Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Moving a few things forward

While one part of the LMS team is progressing the roll out for libraries, other staff area working on progressing a few other parts of the consortium that need resolution.

The roll out saw Lameroo & their Geranium branch go live last Thursday and is expected to see Pinnaroo go live tomorrow. These libraries run on the Bookmark LMS, so this has been our 1st conversion from a Bookmark system.   And as I have previously indicated, these libraries, along with Karoonda & East Murray have decided to use a shared public interface found here.  Karoonda uses the Amlib LMS, so this will be our 1st conversion from Amlib.  And given the number of Bookmark and Amlib libraries we have doing these ones now will put us in good stead for many others.

The other issues that the team has been working on include:

Fixing the "self registration" facility which allows customers to access the system before they get a library card.  (This was supposedly a feature of the version of Enterprise we are using, however it did not work without considerable troubleshooting work at our end and escalation of the problem within SirsiDynix for a resolution.  We were not alone.  We could see that others were struggling with this & it required changes to system code to get it to work for all libraries.)

The purpose of this facility is two-fold.  
  1. Customers can register and reserve items without visiting the library to join up. And they will be notified when their reserved item/s can be collected. However the customers will then need to come into the library with suitable ID so that their temporary membership can be turned into a full membership.
  2. Also, some libraries use this facility when people come into the library to commence their registration process. Because people know how to spell their name, their date of birth, their address etc they can fill in the self registration form much more quickly than library staff could enter the information.  Library staff can then access the self registration information in Workflows, confirm that the details match the ID that is produces and immediately turn the membership request into a full membership.

If you want to see the self-registration process Tea Tree Gully is now promoting "Register for a library card online" on the front page of their Enterprise site here.

Providing the 1st non-consortium library with access to Inter-Library Loans access to the resources of the consortium.  This library is Unley.  They have written a great blog about how it will work for them, so if you're interesting in this you can see it on their blog here.

This is a trial so that we can make sure it works before rolling it out to all libraries in the near future.  We will keep all libraries informed regarding when this trial will turn into a roll out.

And while talking about Unley and their blog, I would also point you to this post about Unley staff visiting Tea Tree Gully to learn about their implementation & what Unley can learn from the TTG experience.  I think that the points raised - along with a bit of humour, are worth reading.

Perhaps most importantly for the current consortium libraries, we're still working with SirsiDynix to get the "transit slips" working properly! When this is finalised the Symphony system will automatically produce a correct transit slip for all ILL items.  The slip will have both the library service and the specific destination library branch on it.  This means that the TOLL courier staff can sort by the library service name (e.g. Salisbury) and put items in the correct black box, and when the item arrives at the main library (Len Beadell library) staff can then ship the item to the final destination branch (e.g. Ingle Farm branch).  

The way that this transit slip mechanism has been configured will allow libraries to produce or not produce transit slips for items moving between their own local branches, while always printing slips for those items going to libraries beyond their own library service.

This option to print and not print, as well as printing both the library service and destination branch has been a customisation to the Symphony system that SirsiDynix has had to write, test and then retrofit into the current version of Symphony that we are running.  We have seen the customisation working in our Test system, but it is still to be configured in the "production" environment. So, we're close on this one, but not quite there yet. 

We are also working on getting Ezproxy working. Ezproxy is a product that will allow libraries and their customers to have direct authenticated access to our online databases from within Enterprise.   You can read more about the product and how it works from the vendor OCLC and on Wikipedia.  The PLS team is working with SirsiDynix and OCLC to get this working in one library first before we purchase licenses for all libraries in the consortium.

From our perspective, getting two of these changes into the system and progressing the other two has been considerable work, but also very satisfying because we know that they are all key to the future of the consortium and for libraries who are yet to join - but need access to collections for ILL purposes.

We will keep you posted as things progress further.  And I would also add that Karoonda is scheduled to come online next Thursday (23rd) and East Murray on the (30th).

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