TS Aleph Implementation
February 10, 2005
The group reviewed its charge and discussed whether the group needs to continue in its current form. While there was sentiment expressed that other standing groups within the library are covering aspects of the charge, the general consensus was that there remains a need for a group whose sole purpose is to monitor the implementation of Aleph cataloging and acquisitions functions across the system and to troubleshoot problems overlapping other functional areas. Martha commented that it is important to have a group focussed on the operational aspects of the system. Cecilia and Suzanne pointed out that future version upgrades speak to the need to have such group oversight on an on-going basis.
Aleph Open Issues
Martha provided background for two documents distributed by e-mail to the group on 2/9/05, which detail the status of various Aleph issues to be vetted by the SUL directors and FCLA. Martha explained that there has been some discussion about migrating Phase 1 libraries to version 16 before migrating Phase 2 and 3 libraries to version 15.5. In spite of the fact that version 16 might provide some improvements, Martha said UF has concluded that version 16 would not offer enough substantial change to justify the adjusted migration schedule.
Among the areas continuing to need attention are loads (e.g., LC authority file, Marcive, LTQF), reports (e.g., serials claim reports, canned reports in general), system functionality (e.g., LKR field, HOL CAT fields) requiring workarounds rather than true fixes, and the lack of full MARC Holdings compliance.
The group discussed that it would be helpful to know if FCLA is up-to-date with Ex Libris service packs and patches. Rich will investigate.
Betsy suggested the possibility of adding load limitations (i.e., the limits on how many records can be batchloaded per day/week) to the list of open issues. Gerald said his understanding is that FCLA is working to improve the situation, and he offered to forward e-mails to that effect.
Item record material type
Recent ALEPH-NA list messages indicate that institutions are using the item record material type to provide collection data needed for circulation reports. However, in UF's installation this material type is restricted to BOOK, ISSUE, and ISSBD because these represent the extent of available algorithms for item sorting, the recording of which is the purpose of the item record material type. Rich offered to find out how our current configuration may be affecting circulation reports. Martha and Michele noted that the Ex Libris ARL stats package should be taken into consideration when looking at this issue.
Betsy described a problem related to the item record material type. When more than one material type is recorded for the items attached to the same HOL, the Web OPAC displays a duplicate HOL. Betsy searched the Ex Libris PRB database and found information indicating there is a patch fix, then shared this information with FCLA.
Item list problem
Betsy mentioned a problem she's had where the item list will not display from the HOL, instead an error message - "Items application is not authorized to access the library" - appears. Other group members said they have not experienced this problem nor has Betsy heard that this is a problem for staff. Rich is looking into it.
Catalog Problems e-mail
Michele recommended that there be a central place for staff to report problems. Betsy and others pointed out that the Catalog Problems e-mail is intended to serve this need. A message was sent to All Library Staff in October 2004 and again at the beginning of the second semester. Jimmie said that a number of e-mails have been received since Catalog Problems was launched. Suzy mentioned that instead of the e-mail list, an online bulletin board might be utilized to process messages.
Naomi announced that she is working on an update of the holdings documentation.
Michele is close to finalizing online instructions for reviewing budgets and orders.
Betsy distributed a list of the Aleph cataloging templates on the server and asked the group whether any can be removed. Michele and Cecilia offered to check with their staff. Betsy offered to check with Jean.
Betsy reported that FCLA has created in UF Test an indexed field, NCO, to record the bib encoding level. This was done in preparation for tapeloading records to RLIN. Julia explained that FCLA will run a routine when a record is saved to the server, which will determine whether or not the record is eligible for transfer. If it is eligible (e.g., does not have STA PROVISIONAL), then it will be flagged with a new XPR tag.
As a first step, Rich plans to work with Cathy to finetune the Aleph permissions for Preservation, then branch out to other areas. Rich also announced that Suzy is going to be trained to do permissions.
Rich commented that he and Daniel continue to work on providing read-only access to Aleph SUL through the GUI client. Staff will need to log on using a different userid. It is unclear at this stage how much data will be viewable.
New Titles List
Suzy reported that she should have a mock-up posted on the Web for review soon.
Suzy continues to investigate but has not had much success yet in determining how to automate the process.
The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 10, 10:00-11:30am, Library East Conference Room.