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HOLLIS Newsletter

Volume 7, Number 8 (August 1992)

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  • Notes from July
  • Meeting times to rotate
  • Update on OSPR move
  • Vendor indexes
  • Electronic transfer of payments--update
  • Loc sorting in the catalog
  • Database code displays
  • Various Catalog enhancements
  • New field in AI
  • HULPR security reminders
  • Panel discussion on BF
  • Feature Articles
  • New vendor indexes
  • Notes and Reminders
  • Changes to USMARC country codes
  • Report requests pending
  • Claiming utility records in other languages
  • Errors in the AI title list
  • Response time testing
  • Public Services Issues
  • Revision of patron charge block policy

    The HOLLIS Liaisons Meeting for August 1992 has been canceled.
    Please note dates and times of future meetings.

    Notes from the July Meeting
    Survey says ... Last month, OSPR sent HOLLIS libraries a survey asking them to indicate their preference for the time of the Liaison monthly meeting. Tracey Robinson reported that the only clear message provided by the survey was managers' dislike of Thursday meetings. Otherwise, liaisons found afternoon meetings slightly preferable to morning meetings, but there was no clear consensus. OSPR will continue to rotate liaison meeting times between morning and afternoon and the meetings will still be held on Wednesdays. Tracey reminded liaisons to check the calendar at the end of the newsletter and mark meeting times on their calendars to avoid confusion.

    Update on the OSPR move. OSPR is moving its operations out of Widener Library during the week of 10 August. The new office will be located in Suite 404 of the office building at 1280 Massachusetts Avenue, across the street from the back door of Widener Library. In conjunction with the move, OSPR is changing its name. The new name and address is:

    Harvard University Library
    Office for Information Systems
    1280 Mass. Ave., Suite 404
    Cambridge, MA. 02138

    Why a name change? Library systems staff members wanted to simplify the name and change it to better reflect our focus on information systems. Any mail addressed to our old name or office will be delivered to us at 1280 Massachusetts Avenue. Our telephone and fax numbers will remain the same.

    OSPR is currently reviewing its operations and product delivery procedures to avoid disruptions during the August move. OSPR will keep units informed in the event of disruptions or changes in services. If you have questions, contact Tracey Robinson or Linda Marean in OSPR.

    Online vendor indexes are available. On Thursday, 23 July, four new online vendor indexes made their debut in the HU database. These online indexes allow library staff to search by vendor name (FIND VN), sortkey (FIND VK), APBASE number (FIND VA), and country code (FIND VC). As of July, OSPR will no longer produce updates to the printed Vendor Indexes. HOLLIS liaisons should return the vendor index binders to OSPR for recycling if they do not plan to use the printed indexes. Please consult an article below for more information on these indexes.

    Update on electronic transfer of payment data. OSPR is continuing the planning for electronic transfer of the majority of HOLLIS corporate payments to Accounts Receivable. Tracey noted that this project will focus on payment transfer for the Law School Library and the Harvard College Library, which generate the large batches of payment data acceptable to Accounts Payable. However, Accounts Payable envisions expanding this service in the future to include all university departments. For information about current developments in this area, contact Daniel Bednarek in OSPR.

    Sorting of library locations in the Public Catalog. The enhancements to provide for sorting of library locations in the Public Catalog is now complete. All HOLLIS records have Harvard locations listed in alpha order from A to Z, followed by all non-Harvard locations -- also alpha sorted. The non-Harvard locations will be preceded by the display literal NON-HARVARD LOCATION. Check out a multi-location title such as Chronicle of Higher Education for a good example of this new display.

    Note that in the records by e-mail feature, all locations are sorted alphabetically, but the new label NON-HARVARD LOCATION is omitted so that it does not interfere with importing the HOLLIS record to various software packages. If you see anything peculiar about this new feature, please call Julie Wetherill or Heather Reid in OSPR (495-3724).

    Institution code display in the Catalog. To help HOLLIS users navigate through the Public Catalog, staff have asked that OSPR insure that all screens in the Catalog display the two-character institution (database) code on every screen. Currently, error messages that display near the top of the screen eliminate the institution code. The Standing Subcommittee of HAAC on User Services in HOLLIS (SSHUSH) is currently reviewing possible design solutions to this problem so that OSPR can go ahead and improve the display. OSPR will report developments in this newsletter.

    Various Public Catalog enhancements. Kate Ellis described for liaisons a number of suggested enhancements for the Public Catalog. In the circulation display, several service units have requested that the display for an item that has a temporary location (such as a Widener item loaned to Lamont Reserves) include the message "Now at Lamont Reserve" but not include the message "check there for availability." Liaisons agreed.

    In the single record display, the message "active subscription" displays when an active holdings or order record is present. Many staff members have objected to this message, and SSHUSH has suggested an alternate message, "Library currently subscribes to this title." Extensive discussion followed concerning the specific wording of the message, possible alternatives, and the shared concern that the note needs to be clear and concise without being misleading. As always there were several different opinions on the topic. Liaisons generally agreed that a new message was needed and most conceded that the wording suggested by SSHUSH was an improvement, so OSPR will make the change as proposed.

    New field in Expanded Academic Index. Information Access Company will soon begin shipping some of their Expanded Academic Index citations with a new field 776 (additional physical form) containing the note "Magazine Collection" or "Business Collection." These messages signify that IAC has the full text of the article available in either their Magazine or Business microfiche collections. Robin Wendler asked liaisons whether Harvard should let this field display in the Public Catalog or strip the field from the incoming IAC records. Liaisons requested that SSHUSH examine this issue and make a recommendation.

    [SSHUSH has since recommended that OSPR strip field 776 from AI records. Information in this field was deemed misleading by committee members because Harvard reference librarians are not prepared to retrieve these collections for patrons. In addition, most of the indexed journals are available in print at Harvard. If you have questions, contact Robin Wendler in OSPR.]

    Some reminders about HULPR security. Kate Mullen reviewed a few security issues with liaisons. OSPR will be revising Appendix L (HOLLIS Operator Profiles) in the HOLLIS Reference Manual to remove references to provisional-tagged records. Kate asked liaisons to remind each staff member to log off the staff terminal when his/her session is finished. This is especially important for HULPR signons with confidential security authorization. Kate also reminded liaisons to use secure passwords in their HULPR signons -- this means do not use passwords that appear in the dictionary; use a phrase containing at least one letter and one number. All passwords must be a miniumn of 4 and maximum of 8 characters in length. Also, staff members should not share their passwords. In the near future, HULPR security will prevent two operators from using the same HULPR signon. When your unit has staff turnover, the liaison should request that OSPR delete the old signon or keep the signon but change the password. This should be done as soon as the staff member leaves.

    Kate also reminded liaisons that HULPR signons provide a number of bibliographic and order record defaults that can be time-savers for some HOLLIS operators. She has noticed that many liaisons have been requesting new signons that do not have defaults assigned. Many of these signon defaults can be overridden online by the operator if different values are needed.

    Lastly, Kate asked liaisons to notify OSPR in advance if their unit plans to begin using HOLLIS acquisitions, fund accounting, or circulation subsystems. When a unit considers using the item file, patron file, or any other part of the circulation subsystem, it must notify OSPR one year in advance. If you have questions about any aspect of HOLLIS security, contact Kate Mullen in OSPR.

    A "How BF changed my life" panel discussion. OSPR asked representatives of some small, medium, and large library units to describe for liaisons their perspectives on the effect the Library of Congress books file has had on technical services workflow. In her preliminary remarks, Tracey Robinson noted that HOLLIS statistics indicate that the BF file has had a profound effect on acquisitions and cataloging activities in the Harvard libraries. She distributed a bar graph representing the monthly counts of BF records that have been migrated or merged into the HU database. We are currently copying 3,000 - 4,000 records from the BF into HU every month.

    Tracey also noted that the first pass of the LC standing search upgraded 15,000 "provisional" records in HU. In addition, the first two weekly standing searches upgraded 450 and 623 HU records, respectively. Based on these figures, we project that approximately 2,000 records will be migrated each month by the Standing Search process. Total BF activity is expected to average 4,000+ records per month. Ann-Marie Breaux asked whether future statistics will be able to compare manually merged HU records with those merged by the weekly standing search. Tracey agreed to investigate.


    The Physics Research Library collection includes approximately 15,000 books and 30,000 serials volumes. The Library's two full-time staff members process about 350 new books each year and maintain subscriptions for 200 current serials. Michael estimated that Physics Research has found 40% to 50% of their cataloging for new materials in the BF database. This has had a big impact on their operations. He noted several advantages to BF: a new book makes it to the shelf more quickly -- processing once took just over a week and now takes about 15 minutes. BF records that are merged or migrated into HU are already cataloged, saving cataloging time and requiring less training for staff. Fewer of Physics Research materials need centralized processing with CSS (Cataloging Support Services). Michael did point out that the introduction of BF in some cases did increase the complexity of their workflow, requiring new procedures and additional staff training.


    The Law School Library has 15 full-time staff in its Cataloging Services office, including 8 catalogers and 5-1/2 copy catalogers. They process 10,000 volumes per year; processing is organized around language expertise. Since the BF file became available in November 1991, Law has seen an increase of 20% in acquisitions productivity. This increase in acquisitions activity has affected cataloging: there has been a 13% increase in materials needing cataloging since BF became available. Ann estimated that Law's usual average of 536 volumes cataloged per month has grown to over 700 per month now.

    When the LC standing search became available in April, Law felt its impact -- Ann calculated a hit rate for Law backlog materials of between 50% and 75%. She suspects that as time goes on, the percentage of hits will be closer to 50%.

    All this has Law rethinking their cataloging and acquisitions workflows to streamline processing. They used to search all new books on RLIN, but now they only search BF for copy. Law is contemplating a "one-step processing" routine by having acquisitions staff perform copy cataloging when possible. Ann presented an interesting statistic: 50% of the records that the LC standing search identifies are already cataloged, canceled, or not yet received. She would like to see a report from the standing search process that would flag such records.


    Tozzer Library, with a collection of approximately 200,000 volumes, adds 3,000 new books each year. Two full-time acquisitions staff members are using BF for pre-order searching and find it especially useful for verification of series information on Spanish titles. If a newly received item has no provisional record, they search BF to check for a missing series title and to verify access points. They have found BF records for approximately 60% of such materials. All in all, for some materials Tozzer is twice searching the BF file - once in acquisitions and later in cataloging. She also noted that Tozzer is acquiring some materials slightly ahead of LC -- Tozzer's two full-time cataloging staff members will hold some US imprints a few weeks awaiting LC copy. Approximately 25% of their current cataloging is derived from BF records.


    Karen described Widener's general impression of the BF file as "a wonderful addition to HOLLIS". She estimated that as of June 1992, 50% of Widener's cataloging came from LC copy, and most of this copy was migrated or merged from the BF file. Since December 1991, they have taped out 11,400 newly cataloged records to OCLC and most of these records originated in the BF file. Staff report that BF is most useful for English, Spanish, and German titles. As a result of the first two weekly standing searches, 310 and 532 Widener records were upgraded, respectively. Karen remarked that these numbers seemed high but they needed more time to analyze the results. The standing search has supplied a steadier flow of LC copy than the old Boston Public Library project.

    Catalogers who produce original copy are finding some interesting uses for the BF file. They are searching by subject (FIND SU) or title (FIND TI) when they catalog originally, looking for books on similar topics. If they find similar titles, they follow the subject heading and LC classification assignments.

    In regards to the BF file's affect on workflow, Karen noted that the reorganization in Widener makes it difficult to measure changes. She did report that the acquisitions division now places BF record printouts in new books, which are then sent directly to cataloging. Cataloging is still adjusting to this change, along with the new standing search reports listing HU bibliographic records that have been upgraded with LC cataloging from the BF file. It is likely that Cataloging will revisit the workflow issue only after it has been reorganized into language teams. To facilitate the cataloging workflow, Karen predicted that in the future some cataloging activities will likely be the responsibility of acquisitions staff.

    Following the panelists' comments, several liaisons had remarks or questions about BF and the standing search. Ann- Marie Breaux suggested a collection development tool -- a list of new subject headings be generated for new records that are added to the BF file. Jill Berson asked if OSPR could change the MIGRate and MERGe commands so that staff could issue them directly from the BF file. Robin Wendler noted that the method Jill described was originally OSPR's preference but turned out to be technically unfeasible. Karen Carlson asked if OSPR could introduce an LC call number search in BF, based on the contents of the 050 field. Tracey responded that if such a feature was desirable, liaisons could request that it be added to the HOLLIS enhancements list. Russ Pollard asked if any units were considering reducing or eliminating their OCLC or RLIN terminals as a result of the workflow shift toward the BF file. The Law School responded that they still catalog 50% of their new materials using RLIN copy. However, they have seen an increased demand for HOLLIS dedicated terminals. Karen Carlson noted that in Widener's monograph cataloging department, they are considering eliminating 1 or 2 OCLC terminals.

    Tracey thanked all panelists for their presentations. It is obvious that the BF file and its related commands have definitely had a significant impact on acquisitions and cataloging activities in the Harvard Library system. If you have questions about BF or the LC standing search, contact Robin Wendler or Julie Wetherill in OSPR.

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    Feature Articles
    New Vendor Indexes in HU. The HOLLIS vendor index contains approximately 2,700 records for publishers and vendors of library services, along with some institutional exchange partners. Since 1985 the only online access to vendor records has been through the vendor's code. Printed vendor indexes were produced to supplement this single online access method; a portion of these indexes were updated monthly. Four new online indexes to the vendor file have replaced the printed indexes:

    • FIND VN -- [vendor name]
    • FIND VK -- [vendor sortkey]
    • FIND VC -- [country code]
    • FIND VA -- [apbase number]

    All four vendor indexes are string indexes -- meaning there is implicit (right hand) truncation allowing you to type only as much text as you need to get results. Indexes are NOT updated online, but rather on a nightly basis. What follows are detailed descriptions of these indexes and a few small guidelines about their use. If you are familiar with these records, just go ahead and give them a trial run.


    Format: primary text = 1st NAME field
    secondary text = up to 52 characters of 2nd NAME/ address/ street/ city/ state/
    country fields, the vendor code, and the country code

    There are no guidelines for the content of the 1st NAME field except that it must contain the payee's name. HOLLIS performs no special handling for the name; it is indexed exactly as it appears in the field. In some cases, these vendor names start with a person's initials or first names, in others the name is a surname or business name. There may also be abbreviations present.

    The content of the VN index depends on whether the vendor record contains separate addresses for orders and payments. If the record indicates that orders and payments are sent to the same address, HOLLIS will use the 1st NAME field of that address for inclusion in the VN index. If orders and payments are sent to different addresses (the ORDER= and PAY= positions in the VENDOR PROFILE field have different values), then the 1st NAME fields from both of these addresses are indexed in VN. For example, in the sample vendor record below, there are separate order and payment addresses. In this case, the 1st NAME field from both addresses can be searched in the VN index.

    This means that for any given VN index search, there may be duplicate entries for the same vendor record if the 1st NAME in the pay and order address areas are very similar. You can identify duplicate entries by the vendor code that displays as part of secondary text. In the above sample record, the 1st NAME fields in ADDRESS#1 and ADDRESS#2 are not similar and a search for either one will not lead to duplicate index entries for the same record.


    Index Display: primary text = vendor sortkey (up to 3 for a single record)
    secondary text = up to 52 characters of the 1st NAME/ address/ street/ city/ state/ country fields, followed by up to 10 characters of the vendor code, followed by the 3 character country code

    The SORTKEY field has traditionally held the first 19 characters of the vendor's name, used to produce the printed vendor indexes. A single vendor record may contain up to three different sortkeys (separated by colons (:)), as in the sample VENDOR SORT field below:


    Each sortkey is a different access point for the same record. In many cases, the vendor's sortkey will be similar or identical to the vendor's name. However, in some cases these fields contain different values. To be thorough, a search of both indexes (VK and VN) may be necessary.


    Format: primary text = country code from the CTRY CODE field
    secondary text = up to 57 characters of 1st NAME/ address/ street/ city/ state/ country fields and up to 10 characters of the vendor code

    The codes in the CTRY CODE field are loosely based on the USMARC country codes maintained by the Library of Congress. However, there has been no effort to validate these codes. Using the FIND VC index search will yield a list of vendors reported as being in that country. This is not a precise listing, but may be useful for units searching for a vendor in a particular country.

    If a vendor record contains separate order and payment addresses, that record will appear twice in an index listing by country. Since the 1st NAME fields are the first part of the secondary text, a similarity in content of the 1st NAME for both addresses will place the duplicate index entries together in the list; a disparity in the 1st NAME will separate the two entries alphabetically.


    Format: primary text = Holyoke Center, Accounts Payable database number, from APBASE field on vendor record
    secondary text = up to 52 characters of NAME1/ NAME2/ address/ etc. areas of the payment address, followed by up to 10 characters of the vendor code, followed by the country code

    Holyoke Center Accounts Payable assigns a unique number to all corporate vendors in their database. This apbase number is also part of HOLLIS vendor records representing these corporate vendors. The apbase number prints on vouchers, which enables Accounts Payable to process vouchers more easily. In the near future, the apbase number will provide the link in the electronic transfer of HOLLIS corporate payment information to Accounts Payable.

    In some cases, the APBASE field contains a tax identification number for a non-corporate vendor. Since the tax ID number is too long for the APBASE field, operators who maintain vendor records have been adding the last three digits of this number to the APLOC field. When HOLLIS builds this index, it concatenates the three digits from the APLOC field onto the ID number in the APBASE field so that the entire number can be searched. Note that tax ID numbers start with the letter "T".

    <<<<<< >>>>>>

    One might think from the amount of description in this article that these new vendor indexes are complicated to use and interpret. However, searching of these indexes is actually quite simple. And since there are only about 2,700 records in the vendor file, index results will be manageable, even for the broadest possible searches.

    The design and use of these indexes reveals what may be considered by some to be "non-standard" or "inconsistent" coding of the vendor records themselves. For example, the vendor country code index is built from the CTRY CODE field in the record, which may or may not carry an "LC-like" value. Also, since the SORTkey fields in the vendor record are often provided by the person (or unit) requesting that the vendor be added to HOLLIS, there may be inconsistent or "non-intuitive" use of that field (e.g., many SORTKEYS are the same as the NAME1 field in the address, some are inversions of that name, some are alternative access labels that bear no resemblance to the vendor name, etc.). None of this is necessarily bad or improper -- it is only noted here so that unexpected results can be explained.

    OSPR recommends that HOLLIS operators check individual vendor records before using the vendor code that appears in the secondary text of the index display. This is especially important for vendor codes containing a hyphen; this piece of punctuation is replaced by a blank space in the index display but must be present when the code is added to an order or invoice record. If you have questions about these indexes or see something strange, please contact Julie Wetherill or Daniel Bednarek in OSPR.

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    Notes and Reminders
    Changes to USMARC country codes. Because of political changes in Yugoslavia, several additions are being made to the USMARC Code List for Countries. New codes are being added for newly independent countries that had been part of Yugoslavia. Prior to this change, all of these republics used the country code yu (Yugoslavia). The code for Yugoslavia, yu, will continue to be used for the republics of Montenegro and Serbia.

    Summary of changes to the code list
    New countryNew code
    Bosnia and Hercegovinabn

    Subscribers can anticipate receiving MARC records reflecting these changes in all distribution services not earlier than 1 October 1992. VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Harvard staff should refrain from using these new codes until after 1 October. Questions regarding the country codes should be directed to Robin Wendler in OSPR.

    Pending report requests. Requests for HOLLIS reports reflecting the end of the fiscal year are being processed as quickly as possible, but because of the large number of requests received, we may not be able to meet all requested deadlines. Your patience is greatly appreciated. We apologize for all delays and will make every attempt to keep you posted and to respond to all outstanding requests as quickly as possible.

    Due to the size of the current backlog it is likely that we will be unable to respond to any new requests before mid- September at the earliest. Effective immediately, all new requests for reports will be held until the current backlog has been eliminated. We apologize for the inconvenience.

    Claiming utility records in foreign languages. Some units have been claiming utility records cataloged in foreign languages and not adjusting the notes. Catalogers need to change such notes as "En tÍte du titre" to "At head of title" before they transmit their claim to the utility. The records can be identified by a subfield b in the 040 containing the language of the cataloging, e.g.,

    : 040: : a FIL b fre c FIL

    Please be on the lookout for these types of records.

    Academic Index" that was just distributed is missing 27 titles from the old list. Left out are all titles from American Poetry Review through Anthropological Quarterly. IAC says they are still indexing these titles. They will either Response time tests. Response time tests are scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month. Upcoming tests are scheduled for: 1 September, 6 October, 3 November, and 1 December. Volunteers should mark their calendars appropriately.

    The July test results are excellent; these are among the fastest responses recorded since HOLLIS came up. All of the responses over one second were keyword searches. This is presumably due to the lower system usage over the summer months (especially right after a holiday weekend).

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    Public Services Issues
    Revision of patron record charge block policies. Members of the circulation liaisons group have been discussing the policies and procedures for using the HOLLIS patron file to block patrons from borrowing in Harvard libraries. Circulation liaisons recently discussed the format of the patron record NOTE field message that explains the block. Circulation liaisons have accepted the following recommendation for an interim change to the format of these messages. The explanation is adapted from a memo by Edward Doctoroff and Jon Lanham.

    It is possible for authorized library staff to add a code to the HOLLIS patron record that effectively blocks that person from borrowing materials from any library using online circulation. In addition, libraries that do not use online circulation can consult the patron file for these blocks and may decide to deny privileges to that person. When such a "manual" block is placed, the HOLLIS Circulation Manual requires that the "blocking" library add a coded note to the patron record NOTE field so that other units can interpret the reason for the block. The current format for this message is:


    where "bl" indicates this is a block message, "$" indicates the block is due to fines owed, "(8/10/92)wid" indicates the date and the library placing the block. Since the NOTE field can hold up to 40 characters, it can hold only two messages in this format. Circulation liaisons have proposed a shorter message for manual blocks. They propose the elimination of the date and the "bl" code, since neither element is critical to those already using this system. Block messages would contain the 3-letter code for the library preceded by the symbol indicating why the block has been placed. For example, the block message $wid indicates a block due to fines owed, placed by Widener. A succeeding block for the same reason would have the message $wid,cab. A succeeding block for another reason would have the message $wid,cab,xcab. With only four characters per block message, up to ten messages would fit into the NOTE field.

    This is only an interim solution, since circulation liaisons realize that as more libraries join online circulation, there will be pressure to develop more messages for the NOTE field. In the long term, the solution appears to be an expansion of the NOTE field to accommodate for information. Since liaisons have approved this interim solution, circulation service units should notify staff of the changes to these messages. Units that have been entering block messages in another format should begin using the newly recommended format. If you have any questions, please contact Kate Ellis in OSPR.

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