Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Two years of blogging

I happened to look back over this blog & noted that the 1st post that I did was on 28 March 2011.  Since then this will be the 144th post & we have had over 50,000 page views of the site.

We've covered a great deal about the roll out of the LMS - from the early days before we went to tender right through the selection period and now into the implementation stages - which will continue for about another 18 months.   And we've branched off to talk about e-books, 3-D printers, National Year of Reading, library network issues & other stuff. All up I've enjoyed the conversation & talking about our progress as a network.

While there has been some feedback through direct comments to the blog and in emails to me I'm always up for suggestions of what people would like more information about, or issues you'd like to see discussed here. 

We've got another 18 months of LMS roll out, but PLS & our network is more than a computer system, so I look forward to sharing a variety of stories on a range of activities that our network is up to.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Welcome to Port Augusta

Well its Thursday morning, so it must be another go live day here at PLS. We don't have a go library every Thursday, but we have had 4 libraries go live over the last 6 Thursdays.

Port Augusta has been working really hard to reach arrive at a smooth transition to their new system.  The library staff have chosen some warm almost desert themed colours for their Enterprise service. You can see it here.  I will add some photos of the day when they come to hand.

Having said that we've had a go live most Thursdays, things are about to change for the next few months.  The project team is using a different model to work with a group of School Community Libraries to get them all live on the same date - 29 April.  These libraries are:
  • Pt Broughton
  • Andamooka
  • Leigh Creek
  • Hawker
  • Quorn
  • Coober Pedy
  • Woomera
While most of these librareis are in the far north we're also including Pt Broughton, who has been keen to be involved for ages.  And as we will includ Pt Broughton's southern neighbours in May they provide a link between Kadina and Pt Pirie.

All of these libraries are currently doing their database clean up work on a 4th iteration of our SA Public Library Network database rather than on their current in-house LMSs.  We're hopeful that this will create cleaner records and a better match at the title record level.  The staff are busy & they're being supported by PLS staff to reach their go-live date. 

The gap between our current set of libraries joining and the group at the end of April is partly driven by them being a cluster of 7 that we are working on for a simultaneous go live, and also that we have Easter and school holidays in this period to interrupt our progress.  In fact the go live date for this group is the 1st day of Term 2.

Update: Below are a couple of photos which have been sent to us from the Pt Augusta library team on their go live day!

Library Staff Cy, Lynette, Karen, Tamra & Mikaela with a great looking cake

Library Staff joined by the Director Lee & CEO Greg

Friday, 15 March 2013

Holdfast Bay joins joins the consortium, and other news

We continue to roll out the One Card network, with the Glenelg and Brighton branch libraries in the City of Holdfast Bay joining the consortium yesterday.  This adds a further 39,000 people covered by the network.

The staff at Holdfast Bay had a busy day adjusting to the new processes etc.  They've decided to have their community launch next week, once they're comfortable with how everything works.  I will post a few photos of the event at the end of this post once the event has occurred.

The new, very clean looking Holdfast Bay Enterprise site (library catalogue) can be found here.

This brings the number of libraries on the system to 59, which means that in terms of library branches we're almost half way through the program.  From a "population covered" perspective we're at about 60% of the State's population. However from a "geography covered" perspective we're well below 50%.

The "geography covered" criterion will be addressed significantly in coming months as Port Augusta goes live next week and then we cover off libraries in the far north and upper Yorke Peninsula in April & May, the lower north in June and much of the Eyre Peninsula and the lower Yorke Peninsula in July & August.

And below are a couple of other pieces of news.


While it seems such a long way off, we're also just beginning to look at our 2014 rollout.  So it was great to hear that on Tuesday night the Burnside council voted unanimously to join the One Card network.  This means that while Burnside will not be able to join until early 2014, we now have definite commitments and approximate go live dates for all of metro Adelaide.  And we continue to consider our rollout approach for others in 2014.


I'm not sure that I have mentioned that Kathy Haese* is currently in Salt Lake City (Utah) for the Customers of SirsiDynix User Group International (COSUGI) annual conference.  Every year the Customers of SirsiDynix Australasia (COSA) offer sponsorship for someone to attend the international user group conference.  Kathy applied for the sponsorship on the basis that she would present a paper about the SA Consortium experience as well as bring home information to share with COSA members.  The sponsorship doesn't cover the full cost of the trip so Kathy's two employers have provided the additional funds.

The COSUGI program can be found here.

*I mentioned Kathy's involvement with the LMS in my 6 March posting about reports.


Below are a few photos of the Holdfast Bay staff enjoying their 1st day as consortium members:

Tracy and Library Manager David

Library staff with publicity material

Balloons, badges & posters to inform the customers

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Using Enterprise to promote new services

I've had a sneak peek at the Port Augusta Enterprise site and noted that they have been proactive in including a link to the e-Books available through Overdrive.  That got me looking at other sites for libraries that have already gone live.  I note that Port Pirie has included the Overdrive provided logo too & Tea Tree Gully has added a link to e-Books, using a different logo.  Norwood Payneham & St Peters have added a large Overdrive sourced logo.

This got me thinking about how customisable Enterprise is & how different libraries are experimenting and using the site in different ways - to connect to their communities.  The good news is that making changes to Enterprise is  done locally, though if libraries need any assistance with customising their Enterprise "skin" they can get advice from PLS - with James Kemperman currently undertaking this role.

Given the number of visits that are made by customers to the front screen of each library's Enterprise site it is a great way to promote activities and other new library offerings. A few examples of some alternative uses are outlined below.

Tea Tree Gully has used the issuu software to highlight their current 4 page newsletter on their front page.  Likewise Mitcham has published their 17 page newsletter using issuu, with the newsletter promoting computer classes, author visits, the Little Big Book Club and so much more.

Unley is using a Facebook social plug in to load up a range of photos and other messages directly from their Facebook site.  And Marion is providing links out to their newsletter as well as the various social media platforms they're - Facebook, Twitter & You Tube. 

And of course there are plenty of other examples of various forms of customisation.  If people want to trawl through the various iterations of Enterprise currently deployed the complete list of them is located HERE.

As libraries join the consortium & then through a periodic review of the content on the site, Enterprise provides a great way to continue to update the information you want to put directly in front of customers every time they do a search of your catalogue.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

A short English / Latin lesson

The English language is said to be one of the most eclectic in terms of where it has sourced words from over the last thousand years or so.  And this has meant that for every rule there are always exceptions!  No wonder it is so difficult to learn.

Why am I posting about this? Well the word that has entered the lexicon of almost every library staff member in SA is consortium, though I often hear people using the word consortia.  Consortium/consortia is one of a small group of words in English that come from and follow the Latin form for singular and plural. There is a group of Latin derived words in English which have a singular ending which is "um" but the plural version of the words end in "a". 

Examples that you would be familiar with are medium (singular) and media (plural). We don't often use the singular word much these days, though occasionally someone might say something like "using the medium of radio as opposed to other media."

Others include stadium (singular) and stadia (plural).  We don't often use this plural version of the word, though it is in our dictionaries and was used widely years ago.  It would appear that the plural version now being used is stadiums, which is technically incorrect but seemingly acceptable today.

And I am sure there are other examples, but I cant think of them at present.  (And as an aside it is interesting that there is a similar ending construction in Greek - where we have a singular criterion, but a plural criteria.)

Which brings us to consortium (singular) and consortia (plural).  So here in SA we are building a consortium.  However when I work with people from the SWIFT consortium in Victoria and the Kotui consortium in New Zealand it could be said that these 3 consortia are working together.

It is nothing to get too worried about - but I figure that as I am primarily responsible for thrusting this Latin derived word upon us all I should be responsible for assisting us all to use it correctly.  So - all the best with any of your publicity material, council reports or other places where you want to talk about your library joining the One Card consortium!

Update: as a former teacher - how could I have forgotten curriculum and curricula?!

Friday, 8 March 2013

Port Pirie & Crystal Brook go live

As per our schedule, the Port Pirie council libraries have joined the consortium yesterday.  While it has occurred in a smooth manner this would not have been achieved without the hard work from the Port Pirie Library staff, the PLS project team and SirsiDynix staff.

Some of the residents in the Port Pirie council area are served by the Flinders Mobile - which went live late last year, so this go live now provides complete coverage for all council residents.  The library's "catalogue" can be seen here.

I had aimed to get to the launch but a few essential meetings have kept me in Adelaide yesterday . Mayor Brenton Vanstone, Libraries Board member Lynn Spurling and Library Manager Pam Menadue all spoke at their launch, providing an overview of the wonderful library service and what it means for the community to join the One Card network. Pam and her team have shared a few photos of the launch ceremony which I have included below.  The library has also been able to generate some media interest, with regional ABC radio interviewing me about the roll out to Port Pirie and areas north and west.  It is a good news story for the region with all of the far north, most of the Eyre Peninsula, all of the Yorke Peninsula and much of the mid-North going live this year.

It is also time to officially welcome the Crystal Brook Library to the network.  While there has been a depot at Crystal Brook for some time, the council has expanded the opening hours and services offered there to the point where the Libraries Board can recognise it as a "branch library".  With this recognition comes some additional support from the Board such as the inclusion of an Internet wireless router.  So for those of you who are handling transit slips you may see some come up for Pt Pirie, but with Crystal Brook listed as a branch.

We're looking forward to also getting Port Augusta live on the 21st, so that these two relatively close towns will be on the system together.  (We have Holdfast Bay going live on the 14th as well - so a busy time for the team.)

Pt Pirie Mayor Brenton Vanstone speaking at the launch

Library staff with their cake & their Enterprise screen in the background on the TV

A view of the Pt Pirie Library

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Director's Station - stats like never before

While the LMS team is very busy with implementation and daily support they're also working on getting to grips with a number of features of the system, including Director's Station - one of the two reporting tools that we have.

I know that a number of us were very impressed with Director's Station during the demonstrations that we saw at the time of selecting the product, but we haven't had time to build up any internal expertise to see how it will work for us.

However Kathy Haese has been doing some work on exploring what Director's Station can do & preparing some system-wide reports as well as a suite of reports that will relate to the specific statistical needs for each individual library.  (Kathy works 2 days a week in our support team and 3 days a week at Onkaparinga, so she has been using Onkaparinga as the trial site, while also liaising with staff at Pt Adelaide Enfield and Salisbury to identify what the differing needs of libraries are.)

I think that the early work that Kathy has done is remarkable & will be very valuable for all libraries.  I will drop in a few partial screen shots below to give you an early indication of what is possible.

Below is a small section of a large report which shows where items are being sent to.  I apologise that it is a bit fuzzy - that's the nature of screen shots when they're enlarged.

This is a very small piece of a large report that lists all libraries (by branch) both down the left hand side as well as along the top of the table.  I will just comment on the Aldinga column to illustrate what we're seeing.  This shows us that Aldinga has done 154,556 loans since going live, and 131,755 of these are with Aldinga stock.  It also shows that 2,549 items have come from Aberfoyle to Aldinga to be lent locally.  Also, 3 items have come from Beachport, 922 from Blackwood etc.  And we can deduce that 22,801 loans have been generated at Aldinga using items from other libraries (total Aldinga loans [154,556] minus Aldinga item loans [131,755] = 22,801).

Reading the rows of the table, Bordertown can see that they've lent 59 items to Aberfoyle and 50 to Aldinga.

This table is useful for more that idle curiosity.  While we can use it to look at net traffic movements we can also drill down into the items being shipped to see what the titles are.  So a library can see what their customers are reserving across the network, and examine whether this is because of gaps in their own collection or consider what the reasons may be.

Below is a partial snapshot of another report, which is drilling down to the number of copies that we have in a particular Dewey range - right down to a single digit.  You can see that I have expanded the choices to look in the 640s.  (I am unable to show you the columns to the right which have lots of additional useful information like number of loans, turnover rates, prices etc.)

You will notice that I have highlighted the 8 titles listed as having a Dewey number of 645.  Highlighting this cell in the report leads to another table being opened which lists each of these titles.  You can see this in the table below.  (It is actually reading from the "total call numbers column - hence the 11 items listed below.) So we now have all the titles in the system with a call number of 645.XX, and can see who owns them.  This table also has many columns to the right showing lots more details about each title. 

While this report is taking a "whole of consortium" view, each library will be able to do this level of detailed reporting on its own collections.

Below is a small shot of part of the Aldinga Adult Fiction report which shows all of the subsets of genre classifications that they're using.  I have highlighted the AF-General group and asked the system to show all title in this category, by circulation figures - e.g. what has circulated most is at the top of the list.  The result of this "expanded view" is the second screen shot below.

Aldinga AF groupings by genre - with AF General highlighted for further examination

Expanded list of AF General displayed in descending order of number of loans
We're still working on these reports, and are talking to library staff and managers about the range of reports that libraries will want.  Once we have settled on the list we will set up a suite of them for every library, so that everyone will have access to this sort of information. And this is just scratching the surface.  As libraries identify additional reports that they may want we will be able to either create them for the specific library (or teach you to do it) or, if the new report would be used by others we will insert it into each library's suite of standard reports.

We will be providing both demonstrations of these reports and training for staff in the near future.

Oh - and I should add a few other details.  You will note in the picture immediately above that the titles of the books are truncated. This can be simply fixed by dragging the "bar" between title and author (at the top of the report) to the right - just like so many windows based products.

Also, with the click of a button all of the reports can be exported into Excel where the tables of information can be displayed in graphs - ready to insert into council reports, annual reports etc.