS/CM meeting on July 12 and the following were suggested: Aleph upgrade, Research Gateway, and CONSER standard record.
Betsy announced that Cathy will replace Betsy as the TS/PS/CM Co-coordinator for Tech Services after the July TS/PS/CM meeting.
The next TS/PS/CM meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 12, 10:00-11:30am, Smathers Room 1A. The next TS Aleph Implementation Group meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 9, 10:00-11:30am, Library East Conference Room.