A. ALEPH WEB OPAC DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION
1. ALEPH is delivered with a Web OPAC that includes a number of configuration options.
2. There are several hundred files involved in setting up and changing each SUL institutions separate Web OPAC.
3. There has been a very significant “learning curve” involved in this project at FCLA; setting up an ALEPH Web OPAC is very different from the work that has gone into creating and maintaining WebLUIS.
6. There are concerns at FCLA about straying too far from the options Ex Libris has provided in its Web OPAC for the following reasons:
B . STATUS OF FCLA ALEPH OPAC DEVELOPMENT
1. FCLA is working on setting up the ALEPH Web OPAC using the Joint SUL/CC OPAC Task Force report (http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/alephopac/report/) as a guide where possible.
2. When the report doesn’t provide specific guidance, interface principles developed during the development of WebLUIS over the years are considered where feasible.
3. When FCLA has a prototype ready to react to, the SUL PSPC OPAC Subcommittee can have further discussions.
4. While some discussions by the OPAC Subcommittee can be held before implementation (still scheduled for May and June), we will definitely need to view this interface development as an evolving project (much as the WebLUIS development was). NOTE: This development will be without the benefit of the prior knowledge FCLA had when embarking on WebLUIS development (e.g. about how the search engine functions, about the basic NOTIS functionality, etc.)
The 3 Phase 1 Libraries (UF, UNF, and UWF) will, in particular, certainly
want to understand and discuss options to be set up for the initial ALEPH
Web OPAC interface for each institutions' catalog.
C. SOME SPECIFIC DESIGN OR FUNCTIONALITY ISSUES
1. The intention is that there will continue to be significant similarity between the individual SUL library catalogs (as there has been with the WebLUIS library catalogs). Some local customization (e.g. logos, colors, and index limiting pulldowns) is anticipated. The ability to continue including local links in the header and footer areas (as is now done in our WebLUIS library catalogs) is an area FCLA is evaluating.
2. The text that displays on the various search, results, and error, etc. screens can be changed relatively easily.
3. We can decide the search and limit types that will appear in the drop-down menus on search pages; also the order in which they appear. NOTE: We will be collaborating with the Community Colleges on this over time -- at least concerning the major search types. NOTE: Search types will relate to indexes that have been created.
4. There is some new functionality in the ALEPH Web OPAC that will likely NOT be available “Day One”. This includes:
When asked about this functionality, FCLA responded by indicating that the “first priority for STP is to get the basic Aleph functionality in place. By this we mean things like being able to check books in and out, output and input certain key data (patrons, bills/fines, new bib records) and allow users to search, retrieve and display records in your catalogs. OPACs that function consistently is also in this priority category. The features listed are not now available in WebLUIS and, thus, are not first priority. When and how they are introduced to the public is still open but they will not be available at the onset. While the storage implications on the server are significant, this isn't the driving issue. Staff resources to evaluate the impact, to test the features and to support these features once in production (e.g., what do we do if data is lost or corrupted?) are what is really the issue at this point. When we do have the time to pursue these features, it may be that we'll want to introduce them separately and not necessarily universally if not all of you are interested in them. E.g., SDI might be the last to be done and might only be offered to faculty and/or selected grad students.”
D. OTHER NEEDED DISCUSSIONS
1. WebLUIS Home Page changes to allow connection to all SUL Library catalogs (WebLUIS or ALEPH).
2. Union Catalog interface issues during the transition to ALEPH between 2003-2005.
3. WebLUIS screen or functionality changes needed in catalogs and indexes (e.g. “At Your Library?” or “At Any SUS Lib? commands).