Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Community Languages records in Symphony & Enterprise

PLS has begun a process of loading the catalogue records for our recently arrived Community Languages material into Symphony.  The real benefit of this is that Symphony can handle a number of "non-Roman" scripts and can also include the diacritics that are vital in some languages to make sense of the words.  (P2 does not handle either non-Roman scripts or diacritics, so the records that we have been getting from the suppliers and have been providing to libraries have lacked these symbols, leading to less than desirable records.)

At this stage the process is quite manual with PLS staff having to make a number of changes to each record as they get loaded.  We will be looking to automate this process in the future, however we're not sure how long that will take to achieve.

Below are two records for items that are now in Symphony. You will note that the 1st record is for a Vietnamese book.  Vietnamese uses a modified "Roman" alphabet, adding diacritics to get the correct meaning.  The second record is for a Chinese book & it is using Chinese characters correctly for the title of the book.

We are delighted that we can now add this feature to the catalogue, as it will enable many of our customers to independently and accurately search for and find items in their native language.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Much of the South East went live this morning

Another of our existing consortia has gone live this morning, with libraries from the South East Electronic Libraries network coming online as part of the consortium.  These libraries are:
  • Tatiara - Bordertown (Tatiara's other library Keith went live a few weeks ago)
  • Robe
  • Naracoorte Lucindale - Naracoorte has gone live but Lucindale has chosen to wait a while as they have other projects including a library refurbishment currently underway
  • Wattle Range - both Millicent, Penola & several depots and attached schools
This adds a significant area of the State to the consortium. 

Also, it is our 1st conversion of a Civica Spydus database & we've been able to learn from this experience for when we add some other Spydus databases next year.

These libraries worked in off-line mode for 3 weeks, so there was a considerable amount of data to be uploaded & synched.  As with most conversions there are a number of anomalies that will to be resolved in coming days.

We're also looking forward to adding Kingston to the list in 2 weeks time to fill in another part of the South East Map.  We'll then round out the year by adding the City of Adelaide, the Flinders Mobile Library and Roxby Downs.

There will be no new additions from mid December until early February 2013, however that does not mean that the project team will be idle.  While some members take a very well earned break we will also be working on a number of issues.  Some of these include:
  • adding the Libraries Australia Authority file to the system,
  • getting products such as EZProxy to work (allowing database integration)
  • doing another database de-duplication
  • working with the libraries going live in February through May on their various issues - data mapping, training etc.
  • Preparing project plans for libraries beyond May

Friday, 19 October 2012

ILLs for non-consortium libraries - here from next week

On 25 September we posted that we were trialing providing ILL access to the consortium resources for non-consortium members.  This trial has been ongoing & we're now ready to move to providing access for all libraries.

James Kemperman will commence contacting libraries next week, with instructions and information about how to set up this access.  Roll out to all remaining libraries should only take a couple of weeks.

There are a couple of details that you need to be aware of.  You will need a "slip printer" to print transit slips which will accompany each item and instruct the sorting staff at TOLL where to ship the item to.  You can look at information about slip printers here (passworded).  These slip printers will be required when you join the consortium, so purchasing one now will not be a waste of money.

While being able to print a transit slip is vital, we're also aware that this feature still has a bit of a bug in it.  This will necessitate some hand-writing on these transit slips at this time.  We could wait to get this bug fixed by SirisDynix before releasing access to ILLs, but consider on balance that libraries would rather have access now while we work to fix the issue.

(I should note that while I describe the problem as a "bug" the reality is that we're using the Web version of Symphony in ways that were not originally intended, so it is not surprising that it doesn't do 100% of what we want at the moment.)

It has been agreed that each library will be able to reserve 5 items at a time from other libraries, but as each item arrives and is lent to a customer this will free up that reservation place, allowing a further hold to be placed.  Each library will be able to have up to 30 items on loan from consortium libraries at any one time. 

We have set this limit as a starting point so as not to overwhelm the consortium libraries, and also in recognition that non-consortium libraries also have access to P2 ILLs from each other as well.  We will monitor this limit over time and may be able to adjust it as more libraries join the consortium.

If people have any questions about this roll out please contact James @ PLS.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Free Software for Library Computers

We've just been advised by our good friends at "Connecting Up" (formerly CISA) that the DonorTec program that they manage in Australia has been extended to include providing free, donated software to public libraries.

(The DonorTec program has been really great in supporting not-for-profit community organisations over many years with both free software and heavily discounted hardware and services.) 

The offers vary from providing a range of Microsoft products for public access computers, Symantic offering some of their Internet security and anti-virus software for all library computers to SAP offering their cloud based collaboration tools and Crystal Reports amongst other products.

If you are interesting in exploring these options click here.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Keith Community Library goes live with ‘one card’ network

Keith went live yesterday (Thurs 11 October) and all reports indicate the transition was smooth.

The local community is very pleased to be getting the new service and lots of customers including local school kids have been coming in to borrow!

PLS has been really impressed with the professionalism of Keith’s staff who conducted extensive testing to minimise any potential problems and always made sure they were able to attend meetings with project staff.  This hard work has paid off, as evidenced by their smooth transition.

I would also add that whilst all this was happening, Jenn and Janine at Keith were in the middle of the redevelopment of their library!

Quite an achievement, so congratulations are well deserved.

You can visit Keith's new catalogue here.

Jon Bentick
Public Library Services

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Unley providing us all with a model of how they are managing their implementation

I note that Unley has re-fired up their blog - keeping their staff informed and also providing direction as to how they are managing the changes that they need to put in place.

They are 4 months away from "go-live" and are actively committed to all that needs to be done to ensure both a smooth transition for staff and that customers are well informed and happy with the changes.  The Unley team is certainly charting its own course, as well as borrowing training plans and other information from others.  This is one of the strengths of our network - learning and adapting from others, combined with local adaptation to meet local needs.

Take a look at the Unley blog - linked to from the front page of this blog.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

SWAP library network members go live

SWAP library network members joined the ‘one card’ network last Thursday.

This is a great achievement – the consortium has increased by 4 councils (6 library sites) in one hit.

Obviously this was only possible thanks to the hard work of staff behind the scenes at Campbelltown, Norwood, Payneham & St Peters, Prospect and Walkerville. And of course the work that PLS support staff have been providing.

Congratulations to all involved and welcome aboard!

Below are some launch snaps that were taken at these libraries.

Here you can see how these libraries (as others have in the past) are making good use of the ‘one card’ theme/promo materials to spread the word to their customers…from balloons to banners to cupcakes.

The one card “Learner" apron/sign is something that’s proving popular – an idea originally developed by the team at Tea Tree Gully Library and a great way to let customers know that the new system is being bedded down in the library.

The photos also show Norwood, Payneham & St Peters’ new library card which looks fantastic. You can see how they’ve incorporated the visual style of this great design on their Enterprise page here.

Jon Bentick
Public Library Services