Friday, 29 May 2015

Training survey results

Thanks to staff in libraries across the State who filed in the online LMS training survey.  We received 300 responses, which indicates that a significant number of library staff are looking for further training.

We had responses from 95% of Metro libraries, 93% of Country libraries and 73% of School Community Libraries.  Given the differences in staff numbers it is not surprising that 62% of responses came from Metro libraries, 20% from Country libraries and 18% from School Community Libraries.

The graph below provides a high level overview of the types of training that people are looking for.

PLS staff have commenced analysing the details which sit behind this graph with the intention of building a range of training approaches to meet library staff needs.  We intend to use a number of alternative approaches to provide training, ranging from informal refresher sessions, through online training , some face to face sessions and the deployment of SirsiDynix trainers as required.

We will be providing a detailed report to the LMS User Group on the implications of your responses, and will also release this report to the Network.

So - thanks again for the really great response & watch this space for more advice about the delivery of the training that you've asked for. 

Friday, 22 May 2015

Bib record de-duplication update

Many of you are aware that we've just completed another automated de-duplication process - with considerable success.  After a slight tweaking to the "profile" we use to identify and merge records this process has merged a further 23,284 duplicate records in the system.  

As we were changing our profile we needed to ensure that what we were doing would be effective while not having unintended consequences - i.e. merging records which should not be merged. Di Cranwell at PLS has led this process & she has been ably supported by a great band of willing volunteers from a range of libraries.  The testing team consisted of Joel Hill – Alexandrina, Margaret Wallace – Pt Adelaide Enfield, Alison Packer – Barossa, Cathy O’Brien – Campbelltown, Anne Knight – Norwood Payneham & St Peters, Karen Rubath – Loxton, Joy Smith and Cathy Ehlers – Burnside, Rae Bromley – Bordertown, Alice Mariano – Holdfast Bay, Leonie Somerfield – Lameroo, Jodie Eckert and Kellie Slape – Onkaparinga, Michelle Cox – Playford, Peter Thomas – Mitcham, Brenton Green and Bronwen Kingwell – Marion.

I want to acknowledge all of the testers as their contribution has been on behalf of everyone who works in our network, as well as all of our customers.

We intend to continue to tweak our profile to increase the success of the automated matching process, so will be looking for more testers in the future.  All volunteers will be welcome!

Since April last year, when we commenced keeping records of the monthly manual de-duplication work being done the network has manually de-duplicated over 125,000 records, at an average of almost 9,000 per month.  During the height of the blitz from May to September last year the monthly stats got as high as 19,000 in August - which is an amazing result.

Regarding this quite laborious process - and on behalf of all library staff and customers - I'd really like to thank the libraries who have stuck to the task and have completed their allocation of records to de-duplicate, or are well on the way towards this goal. We currently have 15 libraries who have completed more than 50% of the de-duplication work asked of them, with 4 libraries now at over 100% of their allocation! I'd encourage all libraries to keep working at this task, as it has direct benefits for all libraries and customers.

If you or your staff are not confident about how to do this work & would like to join your colleagues in continuing to tidy up the database please contact Di at PLS & we'll be happy to arrange some training.

The net result of all of the work to date is that while we're adding many new titles to the database, the total number of bib records has fallen from 1,154,576 titles to 1,099,306.  Perhaps a better indication of the impact of the change is the copies to bib record ratio. The ratio was 3.39 items per bib record in March last year which has now climbed to 3.74.  While this doesn't seem like a big change - across 1.1M records it is quite significant.

Thanks again to all who continue to contribute to this vital work.

Friday, 1 May 2015

May 2015 - celebrating 3 years since the LMS rollout began

This Sunday May 3rd marks the 3rd anniversary since Mitcham "went live" in 2012.  However as I said at the time, we really only had the beginnings of a consortium once Onkaparinga joined a week later on the 10th & items started flowing between the libraries. 

For the early adopters I am sure that it all seems so long ago, while for those who joined up towards the middle of last year, you're still catching your breath!  Our next real milestone will be 25 September, which will be 1 year since the final library (Yankalilla) joined up.

We continue to get really great unsolicited feedback from library users about how happy they are with the service they get & the quantity and quality of the collections available to them - so it has delivered on all of our expectations.

It has been quite an achievement, but there is not a lot of time to look backwards.  Libraries will continue to move ahead to ensure we maintain our quality service and meet the changing needs of our customers.  I am looking forward to kicking off the RFID project - to provide greater efficiencies for library staff - freeing them up a bit to spend more time with customers.  We also have eResrouce Central close to readiness - which will allow us to introduce a second e-Book provider & have all e-Books discoverable through Enterprise.  And despite a few hiccups to start with, we hear that Mobile Circ is close to being ready.  It will be released without all of the feature we want - but SirsiDynix's philosophy is that it is better to get a "skinny" product out there earlier than a feature rich one later.  There are mixed views on this approach - but we go with what we get.

And we're also exploring a few other options - they're in their infancy but I can mention that we're examining whether customers can use their public library card to authenticate to the State Library's online resources & also looking at providing direct access to e-Books via QR Codes on the trams.  Watch this space.

So - perhaps libraries can reprise their wonderful cakes as their anniversaries roll around.  Enjoy!