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TS Aleph Implementation Group Minutes
December 9, 2004

It was a pleasure to have Daniel Cromwell from FCLA in attendance at the meeting.

NAAUG vote

Betsy compared UF's Version 18 enhancement votes to FCLA's final ballot as noted below.  UF was allowed 30 development points.  FCLA assigned a total of 240 points.

  • SYS-Release 18-01 Ability to e-mail forms without an attachment (UF=8, FCLA=33)
  • CAT-Release 18-04 Automatically supply an Item Status depending on sublibrary and collection (UF=8, FCLA=20)
  • CIR=Release 18-06 Detailed Item History (UF=5, FCLA=0)
  • ACQ-Release 18-02 Check for duplicate invoice numbers should not be case sensitive (UF=3, FCLA=0)
  • OPA-Release 18-01 Browse and keyword searches in a single menu (UF=3, FCLA=21)
  • SER-Release 18-01 Changes made to serial order record vendor information tab should carry over to the Subscription Record and this information should be labeled consistently (UF=3, FCLA=20)

FCLA's top vote getters included the following enhancements:

  • SYS-Release 18-04 Provide for the ability to lock the database for writing, but still allow read access (34)
  • SYS-Release 18-01 Ability to e-mail forms without an attachment (33)
  • SER-Release 18-04 Reformat an order to a different type (22)
  • CIR-Release 18-04 Improve functionality of Tab34 (21)
  • OPA-Release 18-01 Browse and keyword searches in a single menu (21)

This year's process included input from the Phase 2 libraries.  Rich expects that next year Phase 3 libraries will be involved as well and that the turnaround time for input will continue to be limited.

New Titles list

Suzy announced that she is investigating options for configuring a New Titles list.  Betsy contacted Shelley Arlen to solicit input from Collection Management regarding the parameters and display of a list at the department's meeting on December 9. 

Cecilia pointed out the need for collaboration among Smathers, HSCL, and Law re. New Titles.

Aleph Z39.50 connection

Betsy distributed a draft AlephPro procedure How to Connect to Other Libraries, which outlines the steps for searching and duplicating bibliographic records from other sources.  Currently, Z39.50 connections are set up in Prod for the NOTIS State University Libraries and the Library of Congress.  Additional libraries can be added to the list.  Requests should be sent to Daniel and include Z39.50 connection information (Z39 address and port and database name).  Cecilia mentioned that HSCL would be interested in adding the National Library of Medicine.

Per earlier TS Aleph Implementation Group discussion, records of the State University Libraries that have migrated to Aleph will be accessed using a generic guest password with read-only permission (see 8/12/04 minutes Connecting to SUL through Aleph).  It will not be possible to duplicate the records from SUL Aleph institutions.


Betsy referred the group to Donna Alsbury's 12/1/04 e-mail to CATCLIENT and other lists re. the Aleph Reporting Client (ARC) [link to e-mail] and asked the group to consider reporting needs.  Michele and Julia described acquisitions reports sent forward. [link to list]  It is hoped that the ARL statistics package can be implemented.

Priscilla explained that report priorities for authorities were included in a recent meeting summary sent to the SUL Authorities Subcommittee [link to meeting summary] for review.  The Subcommittee plans to submit a formal request to FCLA re. authority reports and possible solutions for a variety of authority problems at the upcoming TSPC meeting on January 7.

Mention was made of the difficulties in synchronizing LCA10 updates with individual institution bib files.  LCA10 update reports will include changes made to the universe of headings in the LC authority file and staff will not know if particular updated headings appear on bibs in their institutions' 50 library.  Per Daniel, Mary Ann has indicated it might be possible to use GenLoad to compare LCA10 updates against institution bib files.

Naomi detailed reports to allow examination and revision of the following Serials records:

  • Z conversion records (see description below), which lack full NISO compliant coding
  • Closed serial records with arrived issues beyond the closing date
  • Serial records affected by reclass activities  

Suzy announced that she is looking into possibilities for harvesting system-generated cataloging statistics.  Betsy pointed out that Smathers' current cataloging statistics data is complex and problematic to glean from Aleph.

Michele commented on the need to update time studies for various functions (e.g., serials check-in).

Z conversion records

Cathy and Naomi outlined a procedure Preservation has developed and is testing to minimize the time it takes to convert HOL 866 fields, primarily for titles with lacking statements (i.e., missing issues).  Referred to as the Z method, the procedure applies partial conformance to the NISO standard by recording lacking information in an 863 $z public note rather than inputting detailed 863 data.  Holdings receiving this treatment are coded "z" in the LDR/17 to indicate that the level of specificity does not conform to the standard levels.  Where conflicts occur in the record re. whether or not there are missing issues, Cathy explained the default is to accept the lacking statement as valid.  Cathy reported that branch staff are not converting 866s.

This practice will continue for the forseeable future unless funds for more staffing or OPS become available and time can be allocated to create more detailed holdings records.


Rich reported that the permission set-up for the A-Team members was improved recently.  The larger project to finalize permissions for functional areas is delayed.  Aleph's permissions configuration is complex and difficult and time-consuming to implement.  The current temporary set-up allows staff to accomplish necessary tasks and is adjusted when the need arises.  Rich acknowledged his desire to be further along with the permanent set-up at this stage.  When draft permissions are ready for review, his plan is to give selected staff an additional login pointing to the new permissions with the prior login still available for use in the event the new login presents problems.

Michele mentioned the need for more finetuning of Collection Manager permissions to allow access to acquisitions data relevant to CM work, and Betsy asked about fixing the Correct Display permission, which is needed by catalogers.  Rich will follow-up.

Training activities
Michele and Suzanne will present an Acquisitions overview for catalogers on January 12.  An announcement will be sent to the Aleph Catalogers e-mail list.

Doug Smith announced that two classes for Circ staff have been scheduled for January 11 and 12.  Among the topics to be covered are how bibs, holdings, and items link and how to create item records.  The trainers (Doug Smith, Doug Kiker, Jorge Gonzalez, and Jason Fleming) have communicated with the Circ Policy Committee to assure that the instruction is in keeping with Circulation policy about how to handle particular situations (e.g., dealing with older bound serials from storage with no items).

Acquisitions migration

Per Michele, on December 8 she, Jack, and other Smathers and FCLA staff met again with Bridges personnel to try to resolve problems associated with linking Aleph acquisitions data to PeopleSoft.  At the meeting they learned that the PeopleSoft system was not injesting key data from the flat file because PeopleSoft was missing a data label to which the information could be migrated.  The problem will be corrected and a new test file ready soon.

STP checklists

The LMS Steering Committee and Martha met with FCLA on November 2 to discuss progress with outstanding issues, including those identified in the Acquisitions and Cataloging STP checklists.  Martha is in the process of updating her initial meeting summary for Dale Canelas.  Betsy offered to forward the revised summary to the group when it's ready. [link to summary

FCLA hopes to load files and updates during the holiday break.  A top priority is to load the LCA10 update file and start loading the Marcive backfiles after some more testing.  The vernacular record file loads are on hold while the indexing table set-up drafted by Daniel Cromwell is reviewed by Mary Ann O'Daniel.  Daniel suggested that UF could review the set-up and send comments.  Rich offered to forward the tables to Betsy.

Outstanding problems

Cecilia reported that the brief records display includes duplicate entries.  She will forward examples to Rich.

Betsy and Naomi described a problem with disappearing holdings data.  FCLA is working with Ex Libris to resolve the problem. FCLA believes there is a connection between the "Open Items" function and the proliferation of Serial HOL CAT fields, which sometimes increases the size of the record beyond the Aleph limit and appears to lead to 8XX data loss. Lydia Motyka recommended that UF run p_manage_13 to delete excess HOL CAT fields.  The group voiced concern about the loss of information if the CAT fields were to be deleted.  Julia offered to examine the parameters for the group and relay options for retaining some CAT fields.

On December 6 Rich notified all staff that the ISSN searching problem was corrected.  ISSNs were sometimes not retrieved when searched with the hyphen in the search string.

Naomi reported a problem with relinking items, which is particularly vexing as it relates to reclass efforts.  There appears to be a limit to the number of items viewable via the Nav Map, thus restricting the ability to use the drag/drop method for relinking.  Daniel will investigate.

Intercession jobs

Betsy will forward to the group an e-mail outlining FCLA's plans for intercession jobs. [link to e-mail]

The Authorities XYZ index was loaded into Test and is being reviewed.


The next meeting, is scheduled for Thursday, January 13, 10:00-11:30am, Library East Conference Room.



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