This blog documents news and updates from the OLS Systems department. 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 »
We have begun early planning for our Aleph migration. At the most recent Cataloging Committee meeting, I had asked libraries to begin reviewing their Collection codes. (Ideally, I request that this be done in the first half of 2018.)
The purpose is take into account more recent initiatives and planning. For most libraries, everything may be fine just as it is. For some libraries, it will be helpful to re-visit their selection of collection codes.
For example, the ‘X’ collection codes for textbooks was something that was useful in the past. It was set up in part to facilitate statistics to compare textbook circulation across CUNY libraries.
Some CUNY libraries have already begun to move away from these ‘X’ codes. The utility for comparison is not as useful as it once was.
One CUNY library already moved their ‘retired’ textbooks into a single ‘old textbooks’ collection. (The books are no longer in Reserves.) They are now circulating these older editions in a new way, with more liberal lending policies for their campus’s students.
Last month another library decided to consolidate 14 collection codes into four existing collection codes. The below chart illustrates this change. (A third library reduced these codes down to two existing codes.) Certainly this reduces complication / error, and makes their circulation statistics more manageable for their staff.
|Collection codes to be retired||New / Existing Collection code|
|X3REF, X4REF, X5REF||REF|
|X3RES, X4RES, X5RES||RESE|
|X3RET, X4RET, X5RET, TEXTI||RETX|
|X3STA, X4STA, X5STA, STACI||STACK|
Libraries are now working on clean-up of Serials order records. An open serials record not attached to a Bibliographic record is not going to have a clear purpose when we eventually migrate. It is also unclear today for staff working in Aleph.
At one library (just before Thanksgiving 2017) we found 262 open serials orders. Of those, 154 orders are not attached to a Bibliographic record. The order creation dates range from 1994 to 2008. Setting those orders aside, this leaves 108 orders (41 %) attached to a Bibliographic record where there is a clear journal title.
Now, we know that those ‘unattached’ orders were not all for budget transactions. We do not know which are the ones still being used as a dummy record.
For an order used for ordering / budget transactions purposes having an attached Bib record (with STA=SUPPRESSED) provides better identification. Since it is a suppressed record, never to be displayed to patrons. It would be more direct and maintainable to keep track of how the orders are intended to be used. Anytime staff look at a record to figure something out, people will want to naturally look at the title.
Consider the purely hypothetical record, with
245= Ebsco Melbourne Scholars Package
Without knowing anything else about this example, you already know what the record’s purpose is.
Also, the Bibliographic record should have a brief holdings and item record. The Item record should be set to Item Process Status = NA (not arrived), SU (suppressed), WD (withdrawn), or CA (Order Canceled). These are the Item Process Statuses that will result in the ‘Title’ being suppressed from patron view.
WD might be a good idea if you do not want the record to be migrated, but this would also depend on how you weed Bibliographic records that have these statuses. It will have an implication depending on which software we use to replace Aleph. If you do not weed by IPS, then it frees your hand in choosing an appropriate IPS.
Orders being closed should be marked as Order Status = ‘CLS’, Invoice Status as ‘Complete’, and depending on the type of order as ‘Arrived’. One would also want to look at any related Subscription records. (No reason to show items as still being expected, then they are not.)
Please contact OLS for help with specific questions.
CUNY’s migration to a Library Services Platform (“LSP”) will provide unified services across the library. It will be a long journey, and we will be building up information for our roadmap as we reach different milestones.
To follow the journey, please consult the OLS Support Site: http://support.cunylibraries.org/systems/lsp
Note: For definitions of technical terms used throughout this post, please refer to the Glossary at the bottom of this entry.
The Office of Library Services (“OLS”) has taken the CUNY Libraries through the initial migration of library data from disparate and no systems into NOTIS (late 1980s/early 1990s) and then into Aleph circa 2002. It’s fifteen years later and we are looking to migrate again, this time to an LSP.
If you work in technical or access services, you’re used to the ILS being “the catalog” you use to perform your daily activities. You use Aleph to place orders, pay bills, catalog new acquisitions, check in serials, manage patrons, and keep track of all of the items going into and out of your library. You’re also aware that Aleph is a Windows application that needs to be installed on your workstation. You may have experienced the cumbersome and labor-intensive process of upgrading the system from one version to the next. When we migrate to an LSP, you will continue to have access to all of the tools you need to do your job: you will place orders, pay bills, catalog new acquisitions, check in serials, manage patrons, and keep track of all of the items going into and out of your library. However, the system you use to do all of these things will be different: LSPs are necessarily cloud-based so they can be accessed from any browser on any computer; updates are released on a regular basis and are done quietly in the background; to-do lists and workflows are built into the system; management of e-resources is baked right into the product and is not an afterthought. Generally speaking, an LSP is a system built for the modern library and is meant to make your daily work activities easier.
If you work in public services (i.e., reference or instruction), you’re used to the OPAC being “the catalog” you use to search the library’s holdings. However, LSPs do not come packaged with OPACs. Instead, they rely on integration with a discovery system to provide a public web interface. Therefore, when we finally migrate to an LSP, the OPAC as we know it will be gone. That is, the public-facing interface to Aleph that we have been using for 15 years will be deprecated and, in its stead, we will rely entirely on a discovery system to search our library collections. Luckily, we have been live with CUNY OneSearch since the Fall 2014 semester so we have a lot of experience with a discovery system! OneSearch is the catalog of our physical library collections across the University as well as local electronic and digital collections. Our patrons use OneSearch to find their textbooks, identify peer-reviewed articles for their research papers, conduct research across multiple disciplines when doing a literature review, and more.
So, yes, in a sense, the catalog is going away—really, though, it’s metamorphosing. We will choose a new LSP that will allow us to more easily conduct all essential library activities traditionally carried out by an ILS. Our bibliographic, holding, and items records will retain a familiar form, our invoices will be maintained, our orders will still be tracked, and our patrons will continue to be managed. The OPAC, on the other hand, is certainly going away. However, we will continue to discover our library collections through OneSearch so we will continue to have a public-facing web interface for our library collections.
On Sunday, August 27, 2017, our instance of OneSearch was updated to the latest service pack release of the underlying discovery software. This was a major update and includes many new or updated features:
attention deficit disorder, or name variations such as
asata shakur). You are provided with the option to revert to using only your original search term. This feature is based on vocabularies such as LC subject headings and MeSH.