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HOLLIS Newsletter

Volume 6, Number 11 (November 1991)

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  • Agenda for next Liaisons Meeting
  • Meeting Notes from October
  • Proposed change to Training file security
  • Operator Profiles fix
  • Problem with OCLC access
  • Survey on documentation needs
  • FAXON passwords changed
  • LOC keycaps installed
  • Electronic Payments project update
  • Temporary change in OSPR
  • December Liaisons party
  • Presentation of new reports
  • LC Book File update
  • Notes and Reminders
  • Order weeding fiche
  • PAIS and other database updates
  • Location display change
  • Response time tests
  • Network Notes
  • Printing too quickly for your printer
  • Vendor file changes

    Agenda for HOLLIS Liaisons Meeting #70
    13 November, 1991
    Lamont Forum Room, 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.

    1. Announcements: T. Robinson
    2. A demonstration of the new LC books file: J. Wetherill

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    Notes from the October Meeting
    A proposal to change training file security. It has been proposed that an operator using the HOLLIS training (TR) file be allowed to use (create and update) all library locations, not just the location representing his/her particular library.

    Currently, the TR file works like HU -- that is, an operator using the TR file can use only his/her location when creating or updating bibliographic records. This arrangement has turned out to be a problem for library units who want to use the TR file for online circulation training. The training file circulation system is built around Widener locations. Setting up additional libraries to do circulation in the training file would be prohibitively time-consuming. If new circulation units can train their staff to use online circulation using Widener locations and service units, no additional modification to the training file will be needed.

    Liaisons agreed that allowing an operator to update any location in the training file would not be a problem for library units. OSPR implemented this security change on Friday, 18 October. All operators currently authorized to use the training file are now authorized to use any library location (that is, LOC i). If you have any questions, please contact Kate Mullen at OSPR.

    Preserving operator profiles -- an update. The fix that preserves SET SCR, SET LOC, SET TAP, SET SLC, INV, and TEMP values when an operator moves from one database to another will go into production the week of 7 October. A full description of the problem and this solution appeared on page 8 of the October HOLLIS Newsletter. If you have any questions, please contact Heather Reid at OSPR.

    Update on OCLC access problems. At the September meeting, staff reported that they frequently had problems gaining access to OCLC. The problem occurred at the point of requesting the OCLC menu (by keying [P][F6]). Although we have been unable to diagnose why this happens, the problem does seem to have abated in recent weeks. If you experience this problem in the future, contact Steve Thornton.

    Staff documentation survey coming your way. OSPR has recently distributed a survey that asks HOLLIS liaisons to confirm their subscriptions for the following publications:

    • HOLLIS Reference Manual (2 volumes)
    • Holdings Editing Guide
    • Circulation Manual
    • Tag Tables
    • Vendor Index
    • HOLLIS Newsletter

    We are about to release updates to parts of these publications and would like our subscription records to be accurate. Liaisons should identify excess copies of staff documentation on this survey and return the unused copies to OSPR for recycling. These surveys are due back in OSPR by 1 November. If you have any questions, please contact Eric Young at OSPR.

    Separate passwords for Faxon's Datalinx system -- an update. Faxon recently assigned separate passwords to those library units that have identified themselves as Datalinx users. A separate password policy will help reduce disruption to Datalinx access when one password becomes invalid after a false sign-on attempt. (A full description of this problem appeared in the October HOLLIS Newsletter.) If Faxon has not contacted your unit with the new password and you would like a password, please contact Tracey Robinson at OSPR.

    New LOC keycaps for public terminals -- an update. The new keycaps that say "LOC" (replacing function key F6) have been installed on dedicated library public terminals. If you know of public terminal(s) in your unit that do not yet have the LOC keycap contact Steve Thornton at OSPR.

    HOLLIS financial data transfer to Accounts Payable -- an update. In the first phase of the project to enable the online transfer of machine-readable HOLLIS accounting data to Accounts Payable, OSPR needs to get the HOLLIS vendor file "in synch" with Accounts Payable vendor records. Tracey asked if there are library units that currently communicate vendor information directly with Accounts Payable. The liaisons present answered no -- which will facilitate the process of synchronizing these files. If your unit does communicate directly with Accounts Payable, please contact Tracey at OSPR.

    Temporary staff changes in OSPR. Tracey will be on maternity leave during December, January and February. Heather Reid will be the acting Head of OSPR Production Services during this time. OSPR fully expects to maintain a consistent level of support throughout this period and to continue to be responsive to the needs of HOLLIS users. HOLLIS liaisons will continue to meet monthly.

    Preparing for the December Liaisons Symposium. Yes, it's time once again to top off a hard-working year with a party (oh, no -- the "p" word)! The annual HOLLIS Liaisons Symposium will be held in Ticknor Lounge (Boylston Hall) from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 11 December. OSPR will supply drinks, cheese and crackers, and paper supplies -- we are looking for liaisons to volunteer other goodies. If you are willing to bring something sweet or savory, please contact Julie Wetherill at OSPR.

    Review of proposed new bibliographic-financial reports. Walter Stine of OSPR summarized a report submitted by the Working Group on Bibliographic and Financial Reports. The Group has recommended the creation of three new report formats that combine bibliographic and order (o/p/r) record financial data. What follows is a summary of Walter's presentation. For a full description of the Working Group's findings, please ask your HOLLIS liaison for a copy of the report (which was distributed to each unit in the envelope containing the October HOLLIS Newsletter).

    What makes these reports possible?

    In the past, the HOLLIS reporting system was never able to combine bibliographic information (like author, title, imprint) with order and financial information from the order (o/p/r) record. The best a unit could do was request both a bibliographic list and statistical report for the same items and then devise some way of combining information from both. All this has changed with two recent developments in HOLLIS reporting. One is OSPR's new ORDMARC program -- which translates o/p/r data into a form that is easily manipulated by the reporting system. The other development is an improvement in the EASYTRIEVE software which is used to produce HOLLIS statistical reports.

    Due to these developments, the Group has proposed that the following three report formats be added to the HOLLIS reporting system.

    O/P/R and brief bibliographic data format

    This format is designed primarily for staff use. It will contain essentially what appear to be screen prints of individual o/p/r screens. Each entry will include author (1xx/9xx), title (245/924), edition statement (250/925), imprint (260/926), and enumeration/chronology (362/936) at the top of the "screen", followed by all of the data from the o/p/r record.

    EXAMPLE - Typical serial - Bibliographic fields: 130, 245, 260, 362 at the top

    EXAMPLE - Typical monograph - Bibliographic fields: 100, 245, 260 at the top

    Records can be selected by any of the existing criteria in the reporting system. Sorts by HOLLIS number, main entry, vendor, and other elements of the record should be available.

    Donor dollar format

    This format will provide a bibliographic list of titles accompanied by price information from the o/p/r. It will be suitable as a report sent to donors, or as a collection development tool for librarians.

    EXAMPLE - Donor Dollar

    Records to be included in this type of report will be selected from the payment reporting file by any of the existing criteria (for example, ACU, RSTAT, UDATE,etc.).

    Statistical report with bibliographic data format

    Reports in this format are similar to current statistical reports, except that elements of the bibliographic record can be included in a columnar format. The specific bibliographic elements to be included in such a report would be limited only by the space available (standard reports are 132 characters across with three spaces between columns). Diacritics and some special characters cannot be accurately reproduced on these reports. An example of a report in this columnar format appears on the next .

    Requesting these new reports

    Liaisons agreed that OSPR should implement these proposed formats. In addition, the Working Group requested add this request to the enhancements list. The priority of these enhancements will be reviewed by HOLLIS Liaisons and Managers in the spring.)

    LC books file in HOLLIS, a second update. MacKenzie Smith presented a full review of the project to add the LC books file as a technical services database in HOLLIS. A Working Group has specified a two-phase approach to this project -- all of which was fully described in the Group's report, which was distributed to HOLLIS liaisons in early October. What follows is a summary of the issues related to the LC books file that up to now have not appeared in this newsletter. Consult an article in the October HOLLIS Newsletter or the Working Group's report for general descriptions of the new database, new commands, etc.

    LC file funding

    In order to recover the cost of buying LC book data, each participating library will be charged a yearly flat rate which is based on that unit's level of cataloging. Library managers should have already received a memo describing this funding scheme. In addition, there will be charges associated with MIGR, MERG, TAPE, and standing search transactions involving LC book data. Printed products (New Books Lists, LC Accessions Lists) will also (of course) be available for a fee. ULC and HAAC will be reviewing these funding proposals when they meet in November. OSPR will provide a finalized fee schedule for these new products and services in an upcoming newsletter.

    Implications for Harvard's reporting obligations

    When the BF database is in place, more and more current cataloging will be done locally, without claiming through a utility. The one advantage of claiming through a utility is that a library's holding of the item is reported automatically -- fulfilling Harvard libraries' obligations to report holdings nationally. Cataloging locally using LC records means that libraries will need to use the TAPE command to report holdings to a utility. The TAPE step will need to be integrated into each participating library's cataloging workflow.

    Design of new printed products

    The Working Group's report proposes the creation of an LC accessions list based on incoming LC book records, and another working group to design the format of these reports. These new reports are part of Phase two of this project -- planned for the spring of 1992. It has also been proposed that OSPR develop a way to provide a machine-readable form of the new books list -- enabling staff to edit these lists to suit their needs. MacKenzie noted that it may be possible to make such machine-readable data available via electronic mail -- similar to the HOLLIS records by e-mail process available in the public catalog. Since liaisons were very interested in such a capability, OSPR will pursue the idea further.


    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the LC books file (BF database) is scheduled to become a technical services database in HOLLIS on Monday, 18 November. Libraries should make whatever preparations are necessary in advance -- the most important being arranging security for affected operators. Phase two of this project -- additional functionality -- is scheduled for this spring. After ULC and HAAC review the current proposals, OSPR will review the components of Phase two at a HOLLIS liaisons meeting in early 1992. If you have any questions about this project, please contact MacKenzie Smith at OSPR.

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    Notes and Reminders
    Order weeding fiche. The latest installment of the order weeding fiche has been distributed (along with regular batch products) to all subscribers. This fiche set is very large (217) pages and covers orders from calendar year 1989 that were eligible for weeding. We stressed the importance of quality control with the company that creates the fiche since we had some problems in the past. After you receive the fiche, please look it over and let Walter Stine in OSPR know if you spot any problems. The actual weeding of these orders will take place in the next few weeks. OSPR will send out additional messages as the cycle proceeds.

    PA database updates. The new PA database (PAIS) has received its first monthly update. This update reflects the equivalent of the printed version of PAIS International vol. 1, no. 9. OSPR will be updating PA once a month, and the currency of this, and other databases, will always be reflected in the EMS message entitled "AI/LR/PA/SH UPDATE STATUS."

    Location display change. OSPR has changed the location display for AI, LR, and PA records to insure that the article citation (for example, 7:268-333 Ag'85) will always accompany the source publication's title. If the source publication's title is very long, HOLLIS will truncate it and add an ellipsis (...) in order to guarantee the display of the citation.

    This enhancement prevents extra-long source titles from "bumping" citations off of the location display. Now, the user will always have the source title and citation available on the location display to compare with any holdings or circulation information from the HU database. This enhancement is now in production and will apply to any new databases we add in the future. If you have any questions contact Heather Reid in OSPR.

    Response time tests. Response time tests are scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month. Upcoming tests are scheduled for: 3 December, 7 January, 4 February, and 3 March. Volunteers should mark their calendars appropriately. (We continue to experience less than full participation from response time volunteers. If you are unable to participate in the monthly test please turn in your stopwatch so we can get a new volunteer. Thanks.)

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    Network Notes
    Printer problems. Several users have reported two strange printing problems lately, using both Canon BJ-80 and HP Thinkjet machines. The first problem is truncated screen prints, where a record will print part-way down the page and then stop dead. The other problem is fouled-up left margins, where the left margin without warning becomes indented by anywhere from one to six inches. The beginning of each line starts in the middle of the page, which causes the line to wrap around to the next. The resulting screen prints are almost impossible to read, as the left side of the screen prints on the right, and vice versa.

    I have discovered that these problems are related and that they have two possible causes. They are both related to the stream of data going from the terminal to the printer. When this data stream is cut off unexpectedly, odd things can happen. The first cause is printing too fast. Although it is possible to display a new screen and print it as soon as the word "PRINTING" disappears from the bottom of your screen, it is not always a good idea. All the data from the first screen hasn't necessarily made it to the printer yet. This happens most often with users who rapidly page through indexes or stacks of HOLLIS numbers, printing each page as they go. Unless you are printing multiple copies of the same screen, in which case the bottom of the screen image will still be there when it's needed, the last part gets cut off, and a partial print results. The bottom half of the first screen image never prints.

    In addition, if the second screen arrives at the printer very soon after the first, the printer may start printing it immediately, without resetting itself to the beginning of the line. If the print head happens to be at the middle of the page at the time, the second print will start right there -- in the middle of the page. The resulting lines will be too long for the page width, so the printer will wrap them around.

    The solution? Wait just a second before going to the second page. You don't have to wait until the first page is completely done; just count a beat or two after the word "PRINTING" goes away. The problem is more severe the longer the record (more data per screen), so if you are printing off huge screens, wait a little longer.

    The second cause is switching too fast. If your printer is attached to more than one terminal with an A-B switch, you can cut off the data stream by switching to the other terminal before it all gets to the printer. The symptoms are the same as the above case. The solution is the same as well: wait just a second. It's generally a good idea to wait until one terminal's screen is completely printed before turning the knob to another position.

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    Vendor File Changes in October
    New Vendors

    • CR-SJUCR
    • HALLCO
    • PK-KUBS
    • PL-MUNW

    Disabled Vendors

    • SW-SNML (use SW-NORMUSL)

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