Wednesday, 19 November 2014

ALIA recognition event

ALIA has decided to recognise members who have been members for 25 plus years.  Last night ALIA President Damien Lodge attended an event at the State Library to hand out ALIA Stars to all who attended.

There are 69 library staff in the State who have 25 or more years of ALIA membership, with the longest serving person having been a member for 64 years.  And the total years of membership between all 69 people is 2,493.  30 of the 69 members, many accompanied by partners were able to attend the event.

I was delighted to be part of the event to welcome everyone to the Circulating Library in the State Library's Institute Room.  This building was the State's 1st building built to house the cultural societies and services of the State - including the first circulating library and separate reading room.  It has quite an interesting history which you can read about here.

Amongst the 69 librarians who where honoured last year there are eleven who are current or former public library staff & one who works closely with us for one of our key suppliers.

The current or former public library staff that I could identify in the group are: Ann Short, Cynthia Collins, Philippa Middleton, Janice Nitschke, Fran Oswald, Renya Spratt, Lynn Spurling, Heather Lymburn, Angela Jones, Claire White and Albert Bergoc.  And the ALS staff member is Chris Swadling.

A few photos from the night have been posted here.  I am sure more will become available over time.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Interesting reading

I often come across really interesting articles - often referred to me from colleagues.  Sue Sutherland, one of our consultants on the "Vision for the future of the public library network" project has just sent through a link to this article.  The article is called Last man standing: how to kill public libraries.  The author, Professor R. David Lankes  has some interesting titles of other posts such as Burn the libraries and free the librarians.

The "last man standing" article is really interesting and thought provoking.  It  covers some of the issues that were raised in the "library scenarios" that were part of the workshops that the consultants have run for us. 

Lankes has also published an Atlas of New Librarianship which also has a companion website

I'm aware that Professor Lankes will be in Australia next year, so will see whether we can get him to visit Adelaide while here. 

New One Card Video

We decided to create a short video to illustrate the what our One Card network can do. We were well served by  We've loaded it up on You Tube here  for you to look at. We are really happy with the work done by Susan Rooney-Harding who made this for us.

I would have embedded the video here, however this Blog only allows us to load up files smaller than 100Mb & the video is several Gb.  

For SA Libraries, we will load this up to a site in full HD resolution so that you can download and use it. We'll let you know where this is soon. 

Friday, 14 November 2014

Smart Port connection to the State Library catalogue now works!

After considerable persistence by staff at PLS & some technical sleuthing by SirsiDynix staff we've finally got Smart Port working against the State Library of South Australia's catalogue.

Thanks to all who got this working.

And for libraries, please use this as one of your targets as the SLSA staff catalogue to a very high standard & display great accuracy especially when cataloguing local South Australian content.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Good progress on database de-duplication

Over the last six months or so the network has undertaken a combination of a manual blitz on merging catalogue records and running an automated de-duplication script across our database.  The results of this work are really promising & so I thought I would report this.

Providing accurate information is a little difficult because while people were busy merging records the last of the libraries were being added to the database.  And this group of libraries added over 200,000 items to the database.  Despite adding these 200,000 items the net number of bibliographic records on this system decreased by 6,172.

In March the items per bibliographic record was 3.39, and at the end of October it was 3.58.  This is a good indicator that we are moving to have a cleaner database, with fewer duplicate bibliographic records.  During this period approximately 79,000 records were merged either by the diligent work of library staff or through the automated script.

The PLS team ran a Workflows Duplicate Titles report in March & again in October.  While the report can't be 100% accurate, in March it indicated that approximately 14% of our bibliographic records were likely to be duplicates that could be merged.  The October report indicates that this figure is now down to approximately 10%.

The benefits of de-duplication are felt by all in the system.  Customers have a greater probability of getting their reserved item quicker if all items are attached to one bib record.  It also stops customers placing holds on multiple bib records of the same title! Less items get shipped, which means less work for library staff at both sending and receiving libraries.  And of course less shipping & sorting by TOLL = less costs.

While many (but not all) libraries contributed to the clean up I would like to particularly mention Campbelltown, the Flinders Mobile, Port Pirie, Mitcham, West Torrens and Public Library Services for their contribution. Your service on behalf of all libraries and customers is appreciated.

PLS intends running another de-duplicating project next year, because of the benefits for all.  We will be looking forward to all libraries being prepared to contribute to this work, as everyone benefits.

As part of this next round we intend to tweak the "match points" that we use in the automated de-duplication script. We believe that we will get a higher (but still accurate) hit rate by doing this. This should increase the efficiency of this process. 

However making changes to this script does require considerable testing to make sure that we don't incorrectly merge records.  We'll be looking for more people to undertake this testing.

And by all means, although we're not in a formal de-duplication blitz phase if you want to keep working on bib record merging it can only be a good thing!