Order weeding complete. OIS has finished the annual weed of the HU order file -- 174,798 eligible orders last updated on or before 31 December 1990 were deleted, leaving 455,670 orders still in the online file. The process of changing the LOC field order linkage from online to offline is also complete. If you have questions contact Linda Marean in OIS.
Testing EBSCONET connection. OIS and EBSCO are about to begin testing some modifications to Harvard's Internet connection to EBSCO and would like to enlist some volunteers. These modifications should ameliorate the problems that have plagued the EBSCONET connection and EBSCONET performance over the last several months. Those interested in helping with testing should contact Dora Volfson in OIS. [Note: Volunteers are also wanted to test other TELNET connections available from staff menu, e.g., RLIN, ORBIS, BARTON. Contact Dora Volfson.]
Spine label project update. OIS plans on releasing a HOLLIS spine label function in May. This mainframe-to- microcomputer spine label function is in the final stages of development and will soon be released to Lamont and the Law School Libraries for beta testing. Detailed descriptions of this function appeared in the March and April issues of the HOLLIS Newsletter. Units interested in using this new feature should fill out a request form and return it to OIS. This form was attached to both the March and April issues of the newsletter. If you have questions contact Julie Wetherill in OIS.
Minnesota's 3270 gopher goes private. During the first week of April, staff who telnetted to Minnesota's 3270 gopher (pubinfo.ais.umn.edu or 126.96.36.199) from a HUBS account or from the IBM terminal menu found they no longer had access. U. Minnesota eliminated public access to this gopher because of the high volume of public use. OIS is not aware of a similar site -- one that provides access to a gopher that works well for HUBS and IBM terminal users. These users will have to find alternative access to a gopher. Consult an article in the April HOLLIS Newsletter for the details. Contact Julie Wetherill in OIS if you have questions.
BARTON and ORBIS on staff menus. The online catalogs of Yale and MIT -- ORBIS and BARTON -- are now available from the menu of HOLLIS staff terminals. You can connect to either one by typing the appropriate name and pressing enter. OIS has scripted access to both catalogs as a result of the cooperative serial document delivery project between Harvard and these institutions.
If you decide to select either resource, keep in mind the method you must use to exit. For BARTON, the command is END. For ORBIS, the command is STOP. These are the "graceful" exit methods. If you are on an IBM terminal, PA1 (control-F1) will also terminate the telnet connection. If you are connected remotely, (dial-up or network) there may be other methods as well.
Contact Julie Wetherill in OIS if you have questions about these connections. If you select either resource and for some reason do not get access, follow normal procedures and contact the OIT Help Desk (495-3000).
Microcomputer network access to HULPR. Tracey reminded liaisons that units interested in establishing network access to HULPR from a microcomputer must contact Ciata Victor in OIS. Network access to HULPR requires that OIS have the IP address for each participating microcomputer. In addition, Tracey noted that units must be prepared to choose a billing option when they request the network connection. Details about these options appear in the Network Notes section of this newsletter.
Printer investigations -- an update. OIS has been investigating alternatives to the Canon Bubblejet 80 printer currently used by most Harvard libraries. Canon no longer produces this model and supplies are limited. Furthermore, the Canon has a little green ink priming lever that regularly malfunctions. In the search for a replacement printer that offers the ALA character set, OIS came upon the Hewlett-Packard DeskJet 500. Investigations reveal that combining the DeskJet with a special cartridge and cable yields a printer that prints the character set and has a price tag comparable with the Canon. OIS strongly recommends that units not order any more Canon printers. Consult an article in the Network Notes section for more details about this development. An information sheet with ordering, installation, and service instructions for the DeskJet is attached to this issue.
OIS held a printer "open house" on Thursday, 29 April, for staff interested in checking out the DeskJet. The DeskJet and accessories will cost around $450.00; OIS will put together instructions on how best to order this device. In the meantime, OIS strongly recommends that units not order any more Canon printers.
OIS is still investigating inexpensive dot-matrix printers but at this point has not found one that will successfully print the character set. Heather asked that units contact her if they are interested in dot matrix printers but not particularly concerned about getting the character set. Contact Ciata Victor or Heather Reid in OIS if you have questions.
Update on the Course Catalog project. Priscilla Caplan, Head of the Applications Development and Support Group in OIS, summarized for liaisons the history and current status of the project to create an online course catalog for Harvard University. This is a joint undertaking of OIS, the Office for Information Technology (OIT), and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS).
In Fall 1992, University Provost Jerry Green expressed interest in establishing an online database that would provide access to all of Harvard's course offerings. At the same time, an association of graduate students also advocated such an online resource as a way to make cross-Faculty registration easier. Provost Green approached OIS -- thinking that HOLLIS might be a good way to deliver course catalog information. OIS, along with FAS Computing Services and OIT, began investigating the best delivery mechanism. In December 1992, a Course Catalog Advisory group was formed and OIS began developing prototype course catalogs on three separate platforms: VINE, HOLLIS, and the Internet Gopher. Many demonstrations later, the Advisory Group chose Gopher as the preferred course catalog platform. Gopher provides a "forward-looking" technology that provides the necessary searching power; there was already thought of releasing the next generation of VINE using Gopher technology.
With Gopher as the platform, development is well underway. Amy Lozano, VINE Project Manager, has been named Course Catalog Project Manager. Amy plans to release an early version of the course catalog -- containing Summer School course information -- in May. Over the summer the Project will add the catalogs of the other Faculties, with the official debut scheduled for Fall 1993. [Editor's note: The Summer School Course Catalog is expected to be available on May 24. Specific information about how to connect will be announced to the library community through LIBINFO this month. Documentation will also be available by May 24. Amy Lozano will be contacting libraries about having library locations be points of distribution for documentation to complement distribution through other methods such as Registrars offices, OIT locations, and computer labs.]
As currently designed, the main methods of accessing course catalog information will be via network or dial connections. The course catalog will be based on the Gopher client/server technology, in which two pieces of software -- client and server -- act together to provide access to information. The server, providing the course catalog information, will reside on a SUN computer located at OIT/1730 Cambridge Street. The best way to access this information is for the user to install the corresponding client software on his/her local machine. (Gopher clients work on network-connected microcomputers but not on those that are dial-connected.) One responsibility of the Project is to identify the best way to make this client software easily available to users in the Harvard community. For those without a locally-mounted client, the Project will mount a "common" client which will be accessible by dial-up or network connection.
The online course catalog will not be initially available from HOLLIS terminals. It is too early to say whether or how someone using a HOLLIS terminal might access course catalog information. For the Summer School "mini" release, network and dial connections will be the only way to get course catalog information. OIS will investigate IBM terminal access as part of the Gateway/Bridge Project currently underway in OIS (not to be confused with the HCL Gateway Library Project).
Recon update. Karen Carlson Young and MacKenzie Smith summarized the latest developments in the University Library's Retrospective Conversion Project. Karen noted that the first Recon quarterly report had been distributed to the Project Oversight Committee, Operations Advisory Committee, University Library Council, and Recon Liaisons. A copy also was appended to the April HOLLIS Newsletter. Currently there are nine collections actively participating in Recon: Widener, Houghton, Theatre Collection, Map Room, University Archives, Microforms, Government Documents, Design, and Gutman. Kummel Library and the Law School are scheduled to join in early May. As of early April, OCLC had searched 152,275 monograph records, representing 80 percent of the expected production total at this point in the Project. Karen stressed that library staff should report any problems they see with Recon records in the HU database to Recon Project staff (496-4011).
Production enhancements. As Recon proceeds, OIS has been making enhancements to certain HOLLIS technical services processes and products. Library staff use the tape out function to report bibliographic and holdings information directly out of HOLLIS to national utilities OCLC and RLIN. Until recently this was done by pooling all taped records on magnetic tape, which was shipped to the utilities once every month. OCLC is now prepared to accept this "taped out" data electronically over the network, by file transfer protocol (FTP), and has proposed a weekly schedule. Liaisons agreed that this increased frequency would not pose a problem -- but anyone who has questions should contact MacKenzie in OIS. In response to a question, MacKenzie noted that RLIN is not yet ready to accept data via FTP and so monthly tape processing continues, but OIS and RLIN are investigating this mechanism.
Bibliographic data flowing in the opposite direction -- into HOLLIS -- also faces some changes in handling. Starting in May, OCLC will FTP Recon and current cataloging data to Harvard and OIS will add this data weekly (this will change to daily in June). Normally every cataloging load is accompanied by "Cataloging Notification Reports" which units use to trigger assignment of call numbers and other end-processing tasks. MacKenzie asked whether units wanted to continue receiving these reports weekly or daily following each data load. She noted that with daily processing, every weekly report will contain records, whereas in the past only the report coinciding with a monthly utility data load ever contained any records. Liaisons agreed to maintain the weekly delivery of this report in the short term and anyone interested in more frequent delivery should contact MacKenzie Smith or Robin Wendler in OIS.
Over the last few months OIS has received several requests to provide units with the option of receiving HOLLIS products in electronic form. OIS does consider such a service to be a "forward-thinking" move, but has not received any clear directive for if, when, or how it should be done. Currently done only in special circumstances, OIS does supply certain reports and products in electronic form. A quick poll showed that approximately half of those at this meeting had access to electronic mail -- a necessary tool for such a service. Ellen Gould remarked that many units are not in the position to accept electronic reports, even if the idea was appealing. If your library is interested in pursuing electronic distribution of any of your HOLLIS products please contact Jonathan Rothman in OIS or raise the issue at a future liaisons meeting.
OIS reorganization. Managers from the Office for Information Systems made a guest appearance at the April meeting to describe the recent OIS reorganization. This presentation included descriptions of the reasons behind the reorganization, how technology development priorities and planning will be affected, and descriptions of the new OIS divisions. The focus of this discussion was on how the reorganization will impact library staff.
Dale Flecker, Associate Director for Systems and Planning in the University Library and Head of OIS, noted that OIS Managers had been contemplating changes for some time before formal reorganization planning took place. Internally, OIS Managers saw that the nature of projects in OIS had been changing. Instead of big HOLLIS-based projects, OIS increasingly has undertaken a mixture of large and small projects covering both enhancements to HOLLIS as well as developments "outside" HOLLIS (VINE and the Bridge are examples). To a great extent this change has been driven by planning activities within the University and the enormous number of developments in the field of information technology. The old organization structure of OSPR did not seem to work as well in the new changing environment. Furthermore, Library Managers communicated to OIS the need for improvement in two basic areas: a greater emphasis on resources for network support and developments, and improved communication between the Harvard library community and OIS.
In step with the Office reorganization, OIS has also been examining the planning and priority setting activities that drive automation development in the University Library system. The decision-making process has always been complex -- projects originate from a variety of formal committees, informal groups, and individuals. OIS must listen to voices from many areas and is aware that this process may not always be straight forward or satisfying.
To address longer term planning issues the old ULC subcommittee on automation has been resurrected as the Automation Planning Committee. Committee members will approach this new planning effort on three levels. The first will be to spend the next year creating a planning document to guide the University in future automation development. The second level will be to examine the future of HOLLIS; taking an in-depth look at the current system and its possible next generation. At the third level, members will examine current automation initiatives across the University and consider what roles the University Library and individual library units should play in the construction of a coherent, un-fragmented set of services. To assist APC members in all of this planning, over the next six months OIS will sponsor a number of presentations on information technology developments. These presentations will focus on advances important to libraries. The topics include: academic networking (HSDN and the Internet), trends in technical services automation and document delivery, electronic resources/content, client/server architecture, in-depth look at HOLLIS, and automation initiatives at OIT and in individual libraries. OIS plans on making these presentations available to the wider Harvard library community as well.
To clarify the shorter term priority setting process, library staff must better understand the types of activities that OIS undertakes and what groups prioritize them. Generally OIS categorizes these activities according to the amount of time and development resources they take: projects tend to be the large and medium-sized activities which require the attention of several OIS staff members and generally require more than 50 person hours of work; enhancements are usually on a much smaller scale requiring less than 50 hours of work. The HOLLIS Administrative Advisory Committee (HAAC) is responsible for setting priorities for those activities termed "projects." The new Library Services Group within OIS will be responsible for prioritizing enhancement activities in coordination with HOLLIS Liaisons and other operational groups such as Acquisitions Roundtable and the new Cataloging Interest Group.
Associate Head OIS -- Tracey Robinson. Tracey has assumed all administrative and financial responsibilities for OIS. She is responsible for coordinating activities within OIS and monitoring service levels to libraries. Library administrative staff should continue to consider Tracey a major contact point within OIS in addition to the regular contacts maintained and developed by the new Library Services Group.
Operations Support -- Linda Marean, Manager. Linda noted that the Operations Group has sustained the least change as a result of OIS reorganization. Linda, Lauren Caulton, and Patti Fucci oversee the production and distribution of HOLLIS batch products. Acting for the most part behind the scenes, Operations also troubleshoots problems with the batch system, loads and archives data, and maintains the programs and jobs that keep HOLLIS running.
Networking and Desktop Systems -- Heather Reid, Manager. A major impetus behind the formation of this group is the expectation that telecommunications developments will be increasingly important over the next few years. Heather, Derek Katz, and Ciata Victor will focus their efforts on support of the current network of HOLLIS terminals and on planning towards the next generation of desktop workstations that will replace these terminals. As staff begin to use microcomputers to access our online library systems, they will also begin using software to complement their HOLLIS and HULPR activity. The Networking Group will offer support in this area as well.
Applications Development and Support -- Priscilla Caplan, Manager. With the formation of ADS, OIS has combinedthree important functions:
Combining these areas will be a challenge. Members of the group (Daniel Bednarek, Kate Ellis, Charles Husbands, Jonathan Rothman, MacKenzie Smith, Dora Volfson, Amy Lozano, and Marsh Gardiner) are currently identifying all of the large and medium-size projects that fall in these three areas. These include: Recon-related development, HOLLIS infrastructure changes to handle the rapid growth of the HU bibliographic file, End-user reporting, online circulation for the Divinity Library, the addition of the ERIC database, Business Resumption, and the Bridge. A complete list of upcoming projects will go to HAAC for prioritization. The Group is also working out its relationship with the other OIS Groups and user groups in the Harvard community.
Library Services -- Jon Rothman, Manager. Library Services is in many ways the hardest Group to define; much of what this Group will do involves devising methods for improving communications with library staff as well as providing many of the traditional library services: training, reporting, bibliographic consulting and support. The formation of Library Services came about in large part by the perception that OIS had become increasingly distant from the operational concerns of the libraries and needed to improve the effectiveness of communication with library staff. Jon Rothman, Systems Librarian, will manage this group part-time. Members Kate Mullen, Robin Wendler and Julie Wetherill all spend much of their time in close communication with library staff and so are logical choices for this Group. Generally, Library Services will provide support to the Harvard libraries for HOLLIS and other library automation initiatives and will be a locus of communication between OIS and library staff. Their first major task will be to develop a better method for prioritizing the list of HOLLIS enhancements and bugs and integrate these with ADS staff projects to insure they get done. Jon emphasized that Library Services is looking for input in order to effectively serve the library community. Although there will be a formal process for collecting comments, staff should feel free to contact members of the group to offer advice.
. Following the individual presentations by OIS Managers, Tracey opened the meeting for comments and questions. Jill Berson (Cabot) asked what the future of HOLLIS Liaisons might be given the reorganization of OIS and the change in direction of automation development in the Harvard library system. She commented that the HOLLIS- based focus of liaisons might well be questioned. Jon Rothman noted that while OIS development activities are expanding beyond HOLLIS, there is a question about how far the office will be able to go on providing support given limited resources. Dale Flecker remarked that HOLLIS Liaisons have not traditionally been considered as a forum for discussion about automation planning beyond HOLLIS and perhaps this should be reconsidered.
Sarah Becker (Music) commented on the growing number of projects undertaken in OIS -- noting Recon as a specific example -- that have tended to push aside other worthy projects. She wondered whether OIS should consider adding staff. Dale Flecker responded that especially in light of the current economic climate in the University it is not realistic to add additional permanent staff to OIS but that with certain development projects comes "one-time money" that can fund special staff as needed. He also noted that it is usually true that no matter how many more staff you add, demand is never satisfied.
Ellen Gould (Widener) expressed concerned that the newly formed Applications Development and Support Group might not be able to effectively track all of the small, medium, and large enhancements/bugs that have accumulated awaiting attention over the years. She argued that most library staff do not know the difference between a bug and an enhancement (or is it a feature?). But in the past, staff did know that the existence of a Production Services Division within OIS insured that some group was responsible for the small and medium-size enhancements. Dale Flecker noted that OIS Managers are also uncomfortable that the Development/Production Services division no longer exists, but the new groupings do achieve some efficiencies. Everyone in OIS is aware of the need to balance the needs of current system enhancements with new developments.
Marion Schoon (Widener) asked what the future holds for the relationship between OIS and the Office for Information Technology (OIT). Dale Flecker noted that the two organizations have always worked closely in the area of mainframe developments and will continue to do so. Harvard is too decentralized to offer a centralized development and delivery of information technology services. Since there is no one place on campus to supply such services, OIS and OIT collaborate to serve the University community when the need arises. Some examples of this collaboration include the VINE campus information system and the upcoming online Course Catalog. In addition, OIT is developing a Network Information Center (NIC) in consultation with the library community that will provide a variety of network-related services. There are several high-level committees, including the Nolan Committee, that are investigating technological developments. What this activity points to is a push for centralized technology planning instead of the fragmentation of individual Faculties going off on their own. Dale expects that within 12 to 18 months staff will begin to see more progress in this area. The short answer to Marion's question is that, no, OIS and OIT are not planning a formal merger.
Suzanne Kemple (Hilles) commented on how difficult it is today for libraries to identify who to ask questions of in the face of all this developing technology. It is simple enough to contact OIS with a HOLLIS problem, but what about non-HOLLIS technology? Yes, there is OIT's Network Information Center and the College Library's Automation Coordinator -- but who is responsible for what areas? Suzanne suggested that there be an attempt to identify the potential "technology" service centers and their areas of responsibility. Dale replied that this lack of centralization of support is one of the greatest single problems on campus today. For some time into the future, there will be the "Haves" with an abundance of technological support, and the "Have Nots" with no one to turn to. What the Harvard community must strive to do is sensitize Provost Jerry Green and the new Associate Provost to the need for a coherent and centralized approach to technological development.
Notes and Reminders
OCLC cycles (current and Recon records from OCLC to HOLLIS)
OCLC tapeloads (HOLLIS cataloging to OCLC)
That is the scoop. Contact MacKenzie Smith or Robin Wendler if you have questions.
Change to Widener-type call number validation. OIS recently discovered that HOLLIS was not correctly validating Widener-type call numbers when created or updated online. This type of call number is indicated in the LOC by a first indicator of 8, and is characterized by the presence of one or more subfield b's (but subfield a's are not allowed). The validation being done was preventing creation of a subfield a, but not forcing the creation of a subfield b, so that LOCs could be created which looked like
With the change just made at least one subfield b must be input if a first indicator value of '8' is present. If an operator tries to update a LOC which was created without any subfield b's the system will force them to create one, or to change the first indicator to a blank. Contact MacKenzie Smith or Julie Wetherill if you have questions about this change.
Order file weeded. In April, OIS weeded 174,798 order records from the HU order file -- leaving 455,670 records remaining. Any record last updated on or before 12/31/90 with
was eligible for this weed. The microfiche containing the weeded orders has already been distributed. Contact Linda Marean in OIS if you have questions.
Schedule change for HOLLIS training. One of the first formal activities of the OIS Library Services Group (LSG) is to plan changes to the current program of HOLLIS training with a view towards improving its efficiency and effectiveness. While this planning takes place, OIS will reduce the frequency of current HOLLIS classes. Starting in May, classes will be held every other month instead of monthly, meaning that classes for the remainder of 1993 will be scheduled for May, July, September, and November.
This bimonthly schedule will free up some of the HOLLIS Trainer's time to participate in this planning effort. OIS will make any permanent schedule and content changes in consultation with library staff. Soon OIS will solicit input from library staff -- watch LIBINFO and this newsletter for further information. Contact Julie Wetherill in OIS if you have questions or comments.
Response time tests. Stellar performances for responses in all time ranges during the April test! A great way to start off spring. Response time tests are scheduled for the first Tuesday of each month. Upcoming tests are scheduled for: 1 June, 6 July, 3 August, and 7 September. Volunteers should mark their calendars appropriately.
After some exploration, OIS discovered that typing the combination [ALT CHAR] [;] will produce the end-of-field delimiter while in program mode. It appears that other special characters also do not reproduce correctly when the 3151 terminal keyboard is in programming mode. Some staff may have already discovered this -- but this is the first time it has been reported to OIS. There is no immediate solution -- this is yet another weakness of the IBM 3151's font cartridge. OIS will advise IBM about this problem and keep you posted if there are any changes.
The HP DeskJet 500 provides the same functionality as the Canon BJ80 printer, that is, you can hook it up to a HOLLIS terminal (or more than one terminal if you have a switch box) and expect it to print screen data, including diacritics. As was noted in the April HOLLIS Newsletter, the new IBM 3151 terminals have a problem with their font cartridge which causes some diacritics not to print properly -- so the DeskJet will suffer this same malady. Unlike the Canon, the DeskJet takes cut sheets of paper instead of pin-feed paper. Also different (and perhaps better), the DeskJet has a form feed button that works while the printer is online. The DeskJet, like the Canon, is relatively quiet.
A note of caution: units that already have DeskJets attached to microcomputers may be tempted to try sharing these printers between the micro and a HOLLIS terminal. Although technically this is feasible, it is not a natural, straight- forward process and OIS cannot commit to supporting such connections.
In order to print diacritics from a HOLLIS terminal, the DeskJet 500 must use a HP DeskJet 500 IBM Proprinter III emulation cartridge. Further, this printer must be connected to the terminal with an RS-232-C (null modem) cable. All of this equipment is available from the Harvard Technology Product Center (TPC). The full details on price and ordering instructions appear on a sheet attached to this newsletter.
The OIS policy regarding printer support has not really changed with the switch from Canon to the DeskJet printer. Units are responsible for ordering their own printer equipment. OIS will install the DeskJet -- contact Ciata Victor for an appointment once the printer is delivered. The DeskJet is covered by a three year limited warranty. In the event of a problem the unit should send the printer to Harvard Tech Services at 175 North Harvard Street in Allston. The only part that may need regular replacement is the ink cartridge. This cartridge is available at TPC and units are responsible for stocking and replacing this part. Price information for the ink cartridge appears on the instruction sheet attached to this newsletter. If you have questions or encounter a difficult-to-resolve problem, contact Heather Reid in OIS.
Although OIS now officially supports the DeskJet 500 as the diacritic-printing printer for HOLLIS terminals, there are still a great number of Canon BJ80 printers in use. Unless you are plagued by performance problems, there is no need to replace your Canons with DeskJets at this time. OIS will continue to repair broken Canon priming levers while the supply of such parts lasts. Lauren Caulton reports that with the warmer weather, incidents of broken levers should decrease. Lauren also notes that she no longer has a backlog of repair calls for this part -- so if you have a Canon awaiting primer lever replacement call Lauren in OIS.
As always, there will be a period of adjustment in which OIS and library units grow accustomed to the DeskJet printer. However, based on OIS observations, many units already have DeskJets attached to microcomputers and report very positively on their performance and reliability. Again, contact Heather Reid or Ciata Victor in OIS if you have questions.
HULPR access billing reminder. This is a reminder that OIS is now supporting network access to HULPR from microcomputers with access to the HSDN. Libraries can choose one of two billing options for network attached microcomputers: