STAFF RESOURCES

Minutes of February 18, 2004 meeting

Present:
Roger Smith(recorder), Dave Warner, Fred Onorato, Dean Meister, Rita O'Donnell, Zohreh Bonianian, Eva Kalamotousis, Pete Anderson, Paul Young, Kristen Ko, Myriam Alami, Ramon Negron, Irina Loutchkina, Eugene McElroy, Jan Reinhart, Mike Mansouri
Excused:
May Chin

Agenda

  1. New Release. Glitches, solutions, etc.
  2. Bad reserve records, (no Spr04 in URL)
  3. Some SIRSI responses to enhancements.
  4. Update on reserve holds. Assigned “duty”.
  5. Projects in process: acquisitions database
  6. Reminders: File size: 1.4mb
  7. Adobe distiller?
  8. External Links (websites, etc.)
  9. Information sharing

1. New Release. Glitches, solutions, etc.

Systems has received and installed the patch for the shadowed item error. Please reset all PC's processing reserve to shadow brief records. Systems has globally re-shadowed the items that were unshadowed when the problem arose. Should you encounter any ongoing or new issues please report with examples.

2. Bad reserve records, (no Spr04 in URL)

I distributed a list to a few units from a report listing URL's with bad semester sectors (other than spr04). These are dead links. They were relatively few in number (approx 64 for NBL). They most likely result from a missed step in the roll over process. Please take every care in rolling over reserves to update the URL to avoid broken links. Staff will assess these current dead ones to see if they were really in fact required for this semester.

3. Some SIRSI responses to enhancements.

Sirsi delivered responses to a number of reserve enhancements delivered by the SIRSI user group. RUL had expressed limited interest in these proposals, as they did not altogether fit with our mode of operation. However we reviewed them one by one, with an eye towards how they may in fact disrupt our processes if adopted. While nothing in particular stood out, vigilance for future releases is prudent.

4. Update on reserve holds. Assigned “duty”.

Ramon Negron has volunteered for the "standing duty" of processing these hold cancellations for our group. Chris Sterback has set up the report to deliver a once weekly digest of outstanding holds on RESV items. Thank you Ramon for accepting this responsibility.

5. Projects in process: acquisitions database:

Work on this project is continuing, and there is the possibility of a draft version, at least incorporating a few units, by next month. More to follow.

6. Reminders: File size: 1.4mb

I reviewed the file sizes currently on the Spr04 semester directories. I think we are in very good shape. Most units had 10 or less files over the 1.4Mb threshold. I remind everyone that when cutting large files into multiple parts, delete the original large file from web server and/or semester U:/ drive directories. Also, use "save as" when deleting pages and create a new file. Cutting a portion of pages out and simply hitting "save" will retain the large file size, even though the extracted pages are not visible. In addition, please be sure to delete electronic files sent to you via email. They could eventually cause you to exceed your quota.

7. Adobe distiller?

Daryll from Image services suggested the use of distiller as a tool to reduce overall file size, and especially in instances of very large files. In testing this, group members report very mixed results. At times a noticeable gain in file size is achieved, and with other files very little compression is noted. A potential for this result lies in a dependency on what DPI the original file was scanned in with. We can test it a bit further, but as of right now it does not seem to be as reliable a tool for managing large files as cutting into multiple sections. Stay tuned.

This conversation also moved into the topic of guidelines for file type conversions. More and more professors have been submitting files electronically, and not always in PDF format. Several of you have submitted draft directions for common file type conversions, like PPT and WP files. I am assembling those and will post to the documentation portion of the reserve FG page.

8. External Links (websites, etc.)

We discussed the growing trend of faculty member requesting links to their web sites and WebCT pages. This raises the debate yet again of the wisdom of diverging from our standard offered format, the PDF (and accepted music and video formats). The questions that are raised to linking to professor's external postings are two fold: 1. Copyright. Is RUL responsible for copyright violations that are done by faculty members when creating their own resources? Are we in fact an accomplice by facilitating access to these documents? and 2. Is it wise to begin facilitating access to unsupported document types? Example: we link to a faculty web page or WebCT site. The professor has included a MSWord or Excell document. The students cannot open that on a public library PC. The student goes to reference and asks why they cannot access this item. A difficult situation. We have a responsibility to "service" the resource we provide. And in linking to these web pages, we are in fact offering them. Similarly, we cannot guarantee availability. Because the private page is run by the faculty member, or a third party, it could come down at any time and cause a broken link in IRIS, something we strive to never have in the reserve module, and up to now can guarantee because of our management of the web server.

Several interesting viewpoints were forwarded. Together with the intention to propose a paper less service, we may indeed stand at a crossroads of the eReserve format. It was suggested to call together the eReserve committee, which has not met in years, in order to bring together the viewpoints of access, systems and administrative staff. More to come.

9. Information sharing,

It was pointed out that in instances where mutiple emails were included in the RESV-LIB user for notification of holds, only the first name listed was receiving mail. I will test this out, please be on the lookout for this and send me examples.

We raised the topic of Professor's copies. Some guidlelines may be in order for placing these on reserve, and can be a topic for our next agenda. Concerns followed a few basic lines. 1. Should we be placing out of print items on reserve, especially those that are difficult to replace if stolen/lost? Should we be automatically attempting to purchase a copy for our collection,or only when requested to do so by faculty? Some units are in fact suggesting to faculty that they should only use reproductions (paper, pdf) of out of print items. We also firmly suggested tattle taping and checking all personal copies immediately.

Next Meeting - Wednesday March 17th. 3:00, place TBD.



 
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