Support and Training Report: February, 2008
Version 18 Upgrade
- Version 18 Upgrade Sessions have been completed.
- Recorded sessions of each of the Version 18 Upgrade Sessions are available from the PALS homepage at http://www.mnpals.org/sections/recordedsessions.html. There are links to the documents associated with each recorded sessions here and on the documentation page of the PALS homepage as well http://www.mnpals.org/sections/Aleph_Docs.html.
- Sessions for Integrated ILL training have been scheduled and announced.
- For the most recent edition of the Version 18 and Integrated ILL project plan check out the following link http://www.mnpals.org/sections/18projectplan.html.
ITEM PROCESS STATUSES
- MSU, Mankato requested several Item Process Statuses be changed to Available. All were voted down and will not be changed to Available. The PALS staff will work with the MSU, Mankato staff to set up unique Item Process Statuses that they can set to Available.
- Normandale asked that Item Process Status WC (with a display name of "Weeding Consideration") display as Available. Since they were the only library at the time using WC as an Item Process Status, the PALS office went ahead and changed WC to Available
- For the latest information on Item Process Statuses in MnPALS, check out Item Process Status and Availability.
- BOOKBAG: The Call number info from the U of MN now displays in the bookbag just like local record call numbers. We discovered how to do this in version 18 and were able to retrofit it for version 17 as well.
- WEB OPAC: NEW REPORTS MNPALS-42 AND MNPALS-43 Two reports were created for tracking Web OPAC searches. They are currently available in the Cataloging client under Services | Web OPAC:
- mnpals-42: List search types for Your Library
Provides a list of all Search Types for a given range of dates.
This service is identified in the Batch Log and Batch Queue as p_mnpals_42.
- mnpals-43: Most Popular Searches
Provides Most Popular Searches for a given range of dates.
This service is identified in the Batch Log and Batch Queue as p_mnpals_43.
Note: For both of these reports, to place the report in your ADM (XXX50) scratch directory, you must connect to XXX50 library before starting the procedure; e.g. Cataloging Module/Aleph dropdown/connect to XXX50.
- mnpals-42: List search types for Your Library
- Conference Phone Calls – We are aware there is an issue with the volume and clarity of conference phone calls using VOIP. Our initial suspicion was that this problem was directly related to band width and the number of lines trying to go through the same connection. We conducted a test involving most of the staff in the PALS office, several from the MSU IT department and couple of our libraries. The test supported our initial thought, the more people that joined the call did impact the volume. PALS has asked MSU IT department to investigate this problem further. We are also investigating the cost and logistics of using a conference operator for training sessions. Watch for more information.
- The Consortium of MnPALS Libraries Executive Committee, during their February 7th meeting, approved a new training fee for use with group trainings effective immediately. PALS will now charge a group training fee of $100 for the one day and $150 for two days of training, this is a per person fee. The previous group training fee was $200 per person per day. We hope that the lower fees will both encourage and allow a higher level of participation in the training PALS offers.
- Upcoming scheduled training
- Integrated ILL Training (2 hr web sessions), March 4, 5, 10, 11, and 13.
- Cataloging/Holding/Items Functional In-Person Training, March 5-6
- Support and Training Staff are working on a training plan and schedule for the rest of 2008. Please see below for a list of sessions that we have identified and the approximate time frame they will be offered in:
Target Date Range
||Q/A Ver. 18 Upgrade Sessions||Web|
|Late April - Early May
|June - August||Acquisitions Functional Training||2 Days In-Person|
|June - August||Serials Functional Training||2 Days In-Person|
|September||Services/Reports in Acq/Serials||In-Person?|
|September||Cataloging Holdings/Items Functional Training||In-Person/Hands-on|
|November - December||Renewing Serial and Standing Orders||Web|
|November - December||Prediction Patterns||Web?|
- Watch the following link from the PALS homepage for a full listing of training offerings and links to registration http://www.abcsignup.com/view/view_month.asp?as=16&wp=112&aid=PALS.
- Individual invitations will be sent out each time we add a new session to our offerings.
- Customized Training or Training for adding a new module of Aleph to your library is available upon request. Please contact the PALS Support Center http://pals.custhelp.com.
Task Forces and Working Groups
For the latest on each please check out the link to their board on the MnPALS Forum.
- MnPALS Access Task Force: http://forums.mnpals.org/index.php?board=4.0
- MnPALS Indexing Task Force: The MnPALS Indexing Task Force (MITF) had a December 2007 meeting. At this meeting, they approved the new WSN (subjects genre) index for 6XX $v genre/form headings. Keyword indexing changes were made on Lute for the group to examine. In summary those indexes were the following:
- Change WDT to WYR (year)
- New definition for WPL (place of publication)
- New addition for WTI and WRE (title and series in tag 533## $f)
- Change WPL to WHP (hierarchical place in tag 752## $abcd)
- New WTS (technical service) from local tag 905## $a
During the conversion done the first week of January, this all got pulled into ver. 18 on the development server. There was no meeting held in January. Their next meeting is scheduled for February 25, 2008 where they will address the topics of clickable URL links from the WebOPAC and indexing new tags, indicators, and subfields from the MARBI 2005 updates which have been incorporated into Aleph ver. 18. If you have other concerns for MITF, please contact their convener, Bobby Bothmann at email@example.com. They have a forum listing their discussions, agendas, and meeting minutes at http://forums.mnpals.org/index.php?board=6.0
- Reports Work Group: http://forums.mnpals.org/index.php?board=31.0
- Authorities Task Force: The Authorities Task Force was re-established at the Fall 2007 Cataloging User Group meeting. Members of the group are:
- Tina Gross, St. Cloud State University,
- Ginny Heinrich, Minneapolis Community & Technical College;
- Jessica Schomberg, Minnesota State University, Mankato;
- Linda Swanson, Concordia College;
- Robin Horowitz, Minnesota State Law Library;
- Mary Ann Greenwald, PALS liaison
The task force had their first meeting on February 5, 2008. Elected as co-conveners were: Ginny Heinrich, MCTC and Jessica Schomberg, MSU/Mankato. The group reviewed and revised their 'charge', which will be taken to the Cataloging User Group Spring 2008 meeting for approval. The group is investigating the possibility of a MnPALS consortium-wide NACO funnel (Name Authority Cooperative (Program for Cooperative Cataloging project)). Members of the group will be taking the 4-day NACO training offered at the U of M, Wilson library, from March 17-21, 2008. Additionally, the group is assigned the task of investigating the process needed for a MnPALS consortium-wide SACO funnel (Subject Authority Cooperative (Program for Cooperative Cataloging project)). PALS plans to load a new authority file after the migration to Aleph ver. 18. Other work of the task force will be to evaluate the authority functionality in ver. 18 and to review the database of authority records that may be rejected. You can read about their activities on their forum which has these topical areas: Charge and Members; General Discussion; and Agenda/Meeting Minutes. The forum address is: http://forums.mnpals.org/index.php?board=5.0.
The alpha “new” installation of EZproxy at South Central College is going very well. Rod Bruce and Dan Honetschlager have been working at getting all the appropriate pieces set up and in place. The LDAP functionality has been configured and successfully tested. LDAP allows us to authenticate against an institutions mail server. Now we can authenticate against ALEPH on our server OR the local institutions mail server. Documentation has been written and training will occur for SCC on February 12. Once the alpha installation is running smoothly at SCC PALS will begin working on the alpha “conversion” installation of EZproxy. Four libraries (TRM, TRC, MCT, and GAC) have already requested that their proxy server be converted to EZproxy and HTC has signed an agreement for a new installation.
Documentation for version 17 and 18 has been added to and updated in the PALS Support Center knowledge base for:
- Batch Inventory Management - This service marks items that belong to a previously defined inventory as found. Additionally, you can choose whether or not you want errors that are found to be reported in an error file. PALS Support Center answer #3225
- Online Manual Inventory Management - It provides the procedure for doing online manual inventory. In this situation, the file of barcodes for the range you are working on is loaded to your PC. You can take the PC into the stacks, read the barcode from the item, and it can provide a popup message about the error for an item as it reads that area of the shelf. PALS Support Center answer #3199
MnPALS Libraries User Groups April 17 and 18 at St. Cloud State University
Call for Agenda Items for the Consortium of MnPALS Libraries Spring 2008 User Group Meetings. The deadline for submitting agenda topics to your User Group Convener is Monday, March 10.
User Group Conveners:
- Tammy Bobrowsky (BSU) - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Robin Horowitz (MSL) - Co-convener, email@example.com
- Bobby Bothman (MSU) - Co-convener, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pam Sukalski (MWL) - email@example.com
- Interlibrary Loan:
- Janine Lortz (SBJ) - Co-convener, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sharon Evensen (VCC) - Co-convener, email@example.com
- Peter McDonnel (MSU) - Co-convener, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ruth Anderson (MHS) - Co-convener, email@example.com
- Michael Kriby (DCT) - firstname.lastname@example.org
The MnPALS Reference Steering Committee has scheduled a Reference Work Day for Friday, March 28th at Metropolitan State University. Mark your calendars. More information will be available soon.
PALS Support Center
- Updated & New Answers added to the PALS Support Center Knowledge Base:
- 3199 Online Manual Inventory Management
- 3224 New Titles for All Libraries (mnpals-48)
- 3223 Turn Off the Correct Feature
- 3225 Batch Inventory Management
- 2506 Last Updated by Higher Level Cataloger
- Feedback Survey – Thanks to all the responses to the customer feedback survey. The responses are helpful in improving the PALS Support Center.
- MnPALS Support Center Urgency Levels http://www.mnpals.org/sections/supportcenter_urgency.html - Please refer to this document for information on what our customers can expect when setting the urgency level on a PALS Support Center request. If your expectations are not meet please contact Cathy Colby at email@example.com or call the PALS Support Center 507-389-2000. Have the reference number of your request handy.
MnLINK Gateway Update – Susan Dueis
Susan attended the Gateway Operations Committee meeting on February 7. Some of the topics discussed are highlighted below:
- Enhanced results for AV material on Z39.50 search
Indexing UPC will result in enhanced AV checking for lenders. Does MnPALS index the UPC? Talked with other PALS staff and we don’t have UPC in our bib records, and OCLC doesn’t have it either. MnPALS isn’t a lender on the Gateway, so it really doesn’t apply to us (now—it could if we started using VDX for ILL if we move to open source, for example). Majority voted yes to encourage including UPC in bib records AND indexing it.
- User Group Meeting at ALA (ZPORTAL/VDX)
First meeting where staff has been all together since merger. Sales for VDX merged with resource sharing services at OCLC. Servers will be moved to Dublin, Ohio in April 2008. Current User Group structure will continue, OCLC will hold open meetings that VDX is included in.
- Future of the product -Focus on staff efficiencies, workflow efficiencies and delivery to end user. ZPORTAL will get WorldCat.org skin. No end of life set for ZPORTAL yet, but will be replaced by a new product (WorldCat Exchange?) based on WorldCat.org platform, with an improved VDX (MARS release) as the ILL system. The ZPORTAL replacement will be offered in two different ways: as a physical union catalog using WorldCat Group Catalog and as a federated search tool with the capabilities of ZPORTAL and “next gen OPAC” features. This latter option would be offered to regions where WorldCat would not serve well as a union catalog. This led to a discussion about whether membership in OCLC would be a requirement and OCLC’s pricing structure based on transactions. Bill DeJohn said they are looking very closely at the costs side.
- Publication Date/Cost Enhancements – Amazon Check -To use Amazon lookup web service to get pub date/cost, you need to include option to purchase from Amazon. MnLINK/MINITEX was not aware of this until now. Would hopefully be able to limit this to the VDX staff search interface. Or would people have objections to it being available to the patron? The Amazon record is listed right in with the library holdings with a “get-it” button and could be confusing to patrons. Vote was taken with majority in favor of having the Amazon purchase link ONLY in VDX for staff use, not in ZPORTAL for patron use. MINITEX/MnLINK will continue to investigate.
- MnLINK Staffing Update
Bill DeJohn explained the document sent out having to do with the MnLINK Director position. He has discussed at MINITEX Policy Advisory Council meeting. There was discussion on whether a MnLINK Director position is necessary. The question was asked whether LSTA funding for MnLINK will continue, given change in State requirements (outcomes evaluation)? DeJohn not sure at this point whether that will impact the money that goes to MINITEX for MnLINK, but doesn’t think it will. MnLINK/MINITEX deciding whether to hire a consultant to “take an inventory of the current state of information technological infrastructure in Minnesota and how it may relate to libraries in the next 1-5 years and make some recommendations to the Advisory Council.” The Gateway Ops Committee will be kept informed as Policy Advisory Council deals with this.