Minutes of Standing Advisory Commitee on Technical and Automated Services
Minutes, Thursday, November 5, 1998, Dana Library

Haynes, Hemmasi, Jeng, King (recorder), Montanaro, Papai, Smulewitz (for Page), Tipton, Weber

1. Reports


A demonstration of VALE was held recently and the interface appears straightforward. The system will go live November 16th. Three VALE databases also available at RUL through OVID (ABI, CINAHL, and Periodicals Abstracts) may continue to be available through OVID through the end of the semester.

Cabinet review (selected agenda items): A discussion concerning instructional technology support was begun, to address such issues as coordination within the Libraries and with other areas of the University. Also discussed: the planning of strategies to envision fulfillment of the Libraries' five-year plan, including ways to better avoid last minute scrambling to meet budget cuts (or the lack of funds to cover inflation), as well as projected staffing and equipment needs (a preliminary discussion only). Dr. Seneca's request for a list of RUL partnerships (previously shared with SACOTAS members in e-mail form) was also reiterated.


Representatives from BNA are coming December 1st for the day. The meeting site--probably TSB--will be included in the general announcement to be sent out by J. Sloan. Possible topics include: 1) a review of the approval plan, 2) the standardization of invoices, and 3) a review of BNA technical options (such as expanded use of BNA-supplied MARC records).

Representatives from the Princeton University Library, interested in serials and acquisitions functions in SIRSI, will be visiting November 16th.

A Library Assistant II position has been filled; the new person will start November 16th.


Cataloging of more titles in World Bank, OECD and UNESCO publications for ALEX and LSM is beginning. Database Management is engaged in weeding and compressing the shelflists. Cross training initiatives continue: some staff in Acquisitions have learned to add copy/location information for gift items; a few staff in Cataloging are also learning about acquisitions work. The design phase for a brief, online error reporting form in IRIS (to allow patrons and RUL personnel to submit misspellings, call number errors, non-functioning URLs, etc.) has begun. As currently envisioned, this page, to be accessed from an added button along the top of the IRIS screens, will primarily have pulldown menus (in an attempt to limit the categories of problems reported), but a free text field for comments also will be included. It is anticipated that these reports will go to the Requests A Team who will then route them to Database Management based on a unique status indicator in the request.

Interviewing for a Librarian V position is continuing.


The Microcomputer Coordinator line (open since the summer) remains unfilled. Dave Hoover has been devoting most of his time to VALE implementation, hence systems is effectively down two people.

All Novell servers in the Libraries will be upgraded by the end of the year. In addition, Systems will be upgrading certain troublesome public Pentium PCs to 32 mb of RAM.

The WorkFlows client for Unicorn will be introduced in TAS in the next few weeks and is currently being introduced in the "Understanding Financial Data in UNICORN" workshop. The Acquisitions Dept will begin training in Workflows and other staff functions will gradually be trained to use this software.

As a representative to the University Y2K compliance committee, AM mentioned that both the voucher payroll program used in the Libraries Administration and the booking system used by Media Services are known to be noncompliant and in need of replacement.

2. "Copy Info" in Unicorn bibliographic record

Consideration of this agenda item was postponed until December.

3. Placement of barcode on CD-ROM jewel cases

Input was sought regarding the utility of placing barcodes on the back of jewel cases, given the propensity of the hinged cover to break, rather than on the front. No compelling need to make a change was expressed by those present. HAH may seek additional input via e-mail.

4. Networked Resources Request Form [cover memo + 5p. document; previously distributed via campus mail]

A draft document, put together by the AULs and the TAS Networked Resources Committee, was circulated. The goal is to define TAS's role in helping to acquire these materials (e.g., tracking, registering and cataloging) in those instances when the resource is one that requires or allows institutional registration, whether the resource is free or paid. It is anticipated that the form, in its final version, will be mounted on the web; it could then be filled out by selectors and submitted to TAS online, or printed out and submitted through campus mail. Selectors are being encouraged to begin using the form now, although further revisions are anticipated.

5. Recon update [1 p. handout ("RECON STATISTICS") dated 11/3/98; distributed at meeting]

Further reviews of various shelflists have taken place. The initial estimate of over 700,000 items without MARC records in IRIS is reduced to 560,000 after a count of brief records in IRIS was done. Of this latter number, 355,000 may be adds, leaving an estimated 205,00 titles which lack MARC records in IRIS.

Initial, informal inquiries were sent to 4 recon vendors, including a sample of 290 shelflist cards. Preliminary price quotes are sought for converting titles only and for both converting titles and adding copies.

A concern was raised regarding microfilm sets, especially at ALEX, which have no online records to attach to by persons placing requests. The possibility of creating title level records without analytics for these sets will be explored and HAH will consult with the other AULs to get a preliminary sense of whether this project should be fast tracked.

6. Inventory of uncataloged items in the units [draft document distributed at October SACOTAS meeting]

The updated list of totally uncataloged items will be forwarded to the other SACs, with a note requesting additional input from members of other SACs. SACOTAS also anticipates help from the other SACs in prioritizing the cataloging of these items.

7. SACOTAS alliances

The need to continue to review which other groups SACOTAS relates to, and in what ways, was emphasized. HAH then introduced the topic of creating a systemwide serials operations group to address certain issues formerly in the purview of the INNOPAC Management Group and the LIS Implementation Committee. She will pursue pulling together such a group and seek additional input regarding membership.

A discussion of the content and format of SACOTAS meetings was held during which several concerns about SIRSI also were aired. Several possibilities for expanding the range and impact of discussions at SACOTAS meetings were mentioned: 1) identifying articles from current literature for discussion, 2) seeking out technical demos of local solutions (e.g., procedural fixes, work arounds and shortcuts) of interest to multiple venues, and 3) highlighting a single operational issue at each meeting. The usefulness of framing discussion issues in written form for advance distribution was stressed.

8. Round robin

Papai: Interviews are being conducted for an open Library Assist. II position of Evening Supervisor in Media Services. Reminder: people should not be adding copies to IRIS records for Hungarian Foundation materials.

King: Finding aids marked up in Encoded Archival Description (an SGML DTD) will be included among the demonstrations at the State of the Libraries Meeting.

Next meeting: December 3rd at 9:30 a.m. in the TSB conference room.

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/tsc/minutes/tsc_98_11.shtml
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