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This blog documents news and updates from the CUNY Office of Library Services’ Systems department. As readers of this blog, the staff and faculty at the CUNY Libraries should expect product updates and tips & tricks for making the most of the systems we support, as well as how-to information to help you achieve certain tasks. Read more about OLS »

OneSearch | Highlights of May 2019 update

On Sunday, June 2, 2019, our instance of OneSearch was updated to the latest service pack release of the underlying discovery software. Some notable highlights of this release include:

Contextual relationships

The vendor, Ex Libris, has started building a graph database as part of their Central Discovery Index (CDI) project that contains relationships between items. Currently, the following relationships are supported:

Supported Related Reading Relationships
Relation from Relation to Usage
Books (local and PC) Chapters of the book (PC) Allows users to view specific chapters from the book.
Books (local and PC) Reviews of the book (PC) Allows user to view any related book reviews.
Chapters (PC) Other chapters in the book (PC) Allows users to view other chapters from the book.

After displaying a record’s full details, one or more links to related reading information may appear for the record. Selecting a related reading link displays the related items on a results page where user can decide which items to view.

Short Permalinks for Records

The existing permalinks for records were too lengthy and not easily sent to users, especially when sending text messages using a service such as Ask Us!. With this feature, the Send To action Permalink, which appears on both the Brief and Full Display pages, will now create a shortened URL. When the shortened URL is entered in a browser, Primo will convert the URL to its full URL and display the record’s full details. (Permalinks in the old/long format will continue to work so there is no need to update existing permalinks.)

Unsubscribe Link in Alert Emails

Without having to access and sign in to OneSearch, this enhancement allows users to unsubscribe from search alerts by clicking the “Unsubscribe” link that now appears at the bottom of alert emails. When this link is selected, a message indicating whether the request has succeeded or failed appears on a new page.

Support Usage Information for the Order of Main Menu Links

Primo Analytics now tracks the number of times each link position is clicked in the Main Menu (found in the header of each page in OneSearch). This usage information allows you to determine which links (up to 10 links) are used the most and to set the order of the links accordingly. This Primo Analytics enhancement was originated as an Idea Exchange suggestion.

Primo Analytics Enhancements

In addition to the Analytics support provided for action usage described above, this release includes Analytics support for additional features/actions added in previous releases. To learn more, see the official release notes: https://knowledge.exlibrisgroup.com/Primo/Release_Notes/2019/001Primo_2019_Release_Notes

Ongoing Accessibility Enhancements

To improve product accessibility and make it comply with the standard of WCAG 2.0 AA level, this release includes accessibility improvements outlined in the release notes: https://knowledge.exlibrisgroup.com/Primo/Release_Notes/2019/001Primo_2019_Release_Notes

Improve Performance of Results in My Favorites

The “Load more results” button has replaced endless scrolling in My Favorites (Saved Records).

Deprecate BIRT Reports

To support the deprecation of BIRT Reports and the switch to Primo Analytics, the link to access the Primo Reports page in the Primo Back Office has been deprecated. For more information about Primo Analytics, see the Overview of Primo Analytics page in the Ex Libris Knowledge Center.

Reduce Broken Links for Primo Central

In case links in Primo Central and local records are missing the http/https prefix, this enhancement will make sure that each link is prefixed to reduce the number of broken links.

New workflow for OneSearch bug reports

When we released the new UI in OneSearch, we implemented a “bug report” feature to allow users to alert us to any problems they encounter while using the discovery platform. Since its implementation on 8/27/17, we have fielded approximately 917 of these reports—that’s about 10-11 reports a week. This is becoming burdensome for OLS to handle on our own so we’re changing our workflow and bringing you—the campus librarians—into the mix!

Beginning on Monday, April 8, 2019, users who submit bug reports in the OneSearch interface will receive an automatic response from OLS:

Dear [patron],

Thank you for bringing this to our attention!

We are forwarding this report on your behalf to your campus library (copied here). You should expect a response from a librarian within 2-4 business days.

Thank you,
CUNY Office of Library Services

The major change comes in the form of the party copied on this message: the campus library! Unlike in the past, the Office of Library Services is bypassed altogether.

We in OLS strongly believe (and the Public Services Committee agrees) that a majority of these reports require local reference intervention to address the users’ immediate needs and can almost always be resolved locally through the regular library troubleshooting avenues (e.g., report linking errors to your e-resources librarian, speak with your technical services staff about cataloging problems, consult your access services librarian for patron account issues, etc.).

Should your library be unable to fully resolve the issue, OLS will be happy to help! Just send an email to service.desk@cuny.edu, being sure to put the word “OneSearch” and a brief description of the problem into the subject (with a full breakdown of the presenting problem in the body of the email).

Primo enhancement voting

The ELUNA (Ex Libris Users of North America) Primo Product Working Group collects enhancement requests and sends out ballots to all Primo customers. CUNY votes as a single institution, with a total of 100 votes. There are 62 items on the ballot but we hope to identify the top 5-7 issues so that we may put our weight behind the issues that matter the most to us.

In order for members of the Public Services Committee to identify the enhancement requests they’d like CUNY OLS to make on their behalf, the ballot has been recreated as a survey for committee members to vote on behalf of their own institutions. We in OLS will use the survey voting results to vote on the official Ex Libris ballot.

You may review the 62 request options on the ballot (PDF) and express your preferences to your library’s Public Services Committee representative by Wednesday, April 17, 2019.

OLS to discontinue SerSol MARC record loading in summer 2019

(Please pardon the duplication. This information is also being shared with the PUBLIC-SERVICES, TECH-SERVICES, and ERAC mailing lists. The Chief Librarians have also been notified.)

The Office of Library Services will discontinue the Serials Solutions (“SerSol”) MARC records service for CUNY in summer 2019.

The SerSol MARC service provides title-level bibliographic records of subscription e-resources for public access. The monthly service sends updates (changes, additions, and deletions) of the holdings, triggered by collection activations in SerSol 360 Core, to the local online catalog (i.e., Aleph) and, subsequently, OCLC. CUNY uses the service to provide title-level access to e-journals via the library’s online public access catalog (“catalog” or “OPAC”) and Primo, and also to display holdings in OCLC WorldCat.

Sending SerSol records to OCLC to sync our holdings has always been a necessary but daunting and flawed process. It involves monthly identification and extraction of records from the Aleph database for submission. Mismatched records occur often and handling the unresolved records reports is extremely time-consuming.

The new library services platform (“LSP”) offers title-level access to e-journals in Primo through its shared metadata repository. Migrating SerSol MARC records to the LSP would result in duplicate records in Primo. Subsequent deduplication of these records has proven very time-consuming and inefficient by other institutions that have preceded us in their migration to the LSP. Therefore, it has become accepted best practice to not migrate SerSol MARC records of e-journals during this process.

Because SerSol MARC records will not be in the new system, there will be no records for CUNY to send to OCLC to attach holdings in WorldCat. In order to continue our status as providers of information to the global community, especially as ILL lenders, CUNY Libraries must maintain their holdings in WorldCat by activating e-resource holdings in OCLC’s WorldShare Collection Manager (“WCM”). OLS is making every effort to help with this transition to a new knowledgebase. We are currently testing a method that may allow for a one-time migration of all SerSol data to WCM.

While OLS works on a year-long OCLC reclamation project (to update and sync the OCLC control number, the primary matchpoint between records in the LSP) for the 24 CUNY campuses, we will temporarily suspend the monthly new holdings syncing process in OCLC in order to successfully bring CUNY’s holdings up to date in WorldCat. This makes it a good time for our cancellation of the SerSol MARC records service as there is no need to extract the new/updated SerSol records from Aleph.

We recommend that CUNY Libraries begin transitioning to using the WCM to manage their OCLC holdings now so that their holdings are accurate in WorldCat come summer 2019, when OLS will cease loading SerSol MARC records into the catalog.

More details will be shared as they become available.

If you have any questions, please contact OLS.

Advance planning for printing

Advance planning for a technical solution is the type of issue that seems worth bringing to your attention. This one applies to a library’s future purchases of printers. It may be prudent to consider only buying printers with full network connection capabilities. This allows them to be email aware, meaning that they can receive and print email messaging.

We know that in the future we will replace Aleph with something that is going to be a next-generation cloud-based system. We can predict that it will be a hosted SaaS (Software as a Service) environment, sometimes referred to as a ‘Library Service Platform’ (LSP).

Due to security concerns and technical limitations, cloud-based environments do not support direct connection of local or network printers. Instead, print jobs are sent by email to the printer for processing. (Documentation for Alma, as shown in just one example, can be found on the Ex Libris Knowledge Center.)

This may change in some future Alma enhancement, but for now one should plan for what we known to be already developed. For printing labels and circulation transfer slips, it is wiser to plan on using email aware printers.

An inexpensive network printer (aka not email aware) can continue to be productive without using Aleph or its replacement. Consider carefully whether you would really have a use for printers in some way. For example, the desktop Connexion application—used by many CUNY libraries—allows staff to batch print labels directly to a networked (or directly connected) printer.

Also, some Alma libraries are not be concerned about directly printing transfer slips and patron loan receipts. Instead, they route these emails to a dedicated staff email address, and then selectively print out (on their local network) the emails as needed.

It is up to each library to decide how this applies to their future equipment purchasing plans. It is important that the options be considered and factored into any plan being made.

If you have further questions, please contact the CUNY Office of Library Services.

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