STAFF RESOURCES

Minutes of July 9, 1998 Meeting

Present:
Mark Witteman, Mary Page, Bob Warwick, Mary Beth Weber, Judy Gardner (recorder), Harriette Hemmasi, Tracey Meyer

1) SLAUG (Sirsi Large Academic Libraries Users Group) at ALA.

Peter Graham was the original organizer of this group. Sirsi convened the meeting at the recent ALA conference in DC and offered to host meetings at future ALAs. The group would also like to meet independently of Sirsi; Harriette will volunteer via the SLAUG list to be convener.

Highlights from the meeting (Mark, Rhonda, Bob, and Harriette attended):

-Sirsi is considering an expanded consultative service to help libraries make the existing software work for them, and handle questions the Help Desk is not equipped to answer. It's unclear how the service might be priced or how the company will distinguish between help desk questions and consultative questions requiring an extra service charge/payment. Mark expressed some interest in exploring expanded services for the authority control implementation.

-Serials wizards were touted, they are due April 1999. [Mary Page also saw a demo of serial wizards at the NASIG (North American Serials Interest Group) meeting; she shared screen prints and pointed out improvements such as displaying bibliographic and serial records at the same time, eliminating scrolling, and moving from a serial control record to an order record.]

-Sirsi is active in foreign markets and is planning to provide better support of foreign language materials and multi-byte based character sets, such as UNICODE.

-Sirsi staff are attending more national meetings where issues of interest to academic libraries are discussed many ALA and LITA groups, NASIG, Z39.50 Implementors Group (ZIG), etc.

-Mark learned informally that Sirsi is working on "help desk manager" software application, which would give libraries a way of tracking problems (Unicorn related or otherwise) and have full keyword searching capability. Rutgers has placed approx 150 questions to the Help Desk for the production system, and 40 for the test system which Mark has entered in quasi-MARC records in test for tracking purposes. A help desk manager application would allow us to keep better track of questions to Sirsi and perhaps other Systems Department problems.

2) Bob reported on the Workflows meeting (Rhonda also attended).

Sirsi is beta testing the Reports wizards; beta testing of Cataloging and Authority wizards begins in a month. Test sites are sought for a new graphical interface for policies and administration. Sirsi will begin testing serials, acquisitions, and academic reserves wizards within the next 6 months (in that order). Workflow's context sensitive help is in Microsoft help files, and can be changed with a Microsoft Windows95 compiler tool.

Observations on Workflows: multiple windows can be open at the same time but size of data withing the windows does not change and windows don't display easily side-by-side; new intermediate displays help compress long records and clicking on tabs to open windows replaces tiresome scrolling; must click on word in tabs to open windows (can't click on tabs outside of the word); icons on the toolbar, "helpers" and "next steps" can be configured; their is no OK button on the search screen so you must hit <RETURN> to send a search; copy-paste does not work on display-only data, unlike InfoVIEW.

3) Unicorn 98 and Workflows, and how to test.

Mark asked us to compile checklists of commands/functions for each module to use as a baseline to test the Unicorn98 release. We will bring lists to the next meeting, try to do testing, and report on results. Mark also suggested we look at the Release notes related to our modules and check on fixes.

Our WebCat customizations need to be added (back) to the generic WebCat delivered with Unicorn98. We may or may not have time to develop new, additional WebCat customization by fall. However, we would like to move Release98 to production before the fall semester begins (early to mid August). We do not anticipate any special training sessions for InfoView modules as changes are slight for most users.

Mark has installed Workflows on his machine in Systems and the machine in TSB conference room; he will begin shortly to test how Workflows will run as a networked installation. We need to customize toolbars, helpers, next steps. Will we define a standard, allow customization at the desktop? Implementation committees, same or different membership, need to begin work on Workflow implementation issues.

4) Round Robin.

-Bob and Tracey are meeting regularly with the circ training group, writing documentation, and will schedule dates for training sessions at their next meeting.

-Reports training people will re-group.

-Waiting for RFP for Authority Control to go out, Rhonda will return from leave to help review responses. Systems will begin to look at their role in authority implementation.

-Mark will go ahead and announce generic public services passwords. Tracey and Mary Beth will coordinate "Searching InfoView for Public Services Staff" training sessions. Bulleted instructions for searching call numbers across libraries, searching the shadow catalog, searching serial and order records, will be posted on the Unicorn Training Documentation page.

-Projected implementation date for ILL and RRS journal online forms is August 24.

-The group studying MARC holdings for serials will make a presentation to SACOTAS at its September meeting. Gracemary Smulewitz will attend a 1-day workshop on Marc holdings offered by Solinet.



 
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