Automation / Resource Sharing Advisory Committee Minutes
January 10, 2002

Present:         W. Alexander (Rosendale), C. Briggs (Hillsdale), J. Cohen (MHLS), L. Crow (MHLS), S. DiLorenzo (MHLS), E. Farley (Haines Falls), N. Foster (PPLD), J. Huen (PPLD), S. Long (East Fishkill), K. O’Brien (MHLS), D. Pulice (Pleasant Valley), L. Shedrick (Town of Ulster)

Absent:                  D. Boyer (Kent), F. Rees (Hudson), B. Spataro (Palenville), G. Thorpe (Cold Spring)

Materials Distributed:  Agenda, New SCAT codes for III: Annual report category and Dewey SCAT mapping, New library codes for III, Current patron town codes and current towns in patron records

Topics Discussed:

I.       New membership guidelines for advisory committees

As previously decided, the committee membership will be reduced to seven members using the following guidelines: 2 members from Dutchess and Ulster Counties (1 small library + 1 large library), 1 from Columbia, Putnam, and Greene Counties.  These members can be the director, assistant director or branch manager from any library.  These members should be chosen at the next County Director’s meeting.  Terms will be 2 years for some members and 4 years for others, so that membership will expire on a staggered basis.  A new chairman will be chosen as soon as committee membership is decided.

The location for the meetings was also discussed.  It was agreed that any meetings not at Mid-Hudson should be centrally located to the Poughkeepsie area to try to keep the commuting distance relatively similar for all members from the farther counties.

II.             Progress of III Implementation and Evaluation of test system

The III data consultant spent two days at Mid-Hudson (Jan. 3rd and 4th) to review the beginning steps in downloading our database.  100,000 bibliographic records will be loaded on a test OPAC as a first step in our migration.  Worksheets were submitted to map our scat and location codes and specify our indexing rules.  We will then have until March 7th to evaluate this test database before the entire database is migrated.  It is necessary that as many people as possible evaluate the test OPAC to see if it works as expected.  Instructions for access and evaluation will be provided when this test system is ready in January.  To evaluate what will carry forward to our OPAC, you will need to look at:

1.              Configuration of records, including format of display
2.              Statistics and reports that can be obtained
3.              Indexes and searching, especially the search limits and the use of different types of searches.

Any change to record structure can be made for no charge until March 7th, but will incur a charge after that.  In order to help evaluate our test OPAC, it is suggested that you should spend time visiting the other OPACS linked on our home page to see what you like or dislike about some of the many options that are available.  The display can be customized later, but record structure must be finalized by this date.

         As far as the transfer of the circulation data, we do not have the final details.  As of now, we will not transfer the patron holds from GEAC.  There will be a moratorium on patron-placed holds for a period before the migration.  The overdue fines and bills will be migrated as manual charges, which will then need to be removed manually when satisfied.    There is also a good possibility that dual entry of item and patron records will be necessary for a short period also.  

One problem that was noted with patron records was the patron password.  Although the patron will only have to sign in once in the new system, the current alpha passwords will no longer be valid.  III uses numeric passwords.  We hope to transfer over the last four digits of the phone number for the startup password, which can then be changed by the patron.

III.     Statistical categories for items and patrons in III

         Location codes:  New location codes were needed to alphabetize all our libraries.  The new list is based on the actual name of the library and many are the first three letters of the library, wherever possible.

         NYS Annual report statistics:  Because of the increased functionality in III’s report module, we will add a new scat code for annual report categories, called ICODE2.  These will be a one-digit alpha code for all report categories.        

         SCAT mapping:  Our current system is based on item format and age level and is very difficult to use.  Since we have an opportunity to change the current system, we are trying to simplify it.  All old SCATs will be transferred to the new records, but ICODE2 and a location code will be mapped to the new system as the primary source for statistical information in your collection.  Also available will be a new code, ICODE1, which will be available for special collections.

         Patron codes:  We have not worked on the conversion of these records as yet.  There will be 4 statistical codes available in the patron record.  We are considering using them for gender, birth decade, town scat and zip code.

IV.  Other

Retrieval of 2002 circulation statistics from GEAC:  After the migration, the circulation reports will be done for the beginning of the year from the old system.  These will have to be added to the III statistics at the end of the year.

Training for III

MHLS staff will be trained first so they can assist the III trainer at the training for library  staff.  There will be 10 days of training offered which can accommodate 80 people.  One person per library will be trained, with one or two days set aside for staff from libraries that are now offline.  In addition to the one person from each library, there will be 2 people from each county trained as resource people.  After the initial training, MHLS staff and these resource people will do additional training in the libraries.  During the last two weeks before implementation of the new system, MHLS staff will visit each library to review all necessary procedures.                          

ACTIONS

The Committee recommends that standardization of system-wide circulation parameters be instituted.  We are recommending 3-week circulation for the majority of items, with each library deciding what they would like to circulate for a 1-week period.  There should be one renewal per item for any item format if no holds exist.  As mentioned in the past, when we migrate to the new system, the loan rules of the lending agency will be followed.  Again, to improve service to the public using system holds, it would be less confusing if all libraries that supply system holds follow the same set of parameters for due dates, fines, etc.

Next committee meeting: Feb. 15, 2002

Minutes recorded by Karen O’Brien                                        January 11, 2002