Minutes of July 10, 2008 meeting

JGardner, DMeister, Z Bonianian, AMartinez, JTeichmann, MTokar, TMeyer, JReinhart (recorder), DVoorhees, PWeniger, BLipinski, MHarris, YIshii
KAnderson, RBarbalace, GSandberg

1. Goals for 2008-2009

Judy Gardner led discussion on the draft of the Access Services Goals 2008-2009:

  1. Collaborate with Systems staff to implement an online credit card payment option for library fines and lost book replacement fees in WorkFlows. [Billing Group]
  2. Work with Systems staff to automate steps in the claims return process. [Billing Group]
  3. Provide assistance to Systems staff for developing automated replies to patron PIN requests and/or NetID verification in IRIS. [Circulation Group]
  4. Design an online form for faculty to submit e-files for Reserves. [Reserve Group]
  5. Review and update the Incident Report form for system wide use with customized distribution lists. [Securities & Facilities Group]
  6. Implement a part-time/student online job application form that could be used by other library departments. [Student Coordinator Group]
  7. Test Symphony 3.2.1 prior to its implementation in 2009. [All Groups]
  8. Revise workflows and procedures to accommodate new Item Types in WorkFlows. [All Groups]
  9. Form a Media working group and implement user-initiated bookings in IRIS. [new Media Group]
  10. Form an Access services training group, plan and conduct training for access services staff: effective communication and collaboration, re-fresher of customer service, how to teach and explain basic access services available to patrons; core information services in the sciences; and handling difficult patrons and situations, [new Training Group]
  11. Create an Access services public webpage for the RUL website. [ASC]

Judy started discussions by making the observation that many of the goals, like testing the new Symphony version of SIRSI software (goal No. 7), are a given. Other goals require specific and sustained collaboration with Systems and other departments.

On Goal No. 11, Judy said in response to a question from Barry Lipinski that the Access Services public webpage would not be aimed solely at Rutgers patrons, but would be a general representation of the department to the public. It would list the various units of Access Services and their staff members.

Penny Weniger concurred with goal No. 10’s call for a task force for access services training.

Jeff Teichman called for ILLiad documentation to be posted in the Staff Resources page as a new goal. He said this would be a major benefit to back-up staffers puzzling their way through the sometimes complicated procedures. (This will be referred to the Resource Sharing group.)

Andy Martinez said he was ready to expand the digitally-assisted inventory, successfully tested at Art, to Chemistry, Physics and possibly LSM this year. The process consists of a team working through library stacks a book at a time, scanning each item’s barcode successively. Afterwards, reports help identify which items are out of place or still charged, uncataloged, etc.

2. Sirsi/Dynix UUGI Enhancements.

Michele Tokar discussed the circulation enhancements available in the SIRSI/DYNIX Circulation Forum. She presented the Access Services Committee with the top three enhancements that she and the Circulation group thought would be of interest to the Rutgers Libraries system, in order of priority:

With the approval of video conferees from Newark, the ASC Committee agreed that these 3 enhancements were good choices. Michele said she would vote on the forum in the next week.

Zohreh Bonianian wondered if key word search functionality by course title in the reserve module is a current enhancement request. Right now, reserve searches are very literal, meaning a search for course name "Intro to Biology" would not find the course if it was created in IRIS as "Introduction to Biology". Some students don't always know their exact course name or professor and additional search functionality might yield more successful results.

The new Systems liaison with ASC, Tracey Meyer, said she can give out new passwords and the URL for the New Sirsi-Dynix website if anyone needs them to monitor the enhancement forums.

3. Item Type Conversion changes: in-process, circ-on-the-fly, local maint.

Andy reviewed new documentation for “Circ-on-the-fly’, or circulating items that do not have a barcode and cannot be located in the online catalog. In these situations, staffers create brief title entries that during the charge period can be converted into proper catalog records. The key portion of Andy’s documentation concerned proper creation of circulation notes that trigger a pop up box upon return to remind staff to send it to DTS for review.

The revised documentation was made necessary by the Item Type conversion project, which has changed some aspects of the circulation wizards’ function. The title “Non-Roman Alphabet Title” should be made in the required Title field for books with titles in Japanese, Russian and other non-standard languages.

In the following discussion, Judy suggested we compose comprehensive documentation on all the notes/messages that appear in the pop-up box upon discharge—what are the various messages we see while discharging and what actions do we take? This could also be used as a training tool for student workers who discharge. Barry and Jeff then discussed how the different branches handle circ-on-the-fly items when they are returned. At Alexander Library, these items are simply loaded on a book truck and taken downstairs. But at a branch library like, Kilmer, students have to be trained to notice the routing notes.

Jeff was concerned that using the Edit Item wizard would require use of an override. Tracey replied that Systems could give the circ desk logins permission to operate the Edit Item wizard without an override. Judy said she would send out a reminder for staff to update the properties in their Add Brief Title and Edit Title wizards to accommodate the new procedures.

-In-Process No More
With the Item Type Conversion, items on their way to home libraries after cataloging will no longer have an “In-Process” status. From here on in, all items will simply be “in-transit.” Staff at receiving libraries only need discharge (see UPDATE below) them to integrate them into their collections. Any such incoming items missed by staff will be identified by the regular “in-transit” reports and corrected.

Andy said the hope is that the new arrangement will cut down on the number of In-Process items that have lingered for sometimes more than a decade. There’s an In-Process for every month since July 1997 – 22,000 items right now. Dean Meister was worried that the new discharge process would skew circulation statistics for receiving libraries. “There will be more discharges than charges,” he said. “It will look weird.” UPDATE: Considering Dean’s point, staff will use the “receive transit” wizard instead of “Discharge” upon receiving new items to their collections. This will avoid creating false discharge statistics.

4. Updates and Information Sharing.

-ERES win directory.
The committee endorsed a separate ERES subdirectory for Winter Session (held during the winter intersession). Previously the temporary catalog records generated for Winter Session reserves, for articles mostly, were placed on the spring subdirectory, and then deleted in May with the rest of the spring records. During the discussion, the automated remove date for Winter reserve records was moved from Jan. 26 (the time of the Fall subdirectory removal date) to mid-February. Zohreh said this might accommodate Winter Session students with incompletes.

-Search Warrants and CPUs
Penny briefed the committee on the seizure of one of the Douglass Information Commons computers by New Brunswick prosecuting attorneys. The attorneys arrived with Rutgers Police to impound a computer from which unspecified criminal threats had been made via email. (The matter is under investigation and no details were released.) Penny immediately contacted Valeda and she, Francoise, and Jeanne arrived onsite. The computer was held in the staff area pending receipt of the subpoena which was on its way to University Counsel.

Brief Notes

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/access_serv_com/minutes/access_serv_comm_min_08_07_10.shtml
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