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RS ALEPH Cataloging Trainers Group

September 4, 2003

Betsy stated that the goal of the meeting was to refresh ourselves as to what we have done so far and to come up with a plan of how to proceed from here.  She had placed several relevant documents in an Outlook Public Folder, RS Aleph Cat Trng.  She had asked us to review these and to review the minutes from previous meetings.

New information related to workflow since the last meeting

Floating keyboard--Daniel Cromwell created a language/diacritics table (floating keyboard of letter-diacritic combinations) based on the Harvard model.  Tatiana said it seems very useful.

OCLC record export to Aleph--Gerald exported two records from OCLC to UF Test last month.  Holdings and item records were automatically created, with the call no. taken from the 050/090 in the bib.  Different group members pointed out that direct loading of OCLC records to the server is often not desirable.

We would like to be able to review files of records on our PCs before loading to the server in order to do things such as:

  • Run "check record" on them
  • Delete records that were incorrectly downloaded
  • Load some records as new records, others as overlays of existing records
  • Pull out a certain set of records from a batch

Other things we would like:

  • Name files differently depending on who exported them
  • Be able to search a group of records loaded within a certain time frame

Jimmie said that we could use CatME to export.  CatME creates export files that we could review (as we currently review CLARR files) before loading to Aleph.

Revision/authority control of records--Jimmie mentioned that we may want to revise our records more carefully than we do in LUIS before saving them to the server.  Aleph does keyword indexing quickly. However, headings indexing is more difficult so that typos and incorrect forms of headings may stay in the index longer.  It may be more efficient to do a lot of checking in CatME while offline and we may also want to run "check record" on the records before saving to the server.

Uploads of Aleph records to OCLC--From what she heard at the NAAUG meeting, Betsy doesn't think any Aleph libraries are doing real-time uploads to OCLC. We'll probably need to use CatME (or eventually Connexion) for original (monograph?) cataloging, then export from OCLC to Aleph.

Spell-checker--We think there is one in Aleph.  It may not be useful in some ways, since there are many technical terms and words in foreign languages in our records.  If there were a way to check against a list of the top 50 typos in bib records, that would be helpful.

Ensuring we have latest version of clients--Jean and others mentioned that it is difficult to know if we have the latest versions.  For example, version 15.5 is identified as version 15.2 at certain places within the client.  Betsy said that the latest version for accessing UF Test will be 15.5.1.  That client will be available before review of subset 4 starts next week.  She thought the latest versions for UF Production were 15.2.2 for those who need to review authority record indexing/linking and 15.2 for those who don't.  She will check and will add the latest version numbers to the client download information on the RS Aleph Web site.

Aleph Web guide--FCLA expects us to spend some time looking at the Aleph Web Guide for version 15 because this should help answer some of our questions.  A good way to get at it is to go to the Ex Libris documentation training site:  Please see Betsy's e-mail for the user id and password.

Discussion of other issues that will affect our training programs

Cross-training--We would like to get cross-training in other functional areas, particularly circ and acquisitions, before we start cataloging training

Charging out materials--Doug asked if we knew how we would charge out materials in Aleph.  Naomi thought that we would be trying to use other means, like coding in item records, to let the public know where materials were in the system.

Permissions--Betsy said that staff who will be setting permissions will receive training at FCLA in October.

Creation of holdings and item records--We need to discuss this with Acquisitions.  We may have some items coming to us with these records already created and some without.

Reports--Lydia asked us to try to determine which Cataloging reports would be useful to us. (See "CatalogingWorkflow.htm" in RS Aleph Cat Trng Public Folder.)  (The "Services in Cataloging" and "Services, Notices, and Reports" sections of the 15.2 Cataloging Documentation are in the notebook participants in Cataloging Functional Training received. They are also on the Smathersnt2r server.  Go to: Projects\Aleph\Other ALEPH Stuff\ExLibris Training\Functional Training\CAT 15.2 Training\Section 09)  We don't know if we can run any reports now.  Even if we can, we're concerned that running them during business hours might slow the system down too much.

Client availability on CD--Naomi wondered about having a copy of the client on CD.  This would be useful for Cecilia and Jean, who can't get to the Smathersnt2 server, and Smathers staff who use the client at home.  Betsy pointed out that the client is also available for download from FCLA's Web site - go to and choose Training Client.

Need for training on Windows and using mouse--If any staff need this, there are outside training programs that they can attend.

Aleph 101 repeat?--Betsy expects there will be some kind of refresher along the lines of Aleph 101.  Denise had also mentioned an advanced searching class but nothing has been scheduled yet.

Developing our training programs

Even though we still have workflow questions and some needed functionality is missing, Betsy suggested we split up into teams and work through the Harvard documentation for different training classes as a way to get started on developing our training programs.  We can also refer back to our Cataloging Functional Training manual and the Web Guide. As we work through the documentation, we can let FCLA know about anything that is not functional.  (It may be FCLA has worked on some areas of functionality but we don't know about it yet.)

Harvard classes and teams:

Cataloging for non-catalogers                                                       Doug, Julia
Cataloging for catalogers A: searching and editing bib records        Betsy, Cecilia
Cataloging for catalogers B: holdings, items, bib maintenance        Jackie, Jorge
Cataloging for catalogers C: adv. searching, authorities, analytics   Gerald, Tatiana
MARC 21 holdings                                                                      David, Naomi

Betsy will schedule the next meeting for sometime late in September or early in October. [As a result of information gathered at the 9/4 FCLA meeting, Betsy adjusted the meeting date to mid-October.]She suggested that we can share the questions that arise as we work through the documentation with each other.We could possibly ask Daniel to come to our next meeting and answer questions for which we did not find answers in the Web Guide.

Subset Load 4 Review

Staff assigned to review Subset Load 4 will each be assigned certain problems to review and should use their judgment to do further checking that all the data has migrated correctly.   Current timetable: review goes from Sept. 8-19

Questions for Daniel (and others) at FCLA

Betsy was going to the monthly meeting of the LMS Steering Committee at FCLA the same afternoon and compiled a list of questions raised during our meeting for Daniel (and possibly others) at FCLA. (The linked Word document contains the list of questions and Daniel's replies.)

Answers to Questions

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



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