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HOLLIS Newsletter

Volume 6, Number 5 (May 1991)

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  • Agenda for Liaisons meeting
  • Notes from April meeting
  • SH database is up
  • Index Enhancements
  • Access to RLIN and EPIC
  • Testers needed for Internet access
  • Changes at OCLC
  • Change to authority record fixed field
  • HULPR dial problems subside
  • Managers' meeting agenda
  • Network support timetable
  • Holiday hours
  • EMS signon tip
  • LOC resequencing
  • Current projects reviewed
  • Feature Articles
  • Overview of OCLC services
  • Review of OSPR enhancement lists
  • Notes and Reminders
  • Order weed completed
  • Page missing from DUC
  • Change to USMARC Holdings Format
  • Response time testing
  • HOLLIS Hints
  • Renumbering o/p/r receipt statements
  • Network Notes
  • Better barcode scanning
  • Changes to the Vendor File

    Agenda for HOLLIS Liaisons Meeting #65
    May 9, 1991
    Lamont Forum Room, 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.

    1. Announcements: T. Robinson
    2. Review of "Hook to holdings" specifications and project status: P. Caplan
    3. Review of enhancement list - part two: T. Robinson

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    Notes from the April Meeting
    SH database up and running. The Library of Congress subject headings (SH) database is now available in HULPR technical services mode. OSPR is scheduled to process the first updates from LC the week of 15 April. OSPR has designed printed reports that will help us keep the HU authority file "in-sync" with updates to the SH database. These reports will have a very limited distribution due to the fact that most subject authority work is currently done centrally.

    Index enhancements -- another update. OSPR is performing the final tests on several indexing enhancements suggested by library staff (see the March 1991 HOLLIS Newsletter for details). All indexes will be regenerated in May to reflect these changes and OSPR will notify library staff via EMS when these changes are in production.

    Access to RLIN and EPIC. RLIN and EPIC will be the first two systems available over the Internet from a HOLLIS terminal. RLIN and EPIC are scheduled to become options on the OIT Options Menu in June. In addition, OSPR is still testing Internet connections to the EBSCO and FAXON systems. EBSCO and FAXON are currently available from the OIT menu -- the only change will be to the access method (that is, most of the changes should be invisible to system users). OSPR will notify library staff in this newsletter and via electronic mail when new systems become available over the Internet In response to a question about training, Tracey noted that OSPR will not provide training on either RLIN or EPIC. Library staff who are interested should review their training needs with other staff in their units and perhaps contact the particular vendor or NELINET.

    Call for RLIN and EPIC testers. OSPR requests that staff who have experience with the RLIN or EPIC systems assist in testing the new Internet connection to these systems. Follow the instructions below to access either RLIN or EPIC. (Please note that staff who dial into HULPR cannot test the Internet connection. Only staff working from dedicated staff terminals have access.) If you test the Internet connection to RLIN or EPIC and encounter any problems, contact Dora Volfson at OSPR (495-3724).

    Please note: Current access to RLIN and EPIC from a staff terminal is available on a test basis. We cannot assure consistent service levels until testing is completed and these functions are "productionized" in June, i.e., proceed at your own risk!

    For EPIC:

    1. On the OIT menu screen (the one that lists hulpr, hollis, etc.) type: "logon applid(telnet)" and press the (ENTER) or (RETURN) key.
    2. From the Telnet Primary Option menu, type "epic" at the Option prompt on the top line and press the (ENTER) or (RETURN) key.
    3. Wait until the EPIC logon prompt displays and proceed as usual.

    To end an EPIC session, hold down the (CTRL) key and press F1 (this is the equivalent of PA1).

    For RLIN: type "rlin" at the OIT menu screen and press the (ENTER) or (RETURN) key. Proceed as usual.

    The Internet connection to RLIN should only be used for searching. Character set limitations will lead to unpredictable results in updated records.

    Changes at OCLC. Robin Wendler presented an overview of changes to OCLC systems and services. See "Changes at OCLC" in the Feature Articles section of this newsletter for a full account of Robin's presentation.

    Change to authority record fixed field. OSPR is considering a staff request to move the authority record fixed field element D/I (direct/indirect subject subdivision code) position to the end of the fixed field and to rename this element GEOG. These changes will create a more meaningful display. Liaisons who have comments or questions about this proposed change should contact Robin Wendler at OSPR (495-3724). Liaisons had no comment at this meeting and if Robin does not receive any objections, OSPR will go ahead with this display change.

    Follow-up of HULPR dial-up problems. Liaisons report that they have not heard of further problems with busy HULPR dial-up lines (that is, all four HULPR dial-up ports are no longer continually tied up). Tracey noted that OSPR billing statistics indicate that HULPR dial-up activity has dropped off somewhat over the last few months so it is clearly not the case that additional ports are needed. Staff should contact OSPR if they have problems accessing HULPR dial-up in the future.

    HOLLIS Managers meeting -- an update. The spring 1991 HOLLIS Managers meeting is scheduled for Thursday, 18 April, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Lamont Forum room. The agenda for this meeting has been distributed to library managers. Tracey urged liaisons to check that their managers received this agenda. The topic of "business resumption" (that is, how HOLLIS recovers from a disaster) is a high priority item on the spring agenda. We are highly dependent on our online systems when performing work-related tasks and it is clear that we need to make provisions for restoring system functions in the event of a disaster. OSPR needs feedback from both managers and their staff about what HOLLIS functions are critical and what the time frame for recovery should be (systems up in 3 days, 2 weeks, etc.). Managers have been encouraged to bring along other staff members who have ideas to contribute about "business resumption" planning. If you have any questions, contact Tracey Robinson or Dale Flecker at OSPR (495-3724).

    HOLLIS network support in June. Steve Thornton (Network and Communication Specialist) will be on vacation from June 1 to June 23. During this time Systems Librarian Walter Stine will provide routine network support. However, in Steve's absence, OSPR will not provide such services as ordering, installing, or moving terminals, muxes, or printers. Libraries that have imminent needs for equipment installation or moving (that is, by the end of this fiscal year) should submit requests to Steve as soon as possible. It is unlikely that Steve can schedule any more installs before he leaves in June, but he can at least complete the planning and equipment orders.

    Libraries that have already scheduled installs or moves (such as Wolbach, Fine Arts, Slavic/Middle East) will see these projects completed in April and May, before Steve leaves. If you have any questions, please contact Steve at OSPR (495-3724).

    HOLLIS and HULPR holiday schedule. The following proposed fiscal 1992 holiday schedule was reviewed:

    Holiday hours
    HolidayDateNot available:
    Independence DayJuly 4all day
    Labor DaySeptember 2all day
    Thanksgiving DayNovember 28all day
    Christmas EveDecember 24from 12 noon
    Christmas DayDecember 25all day
    New Year's EveDecember 31from 5:00 PM
    New Year's DayJanuary 1all day

    Tracey asked Public Services liaisons to consider whether the Public Catalog (HOLLIS) should be available on these holidays. If you have comments or questions regarding this issue please contact Tracey Robinson at OSPR (495- 3724).

    EMS signon customization. The electronic mail software (EMS) available through HOLLIS has a feature that allows you to link your EMS signon to your HULPR signon. With this feature, you signon to HULPR normally and after you type the "ems" transaction identifier and press (ENTER), the system automatically signs on to EMS for you and displays the EMS menu. This handy feature is only available to staff who have individual HULPR signons and individual EMS signons. Contact Kate Mullen at OSPR (495-3724) for more information.

    LOC resequencing revisited. An article in the October 1990 HOLLIS Newsletter described problems related to the resequencing of library locations (LOC fields) on bibliographic records. At their September 1990 meeting Liaisons agreed that resequencing of serial LOCs should be strongly discouraged but that LOCs on non-serial records could be resequenced if a library has a good reason to do so. Resequencing of LOCs does occasionally cause catalog targeting to fail. Library staff should be aware of this possible negative side effect of resequencing LOCs. If you have questions or comments, contact Tracey Robinson at OSPR (495-3724).

    A review of OSPR enhancement projects. OSPR staff members reviewed current and proposed enhancement projects currently underway in OSPR. See the "Review of OSPR Enhancement Projects" in the Feature Articles section of this newsletter for a detailed account of this presentation.

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    Feature Articles
    Changes at OCLC. Many changes are taking place at OCLC, as the company develops its existing services and branches out into new areas of library information. The advent of the new communication network, new terminal software (Passport), the new system (PRISM), new reference services (EPIC and FIRST SEARCH), has left many librarians a little overwhelmed. The following table presents an overview of OCLC systems and services as of January 1992.

    PRISMcataloging subsystem, online union catalog, authority files, combination searching, menus,browse title indexdedicated OCLC terminal or dial-up w or w/out Passporttraditional, costs based on activity contribution pricing
    FIRSTILL subsystem, Name-address directory, union list of serials, derived searches onlysame as PRISMsame as PRISM
    EPIConline reference system, extended searching of OLUC and citation dbases, Boolean searchingdedicated OCLC terminals, dial-up, Inetcharges for connect time plus per record display or print charges
    FIRST SEARCHLimited searching of OLUC. User-friendly patron interface, menus. Same as EPIC.priced per search, can purchase blocks of searches.

    OSPR has arranged for NELINET representatives to come out to Cambridge and give a presentation for all interested Harvard library staff on current and future OCLC developments, including demonstrations of the various available services. They will also be prepared to answer questions about their services and about OCLC's planning for the future. The session will be held in Science Center C, 10 May, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm. Interested staff members are asked to please call Eric Young at 495-3724 if you are planning to attend so we have enough handouts for everybody. Please come and help us all broaden our understanding of how OCLC changes will affect our work.

    Review of OSPR Enhancements Projects. This review is an attempt to identify all of the current HOLLIS projects underway in OSPR and acquaint library staff with the various lists on which these projects reside.

    By this time, most library staff are intimately acquainted with the HOLLIS enhancements list - a list that OSPR staff and liaisons review at least once a year. This list contains HOLLIS improvements suggested by liaisons and other library staff, and any outstanding system bugs that have not yet been fixed. The OSPR Production Services division maintains this list and is responsible for investigating and programming these enhancements.

    OSPR's Systems Development Division maintains a list of HOLLIS development projects that are not part of the Production Services list and are not routinely reviewed by HOLLIS liaisons. These are major development projects that HAAC (the HOLLIS Administrative Advisory Committee) approves and prioritizes. There are many sources of these major projects, including OSPR, library managers and staff, and the pressing needs of other University or College library projects (such as recon or the HCL strategic planning process). Occasionally, an item will move from the Production Services list to the Systems Development list (or vice versa), depending on which OSPR Division is most appropriate. At the spring and fall HOLLIS managers meetings, OSPR pulls together appropriate projects from both lists for discussion.

    Systems Development Division projects. Priscilla Caplan, head of OSPR's Systems Development Division, described for liaisons her division's current list of projects and plans. The following is a list of projects in the development or investigation stage. OSPR is willing to discuss any of these topics at greater length, if liaisons are interested.

    1. Support for downloading. OSPR is in the process of drafting a timeline for the implementation of downloading HOLLIS records based on electronic mail. A functional specification for downloading via e- mail has been forwarded to the SSHUSH (Standing Subcommittee of HAAC on User Services in HOLLIS) for their review, comment, and approval. We estimate that this feature will become available in time for the 1991 fall semester. [An in-depth review of HOLLIS public catalog downloading options appeared in the April HOLLIS Newsletter.]
    2. Requesting library holdings from a citation record. In phase 3 of the "Other Databases" project, OSPR is developing the capability to request a display of Harvard locations and holdings while displaying a citation record (such as from the AI or LR database). This "hook to holdings" feature is tentatively scheduled to become available in time for the 1991 fall semester.
    3. Circulation reporting enhancements. OSPR plans to add information about patrons, bill/fine records, and uncharged library materials to the circulation reporting feature.
    4. Improved interface with bibliographic utilities. OSPR is investigating the possibility of real-time transfer of bibliographic records from OCLC to HOLLIS.
    5. Quality control of subject and name headings. OSPR and OCLC are jointly investigating whether Harvard can employ OCLC's quality control procedures during recon projects for Harvard library collections.

    The following are proposed projects that OSPR is not yet actively investigating. All have been reviewed by HAAC except numbers 9, 10 and 11, which are relatively new to the list.

    1. Global headings changes
    2. Recon issues
    3. Authority control
    4. Gateways to external databases (this involves both staff and public access to systems over the Internet)
    5. Microcomputer backup for online circulation functions
    6. Circulation course reserves
    7. Support for non-Roman characters (such as Chinese-Japanese-Korean)
    8. New search engine for keyword
    9. Enhancements to call number indexes
    10. Enhancements related to Harvard depository transfers
    11. Enhancements related to document delivery

    Production Services Division projects. Heather Reid (Manager, Technical Support) reviewed a number of recently completed or in-progress enhancements to HOLLIS. Most of the projects on this list originated on the OSPR Production Services enhancements list.

    Projects completed or in-process

    1. Ability to template bibliographic records. The new DERIve command allows an operator to create a record for a different edition of a previously cataloged title, or to put certain commonly recurring fields in a series of records.
    2. Qualifying by the information format. You can now add the //fo=inf qualifier to the end of HOLLIS string searches to limit search results to information format records.
    3. Improve inserting feature in bibliographic records. It is not technically feasible to implement an ideal solution. This item has been removed from the list. The HOLLIS Hints section of the December 1990 HOLLIS Newsletter presented an alternative method for inserting data into a variable length field.
    4. Transfer machine-readable data to Accounts Payable Department. OSPR is currently investigating the electronic transfer of accounting information to Accounts Payable.
    5. Produce bibliographic lists containing financial information. OSPR is developing specifications for new bibliographic lists that include financial information. Heather Reid will set up a working group to make recommendations on the format of these new lists.
    6. Music indexing changes. Programming and implementation of various indexing changes (reported in the March 1991 HOLLIS Newsletter) is scheduled for May.
    7. Loading the Library of Congress subject headings file. The SH database is now available in staff mode. OSPR is currently designing printed reports that will help us keep the HU authority file "in-sync" with updates to the SH database.
    8. Catalog expansion projects. There are a number of projects and proposals to add to the HU database batches of data from cataloged sets (such as microform sets) or as the result of recon projects. OSPR must develop programs to cope with this data since most of it will not be coming in a standard form from a major utility (OCLC, RLIN, LC).
    9. Improving/expanding products printed on the OIT laser printer. OSPR is just about ready to print shelflist cards on the OIT laser printer. Since laser-printed shelflist cards require a different type of card stock, OSPR will exhaust its current supply of the old stock before moving to the laser printer. Expect this move to take place by the beginning of June. OSPR will pursue the possibility of laser printing other HOLLIS products -- although issues related to cost and the availability of machine-readable data may affect decisions about laser-printing of products.
    10. Circulation subsystem enhancements. OSPR recently made some improvements to the bill/fine summary screen display, search lists, and the process of transferring patron records from the Office of Human Resources.
    11. Infrastructure changes. There are a number of changes that remain mostly invisible to HOLLIS users but are vitally important to OSPR's support tasks. These include installing an automated job scheduler, moving HOLLIS data processing from older round tapes to cartridge tape, and moving HOLLIS data storage to modern "disk pacs". The move to disk pacs has noticeably improved keyword search response times.

    Review of current enhancements list

    A current version of OSPR Production Services' HOLLIS enhancements list was appended to the April 1991 HOLLIS Newsletter. At the April meeting, liaisons reviewed approximately half of the list and removed a few items that were either unidentifiable or obsolete. In addition, the following are comments/clarifications on items from the list:

    • Page 4, Item #3 - It is not currently possible to use an operator's security profile to prevent them from viewing ACU or invoice records, as you can for other record types. Currently most operators can "look at" anything in HULPR -- but most are limited to the extent they can update records -- the "bug" has nothing to do with operators who can legitimately update ACU/invoice records.
    • Page 5, Items #1 and #4 are done.
    • Page 5, Item #3 is not a bug as described. For LOC's that are deleted, the index entries are updated -- the problem here is that there is one set of indexes for both technical services and catalog modes. In previous discussions of this topic, liaisons stated a preference for allowing a search qualified by faculty to retrieve records with LOC's of status 'q' or 'x' in technical services mode. It is not possible to have these records treated in a different way depending on what mode is being used to access them. It remains a question as to whether this item should remain on the list.
    • Page 6, Item #2 is done.
    • Page 7, Items #4 and #5 are accidental duplicates of Items #1 and #2 on the same page.
    • Page 8, Items #2 and #5 are done.

    There were also several new enhancements proposed as additions to the list that we did not get a chance to discuss:

    • Binding function -- interface to ABLE (ACME's system).
    • Some revisions to the notify list (comes out after catalog records are loaded).
    • Proposal to change the OPAC escape command -- the command you have to enter on the catalog selection screen to get back to technical services mode.

    We will complete the review of this list at the May meeting. In the meantime, interested liaisons should review the list, identify their top three or four favorite enhancements, and submit these to Tracey Robinson at OSPR.

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    Notes and Reminders
    Order weed complete. A total of 232,910 closed order records with no activity since December 1988 were removed from the HU order file on 12 April. (For those of you keeping count, that leaves 594,663 order records in the file.)

    Those of you who search the REF field in the order record may notice messages indicating records not found. We will be regenerating this string index by Friday, 19 April so the problem will disappear shortly. Please contact Walter Stine at 495-3724 if you have any questions.

    Missing DUC page. Several units have reported that some of the recently-distributed 1991 DUC Supplement fiche sets were missing page 118 and/or 119 of the SUBJECTS portion. OSPR has requested copies of these missing pages from ANACOMP and will distribute them to every unit on the DUC subscription list. If you are not missing either of these fiche pages, just discard the extra copy(-ies) when you receive them. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Changes to the USMARC Holdings Format. A recent MARBI decision calls for the sequence number subfield (subfield 6) in holdings records to be invalidated and subfield 8 used in its place. This decision was made to rationalize the use of subfield 6 across formats, in order to avoid a conflict with the use of subfield 6 for linking to an alternate graphic representation (e.g., CJK vernacular fields) as currently defined in bibliographic records. The change anticipates validation of the subfield 6 in holdings fields where alternate graphic representations may be available. At this time, the change will not be implemented in HOLLIS, and we will continue to use the subfield 6 for the sequence number. When Harvard libraries send holdings records out to other institutions, this subfield will be changed by program to a subfield 8 in order to conform to the new national definition. Libraries which use HOLLIS holdings records should be aware of this discrepancy between HOLLIS holdings and the USMARC format.

    Response time tests. Response time tests are scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month. Upcoming tests are scheduled for: 7 May, 4 June, 2 July, 6 August. Volunteers should mark their calendars appropriately.

    A total of 180 transactions were executed and timed by April response time test volunteers. Almost 70% of all test transactions had response times of 1 second or less! All of the test transactions which took longer than 3 seconds were keyword transactions.

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    HOLLIS Hints
    Renumbering o/p/r receipt statements. Renumbering o/p/r memo (M), note (N), and receipt (R) statements can be a confusing and labor-intensive process. This article presents one method of "tricking" an o/p/r into renumbering receipt statements. You start by changing the number of a receipt statement to that of the statement it should replace, pressing (ENTER) to create a duplicate statement number error condition, and then create a note statement (cstm n). As a result, the o/p/r will insert the note statement, renumber all receipt statements that follow, and eliminate the duplicate statement numbers. There are actually two methods of approaching this, depending on whether you want to move a receipt statement down or up in the list.

    In the following examples, volumes in a series have been checked in out of order. The operator would like to rearrange the receipt statements to have the volumes appear in chronological order.

    Method 1. If you want to move a receipt statement (in example 1, v.6 on statement 013) down to a higher statement number, change that statement's number to the number of the statement it should replace (see example 2). Attempt to file the record (you will get an error message) and then create a note statement (cstm n) and press (ENTER) (see example 3). You can then erase the new note statement.

    Example 1 (before):Example 2 (renumbering):Example 3 (after):

    011 R v.1(1980) 011 R v.1(1980) 012 R v.1(1980)
    012 R v.2(1981) 012 R v.2(1981) 013 R v.2(1981)
    013 R v.6(1985) --> 017 R v.6(1985) 014 R v.3(1982)
    014 R v.3(1982) 014 R v.3(1982) 015 R v.4(1983)
    015 R v.4(1983) 015 R v.4(1983) 016 R v.5(1984)
    016 R v.5(1984) 016 R v.5(1984) --> 017 R v.6(1985)
    017 R v.7(1986) 017 R v.7(1986) 018 R v.7(1986)

    Method 2. If you want to move a receipt statement up to a lower statement number (in example 4, v.2 on statement 014), change that statement's number to the number of the statement preceding the statement it should replace -- in other words, give it a value 1 less than the statement it should replace (see example 5). Attempt to file the record (you will get an error message) and then create a note statement (cstm n) and press (ENTER) (see example 6). You can then erase the new note statement.

    Example 4 (before):Example 5 (renumbering): Example 6 (after):

    011 R v.1(1980) 011 R v.1(1980) 012 R v.1(1980)
    012 R v.3(1982) 012 R v.3(1982) --> 013 R v.2(1981)
    013 R v.4(1983) 013 R v.4(1983) 014 R v.3(1982)
    014 R v.2(1981) --> 011 R v.2(1981) 015 R v.4(1983)
    015 R v.5(1984) 012 R v.5(1984) 016 R v.5(1984)
    016 R v.6(1985) 016 R v.6(1985) 017 R v.6(1985)

    Remember that this method works when renumbering one statement at a time. You can use either a note or memo statement to force the renumbering. Attempting to renumber multiple statements simultaneously will likely produce unpredictable results. Further, this method only works for renumbering receipt statements. Many thanks to Beata Panagopoulos for assistance on this topic. Now, over to library staff -- if you have any other tricks or hints like the one above, please share it with us by contacting Julie Wetherill at 495-3724.

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    Network Notes
    Barcode scanning technique. Many of you have complained about poor (or no) performance of your barcode scanning wands or light pens. While most of they problems you are encountering can be attributed to old or defective wands, in many cases the problems can be alleviated by improving your scanning technique.

    Proper scanning depends on the angle, position, speed, pressure and smoothness of your light pen stroke. While different pens seem to work differently, they all work best when held at approximately the same angle as a pen while writing, that is, about 10 to 30 degrees from vertical. Start your scan well to the side of the label and move the tip across the labels in a fast but smooth motion, ending well past the edge of the label. It is not helpful to grind the tip into the label material; the tip need only lightly touch the surface.

    If you have one of the new CCDs (charge coupling devices), you need merely to bring the hooded area over the label. You may be able to get a read without actually touching the surface. If you have trouble scanning the label, try moving the device slightly to the left or right. If you still can not get a proper scan, move the unit rapidly away and back.

    While some barcode scanning equipment will fail on occasion, these simple hints for improving your technique should help reduce your re-scanning rates.

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    Vendor File Changes in April
    New Vendors

    Disabled Vendors

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