HOLLIS Administrative Advisory Committee
Meeting 58
April 13, 1993

1. Report of Group for Automating Reserves Processing (GARP), Continued
2. Updates
2.1. EXPRESS
2.2 Automation Planning Committee
2.3 TECHLINK

Attending:

Bob Buckwalter, Marianne Burke, Priscilla Caplan, John Collins, Michael Fitzgerald, Dale Flecker, Lynne Schmelz-Keil (chair), Carrie Kent, Ted Pappadopoulos, Mark Van Baalen, Judy Warnement, Robin Wendler (recording), Charles Willard

Absent: Rodney Goins

Guests: Mary Frances Angellini, Paula Ebbitt, Kate Ellis, Jon Lanham, Floyd Sweeting

Future Meetings: In the OIS Conference Room,

          May 18, 3:00-5:00   
          June 15, 3:00-5:00

1. Report of Group for Automating Reserves Processing (GARP), Continued

HAAC picked up Charles Willard's question from the previous meeting: why is it better to create a separate reserves database? A number of task force members and HAAC members explained that while their initial preference was for adding reserves information to records in the HU database, several factors influenced them in favor of a separate database. A separate, smaller database was seen as advantageous for searching for reserves items, particularly those in large retrieval sets such as Shakespeare, or those with sketchy bibliographic information. Many items on reserve are conceptually different from those in HU; reserve items may not be owned by the library, or may not be part of the permanent collection. A separate database would acknowledge that reserves materials may not be described in adherence to prevaling bibliographic standards. A separate database allows for wide variation in cataloging practices, including the addition of non-standard access points. The public catalog environment could be tailored for reserves material in a separate database, with special HELP screens. It will be easier to perform automatic functions on reserve items, such as removing them from reserve, if they are in a discrete location.

There are also disadvantages to a separate reserves database. Users not looking for reserves material will have to perform an extra search to determine if reserve items are checked out. Staff will have to issue an extra search when putting materials on reserve.

Priscilla Caplan was asked whether either method would be easier to implement, and replied that while there were different tricky aspects to each proposal, they were probably of comparable difficulty.

HAAC accepted the separate database model proposed by the committee by a vote of 8 to 2, with 1 abstention.

To introduce the second portion of the report, Kate Ellis explained that while many course reserves functions would benefit from automation, much of the information does not need to be in HOLLIS and HOLLIS is ill-suited to the type of manipulation necessary, such as macros, word-processing, and statistical analysis. Therefore, the task force recommended that these functions be performed on local microcomputer workstations.

Dale Flecker asked what functions would happen on the workstation, and would OIS have development responsibility or would each library arrive at its own setup? The task force members had varying opinions and little technical expertise, therefore it felt that it could not specify the level of OIS support. Lynne Schmelz-Keil pointed out that smaller units might have difficulty meeting their needs without significant support. John Collins felt that units would develop the processing expertise they needed as long as the data was available to them. Ted Pappadopoulos commented that OIT's experience with the Information Utility was that originally there was not enough commonality to create packaged reports, but that over time common needs were identified and tools developed. Judy Warnement suggested that this is exactly the area where a users' group is most valuable to share developing expertise. Dale added that the College had expressed an interest in having workstation functions developed. He pointed out that the advantage of moving this functionality out of the mainframe is that units can customize their processing, but that the attendant danger is that in many units that second phase (where customizing would be done) may never happen. Robin Wendler added that centralizing this development has implications for hardware standardization which the decentralized model does not.

Jon Lanham and Floyd Sweeting said that reserves units need both flexibility and technical support. Dale suggested that OIS could provide template applications, for use as is or with locally programmed modifications. Mark Van Baalen raised the issue that the intelligence of PCs can be applied to other library functions, and we should begin moving toward creating a world of tools.

HAAC will continue this discussion at the May 18 meeting.

2. Updates

2.1. EXPRESS

HUL has a proposal for a project between Harvard, Intel, and OCLC where OCLC would port its SITESEARCH software to Intel's Pentium 586 microcomputer. We would receive a limited 2-year license for search software, loaders, and a Z39.50 client. There are two experiments proposed:

  1. Split a large database across several machines to search in parallel, and use the client to unify the results into a single set.
  2. Hire an SGML editor to create an SGML style sheet, and to contact HU units to identify small textual databases for mounting/searching.

2.2 Automation Planning Committee

The next meeting will cover Document Delivery and Technical Services Automation Trends. The commitee is also lunching with Jennifer Younger to glean her ideas on these topics.

2.3 TECHLINK

NOTIS has been working on a project proposal to create a Z39.50 workstation application to interact with local systems and utilities to retrieve MARC records into the local system. [This proposal has since been cancelled.-- R.W.]


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