HOLLIS Administrative Advisory Committee
Meeting 59
May 18, 1993

1. Report of Group for Automating Reserves Processing (GARP), Continued Again
2. Prioritization of OIS Projects


Bob Buckwalter, Priscilla Caplan, John Collins, Michael Fitzgerald, Rodney Goins, Lynne Schmelz-Keil (chair), Ted Pappadopoulos, Mark Van Baalen, Judy Warnement, Robin Wendler (recording), Charles Willard

Absent: Marianne Burke, Dale Flecker, Carrie Kent


Mary Frances Angellini, Paula Ebbitt, Kate Ellis, Jennifer Hanlin, Jon Lanham, Floyd Sweeting

Future Meetings: In the OIS Conference Room,

                    June 15, 3:00-5:00

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

Discussion continued on the GARP recommendation of the use of microcomputers to perform a certain set of reserves functions. While there was agreement that PC technology was better suited to these functions (e.g.; word-processing for notices, statistical analyses) than the HOLLIS environment, it was unclear to what extent the development of PC applications for reserves or the packaging of common reserves functions using commercial software should be centralized. The group considered what role OIS should play in this development, or conversely, how much knowledgeable staff will libraries have to provide. Kate Ellis pointed out that a number of reserves units already use database management software, and thus already have some expertise in-house. Priscilla Caplan reminded the group that having a useable downloading format to meet reserve needs will require a certain amount of analysis of common needs and standardization up front. Designing this downloading format is one of the issues the GARP report identified for further specification.

Kate described a range of support options, varying from the completely prescriptive to completely laissez-faire. HAAC members and guests each felt that their libraries could develop the needed functionality in-house or with support available within their faculty.

HAAC then approved each recommendation of the report, with the following comments:

In section 3.1, GARP recommends that bibliographic records and linked item records be created for all reserve items. It was pointed out that there would be no way to provide the necessary reserves functionality based on the information available in unlinked item records alone.

Section 4.4, which recommends that OIS work with reserves units to pull existing HULPR records for an initial reserves database load, was something Cilla was prepared to investigate, but could not commit to. It may be an unsupportable amount of work.

Section 4.5, recommending a templating feature for course reserve statements, was clarified to explicitly refer to a PC-based macro facility, not to HOLLIS programming.

In Section 5, HAAC chose to split the outstanding issues between two groups, one to specify PC and downloading needs, and another to design public screen displays. Cilla suggested that the first pass on the PC issues might be made as part of the end-user reporting project in OIS. The group addressing end-user reporting can be widened to include circ and reserves staff, so that we come up with a single coherent solution addressing the range of reporting needs. The second topic will be referred to the SSHUSH help screen subcommittee, with supplementary members from the reserves communiity.

Cilla asked whether GARP recommended keyword-indexing the reserves database, and Kate noted that keyword access was not a high priority, and that the volatile, time-sensitive nature of the file would require nightly regeneration of keyword indexes and might not be practical.

HAAC unanimously approved the report.

2. Prioritization of OIS Projects

As part of OIS' recent reorganization, it is attempting to streamline and clarify the processes by which work in the office is identified, prioritized, and performed. There has been great confusion about how OIS work is prioritized, with good reason. In the past, there have been many routes into the project queue: large projects came to HAAC, enhancements were overseen by HOLLIS Liaisons, dataloads had their own separate queue, infrastructure projects were also separate, and many priorities were established outside of these channels by upper-level library management or due to developments outside the university. To make things even more confusing, the distinction between large projects, which were handled by the Development Division, and enhancements, which were programmed by the Production Services Division, has become increasing blurred in recent years.

Under the new structure, there will be three work streams: projects (requiring more than 50 man-hours), enhancements (requiring fewer than 50 man-hours), and infrastructure. HAAC will prioritize all projects. The prioritization mechanism for enhancements is being devised by the the new OIS Library Services Division. Infrastructure projects will be prioritized within OIS.

Cilla introduced two project lists, one of active OIS projects and one of pending projects to be prioritized by HAAC. Unlike previous lists, it includes only projects which have become viable, for example, the EXPRESS project is not on the list at this time because it is contingent upon an equipment grant which has not yet been approved. The list will be updated and re-prioritized as each new project becomes "official", rather than annually as before.

The group asked for information on several of the listed items, and particularly discussed the user comment facility. Cilla noted that this has been on the list for a long time, and has been held up not by technical difficulty, but by the need for a central unit to take responsibility for reviewing and responding to the comments. Recently, the College has agreed to take this on. Ted pointed out that what was missing was a mechanism for posting replies. The group agreed that such a mechanism was desirable, possibly in VINE or via a gopher. Mark Van Baalen added that the libraries should coordinate with OIT on how to handle the technical questions which come in. Wider discussions may in order as this project is specified.

Cilla added that the projects will not be single-threaded, and it is likely that prioritization decisions can be implemented in short order.

HAAC will continue discussion and will attempt to prioritize the project list at the next meeting.


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