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Limited Functions in IRIS, August 16-31

IRIS will be available in a static, search-only version August 16-31, 2001 while the Libraries implement a major improvement in how the catalog functions. Users will still be able to search as usual, link to electronic resources, look up reserve items, and checkout circulating materials. Some features, such as online Interlibrary Loan and the Rutgers Request Service (RRS) will not be available.

RRS requests for delivery of items from among the three main Rutgers campuses and the Annex may be submitted on site at any nearby Rutgers library using paper forms available at any circulation desk. Paper forms will also be available for interlibrary loan requests.

During this period users will be able to search and display information in their "self services" accounts but will not be able to renew their checkouts or change their PIN numbers. Items checked out between August 16 - 31 will not appear in users "self services" accounts. Users can learn their existing barcode and PIN by calling or visiting the circulation desk of any Rutgers library or by sending email to our Ask A Librarian service.

The Libraries systems department will install the static, search-only system of IRIS on Thursday morning, August 16th. It will take until about noon to complete the installation. As a result, there will be no access to IRIS until noon that day.

The major improvement the Libraries are installing is authority control. With authority control, variants of an author's name (personal, corporate, or conference), a subject heading, or a series title will be pointed to a single entry, or heading, in the catalog. The user will be directed to the heading under which the item they want has been cataloged even if they began their search with a variant.

Without authority control, an author search for Chaikovski instead of Tchaikovski lands the user in a browse list miles away from the heading used in the catalog. The user might understandably conclude that there were no relevant materials available at Rutgers. With authority control, there will be a heading in the browse list for the variant form of the name (Chaikovski) that will link to the actual name used (Tchaikovski).

For the first time, there will also be helpful "SEE" and "SEARCH UNDER" references in the catalog that will guide the user to relevant headings.

Because of the enormous size of the files in IRIS that need to be loaded and indexed to implement authority control, IRIS must be taken off-line during the last two weeks in August and made available as a search-only catalog. IRIS will return to full service by the beginning of the first day of classes in September.

Posted July 20, 2001; revised August 15, 2001