R. Warwick reported that he has not had an opportunity to work on this project during the month of February due to the fact he has had other projects to complete. He has received a script from Shaun Ellis, which he will tweak and try to use. Additionally, a colleague of Chris Sterback at University of Southern California, which is also a Sirsi site, has given him a perl script to try. He will test both scripts before the March IPAC meeting.
R. Warwick noted that he posted a number of queries about scripts to the Sirsi API listserv in late December. He received no responses, and will resend his queries to the listserv.
The possibility of bringing Sirsi in for consultation is under consideration. Before deciding whether Sirsi should be hired to carry out this project, some lead time is required for R. Warwick to test the existing scripts. He will have the scripts tested by March 12, and will report to Ann Montanaro if it is necessary to hire Sirsi.
R. Warwick has looked at other Sirsi sites, and reported that most still require users to use keyword or browse to search. iLink is better than WebCat in terms of folding everything into a single option.
L. Langschied contacted Jeris Cassel, Chair, Instructional Services Committee (ISC), regarding IRIS Instruction Modules. ISC is waiting for context-sensitive help to be available in IRIS before they prepare instruction modules.
R. Warwick noted that many of the screens lack context-sensitive help (light blue boxes). Currently, only 8 screens provide it. It was suggested that perhaps more context-sensitive help is needed. L. Langschied will forward a request to Jeanne Boyle to solicit an ISC representative to IPAC to provide input on the IRIS Guide with regards to instruction.
V. Bowman suggested using "camtasia" video technology for context-sensitive help.
A suggestion was made that any information provided in context-sensitive help should also be in the IRIS guide. S. Bartz will compare context-sensitive help with the IRIS guide. Appropriate text will be lifted from the guide and be inserted into relevant portions of context-sensitive help.
The possibility of providing a link from IRIS and the IRIS guide to external documentation, such as an RUL faculty member's handbook to IRIS, was discussed. The concern was raised that such links need to be regularly monitored to ensure that they work. A suggestion was made that such links not be provided from within the IRIS guide.
L. Langschied reported that she has received many comments about providing access to IRIS from RUL's Homepage. The response has been good, and there have been some suggestions for changes. She noted that IRIS from RUL's Homepage seems to work faster than when one is actually searching in IRIS. V. Bowman added that the response in Camden has also been good.
L. Langschied noted that a request has been made to provide links to IRIS from all RUL Web pages. S. Bartz and V. Bowman noted that this issue has been discussed at WAC, and that this is happening in practice since one selector has had the link made available through his research guide.
Memorial University Library of Newfoundland's Web page was examined. Memorial University is also a Sirsi site, but uses iLink rather than WebCat. The Web page has a link to newly acquired library resources (purchases and gifts). The list is divided by discipline. The possibility of providing something similar at RUL was discussed. It could be defined by publication date, received items, or cataloged items. R. Warwick noted that it would be generated for a predetermined time period.
L. Langschied suggested that we request Memorial University Library's script. It could be tested with IRIS to see what types of results it produces. IPAC will initiate a test and share the results with the Public Services Council. The following criteria would need to be defined: output, organization (sorting), what resources to include in the list (limited to new purchase, or would it include gifts? would it include newly cataloged items, such as large microform sets?). If the list includes newly received items, it could be used to initiate rush requests for cataloging. R. Warwick will investigate how we could implement this type of feature.
Memorial Library's LIS has an item format feature that is used for item types. R. Warwick is looking at this for RUL and will draft a white paper for the Councils.
S. Bartz inquired regarding the status of broadcast searching. The RU Law Libraries are broadcasting to RUL. R. Warwick will investigate getting Z39.50 into place to facilitate broadcast searching.