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HOLLIS Newsletter

Volume 12, Number 1/2 (January/February 1997)

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  • Next HOLLIS Liaisons Meeting (#110)
  • Feature Articles
  • Millenium Approaches
  • HOLLIS II Needs You!
  • HOLLIS II Planning -- Progress Report
  • Functional Checklist Review in February
  • HOLLIS II: The Timeline
  • HOLLIS II Desktop Configuration Recommendations
  • In February HOLLIS Will Survey Users
  • Lynx -- the New HOLLIS Plus Common Client
  • Notes and Reminders
  • Music and Tozzer circulating online
  • HULPR extended hours in January
  • Library Guide reminder
  • Books File weeded
  • Register your HOLLIS Plus in-library devices
  • OIS staffing changes
  • HULPR Passwords
  • HOLLIS & HOLLIS Plus Enhancements
  • Training Schedule
  • Calendar

    Next HOLLIS Liaisons Meeting (#110)

    March 12, 1997
    Lamont Forum Room

    Agenda to be announced

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    Millenium Approaches
    by Charles Husbands
    You have probably begun to see news stories predicting computer chaos when the year 2000 arrives. The anxiety arises from that fact that many computer systems have been built, copying familiar manual practice, to store only the last two digits of a year. In such systems dates in 2000 will be interpreted as dates in 1900, causing i nappropriate comparisons with real 20th century dates.

    Well, you say, HOLLIS displays many dates in mm/dd/yy form. Is HOLLIS ready for the millenium? Actually, the current HOLLIS system has been handling 21st century dates for a few years already, ever since graduate students began to show up having “expect ed graduation dates” that far in the future. Even undergrads have those now. Also, alas, some acquisitions records have for years contained action or claim dates beyond 1999.

    Two years ago OIS undertook a project to ensure that HOLLIS can handle dates through December 2027. We think the work is complete, but if the present system is still running as 1998 ends, we will conduct another examination to be sure that no infrequentl y-used program has been overlooked. The changes to HOLLIS allow years to continue to be identified by two digits in coded date fields. The system identifies 28 - 99 as representing 1928 - 1999, and 00 - 27 as 2000 - 2027. There is a technical reason f or this particular choice of limits. [Note that absolutely nothing in this article pertains to dates, such as publication dates, that are expressed only as years. No changes are required for them.]

    It is expected that HOLLIS II, whatever it may be, will be fully in operation long before the sun rises on January 1, 2000. Clearly, the capacity to handle 21st century dates will be needed the moment the new system is implemented. Any vendor who has no t already addressed and solved the century problem is an unlikely choice for Harvard’s next system.

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    HOLLIS II Needs You!
    Your input is vital! Library staff are encouraged to participate in public review of HOLLIS II lists of functional needs at two February open meetings in the Lamont Forum Room:

    Circulation, Reserves, & Inventory Control
    and Public Services Task Groups

    February 4th, 9am - 12noon

    Financial Operations and
    Processing & Intellectual Access Task Groups

    February 5th, 9:30am - 12:30pm

    Mark your calendars! More details appear later this issue.

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    HOLLIS II Planning -- Progress Report
    by Julie Wetherill
    Great progress is being made in the planning for Harvard’s next generation library system -- called HOLLIS II. Here are some updates.

    Current status
    The HOLLIS II Project has three phases: Phase 1 (needs analyses), Phase 2 (vendor and system evaluations), and Phase 3 (Implementation). We are quickly closing in on the beginning of Phase 2 (see the time line).

    Phase 1 has consisted of two simultaneously occurring threads: the checklist development by the Functional Task Groups and the initial vendor investigation by the Steering Committee and the Technical Task group.

    Four task groups:

    • Financial Operations
    • Processing and Intellectual Access
    • Public Services
    • Circulation, Reserves, & Inventory Control
    have drafted lists of functional needs — functions that would be desirable or required in our next library system. These “checklists” will be used to evaluate vendor systems that make the “short list” in Phase 2. Library staff are encouraged to review t hese checklists, which are available on the HOLLIS II web site, http://hul.harvard.edu/hollis2/task_groups/taskgrp.html and in print form (contact Patti Fucci in OIS). In early February there will be a formal opportunity for feedback on these checklists (see Checklist Review).

    A separate Technical and Systems Issues Task Group has been meeting with each of the nine candidate vendors. Their charge is to assess the technical architecture and operating environment of each system under consideration. They will present their impre ssions to the HOLLIS II Steering Committee in February.

    The Steering Committee has been meeting with each vendor to analyze such things as: company direction and “vision,” current financial state and long-term business plans, customer base for the system and future key markets, current state of system deploym ent, and development plans.

    Based on these criteria, and feedback from the Technical Task Group, the Steering Committee will select a short list (3-4) of vendor systems to analyze in depth.

    Selecting the short list
    Why a short list? Because each vendor and system Harvard seriously considers will need in-depth analysis, functionally and technically. Approaching 9 systems in this way would be too much work. A detailed investigation of 3-4 systems is more manageable .

    Reducing the pool of 9 candidate vendors/systems down to 3 or 4 will be the job of the Steering Committee. Their decisions will be based on a business/financial analysis of each vendor and a technical assessment of each system. It is not expected that d etailed functional analyses will play a role in forming the short list. However, a high level functional assessment is likely. That is, does the system now provide (or in the near future will it provide) all the major functional modules expected in an i ntegrated library system?

    The vendor short list -- the prelude to Phase 2 of this project -- should be finalized by late February 1997.

    Phases 2 and 3
    In Phase 2 (March-October 1997) the short-list vendor systems will be analyzed in depth by the Task Groups (using the checklists created in Phase 1). Each Task Group will report to the Steering Committee:

    • their absolute evaluation of each system (is it good?);
    • their relative evaluation of each system (how does it compare to the other systems evaluated);
    • problem areas where each system does not satisfy our needs and which would need to be addressed before the system could be implemented here at Harvard.
    At the same time the Technical Issues Task Group and the Steering Committee will pursue their respective evaluations. It is likely that Task Groups and the Steering Committee will be talking with representatives at sites already using the candidate syste ms.

    The Steering Committee will take the input from all of these groups, and make a final recommendation to the University of which system to implement. This proposal, along with the appropriate budget and implementation plans, will be forwarded to appropria te bodies in the University for approval. The timeframe for the system recommendation is fall 1997.

    Conversion and implementation work begin in Phase 3 (November 1997-January 1999). The process of converting data from the current HOLLIS system will be a challenge because there is a lot of it and a significant portion is non-standardize d (acquisitions, item, and fund accounting records are examples).

    There are generally two approaches to implementation: the Monday morning conversion (turn off HOLLIS Friday; turn on HOLLIS II Monday) or a phased conversion. A phased conversion sounds friendlier, but has its own problems. Since all subsystems are not m oved simultaneously, we would need to run parallel systems for some period of time. Synchronization of data is another problem — we might cutover acquisitions and cataloging first, but leave circulation for the next phase. However, some data is shared b y all three functions. The timing of Harvard’s academic year suggests a two-stage conversion if we choose the phased approach. The best window is in the summer of 1998. The next window is between the fall and spring semesters (December 1998 - January 1999). Although the time line on pages 2-3 depicts the 2-stage approach, no firm decision has been made about the implementation approach.

    Open meetings and feedback
    The Phase 1 vendor visits will be complete when DRA comes to Harvard in January. In early February, Task Group checklists will be presented in a series of 2 open meetings (see the article on page 3 of this issue). At these meetings library staff will ha ve a formal opportunity to suggest additions, changes, or deletions to the lists of “important functions” we want to see in HOLLIS II. There will also be a feedback form available at these meetings and from the HOLLIS II web site.

    This is your opportunity to ensure that
    the HOLLIS II Team has identified
    all of your key functional needs
    before it begins in-depth vendor analysis.

    In March there will be another open meeting to review the short list decisions and introduce Phase 2 activities. Information about HOLLIS II open meetings can be found in the calendar section of this newsletter, in Harvard University Library Notes and online at the HOLLIS II web site (http://hul.harvard.edu/hollis2/).

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    Functional Checklist Review in February
    Library staff are encouraged to participate in public review of HOLLIS II checklists of functional needs at three February open meetings in the Lamont Forum Room. Coffee and tea will be served.

    Meeting 1. Feb 4 9:00 - 10:20 am

    1. Project overview and status
    2. Report from task group on Circulation, Reserves, and Inventory Control
      General Requirements
      • Basic Circulation Functions: Charge, Discharge, Renew
      • Bill/Fine/Patron Accounting/Patron File Criteria
      • Holds and Recalls
      • ILL and Document Delivery
      • Reserves
      • Item Records, Binding, End-Processing, and Tracking & Inventory Control.
    Meeting 2. Feb 4 10:40-12:00 noon
    1. Project overview and status
    2. Report from Public Services task group
      • Overview and Assumptions
      • Interface and Configurability
      • Indexing, Searching, and Display
      • Online Help and Reader Empowerment
      • Downloading, Printing, and Reporting
    Meeting 3. Feb 5 9:30-12:00 noon
    1. Project overview and status
    2. Report from task group on Financial Operations
      • Overview/Assumptions
      • Fund accounting
      • Vendor file issues
      • Invoice processing/payment history
      • Accounts receivable
    3. Report from the task group on Intellectual Access and Processing
      • Introduction
      • Acquisitions
      • Cataloging
      • Authority Control
      • Holdings
      • Retrieval and display
      • Electronic resources
      • Reporting
    Come prepared with comments!

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    HOLLIS II Desktop Configuration Recommendations
    by Tracey Robinson
    OIS has collected information from all the potential library system vendors in order to get a sense of the minimum configuration needed for technical services and public workstations.

    Until a vendor is selected this summer it is not possible to say specifically what configuration will be required, but the following guidelines can be used to budget upgrades or replacements for existing terminals/workstations.

    You can assume that HOLLIS II will be implemented by the beginning of FY1999.

    OPAC Client Configuration:

    • Pentium 100 MHz
    • 14" SVGA Color Monitor (1024x768)
    • 16 MB RAM
    • 1.2 GB Hard Drive
    • 1 MB Video RAM, 256 KB L2 Cache
    • 32-bit TCP/IP connectivity tools: Telnet, FTP, TN3270, Ping, etc.)
    • Windows 95 (or Windows NT)
    • 32-bit web browser which supports forms and is HTML 3.x compliant
    • Network Card
    • Windows 95 Keyboard, Mouse, 3.5" Floppy Drive
    Tech Services Client Configuration:
    • Pentium 133 MHz
    • 15" SVGA Color Monitor (1024x768)
    • 16-24 MB RAM (32 MB RAM recommended for NT)
    • 2.0 GB Hard Drive
    • 1 MB Video RAM, (2 MB Video RAM recommended) 256 KB L2 Cache
    • 32-bit TCP/IP connectivity tools: Telnet, FTP, TN3270, Ping, etc.)
    • Windows 95 (or Windows NT)
    • 32-bit web browser which supports forms and is HTML 3.x compliant
    • 8X IDE CD-ROM Drive (optional)
    • Network Card
    Please note these additional details. It appears that 5 of the 9 vendors still intend to support character-based terminal access for their library systems and, for this type of access, the above configurations are somewhat excessive. One vendor's technic al services client can run only on Windows NT (as opposed to Windows 95). Lastly, the absence of a recommended Macintosh configuration is no accident. The lack of Macintosh-based client development by these vendors is definitely a trend. For OPAC access, thi s may not be a major concern given that these vendors are including World Wide Web access to their OPACs. But for technical services processing, lack of a Mac client is something libraries should take into consideration when planning equipment upgrades.

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    In February HOLLIS Will Survey Users
    Beginning the first week of February, a new screen will appear when a database is chosen from the main menu of HOLLIS. This screen will provide an opportunity for HOLLIS users to comment on what they like best in HOLLIS, what they like least in HOLLIS an d what they would like to see in a new HOLLIS. Comments will be sent by HOLLIS to members of the HOLLIS II Public Services Task Group.

    The lifetime of the screen will be approximately five days spread over the month of February. The screen will be turned on and off during various days of the week in order to maximize exposure to occasional HOLLIS users. At the end of February, the extr a screen will be removed but the option for commenting about HOLLIS and HOLLIS II will remain on the existing comment menu.

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    Lynx -- the New HOLLIS PLUS Common Client
    by Julie Wetherill
    In December 1996, the process of removing the gopher version of HOLLIS Plus began. At that time, the HOLLIS Plus gopher began displaying a warning on the top page, noting that its days were numbered and giving the URL of the Web version . At the same time, the “common client” (the telnet-accessible HOLLIS Plus client used by some Harvard libraries) was changed to a textual Web browser (Lynx) instead of gopher.

    Lynx as our “common client”
    Some Harvard libraries are still using IBM terminals for public access to HOLLIS Plus. These devices can provide VT100, character based access to HOLLIS Plus. With retirement of the HOLLIS Plus gopher, Lynx is the browser of c hoice in these cases. To make the connection, these machines telnet to the HOLLIS Plus server and use a copy of Lynx on the server. This copy of Lynx is what we refer to as the HOLLIS Plus “common client.”

    Lynx is a character-based browser for the World Wide Web. That is, Lynx provides a textual display of web pages; reinterpreting multimedia elements of a page (such as graphics and audio) as text when possible. People use it because it is fast (no graphi cs to slow it down) and it is a good choice for web access over slow phone lines or on low-end workstations. Lynx shares many features found in graphical web browsers, such as: bookmark creation, text searching, and downloading.

    Why should you care?
    In those libraries still offering VT100 terminal access to HOLLIS Plus, the switch from a gopher to a Lynx common client should cause little disruption. But some users may be confused. Lynx and the textual gopher common client are very similar, but there may be enough differences in navigation techniques and commands to stump the first time user. Also, OIS has disabled some Lynx features — such as quit, bookmark creation, and printing — that are incompatible with operation of a common client o n the HOLLIS Plus server. Someone familiar with Lynx may be frustrated at finding these unavailable. Lastly, some web-based HOLLIS Plus resources may not perform very well if they do not have a “Lynx enhanced” design. For example, the new OVID version of ABI-Inform is relatively inhospitable to Lynx users (OVID is aware of this).

    On the positive side, a web-based common client means that in-library terminals now have access to web resources in addition to gopher and telnet resources. Patrons can now access the Oxford English Dictionary from these devices, for example.


    More information about Lynx is available on the web. Point your browser to: http://lynx.browser.org/ to view a central repository of Lynx links. If you are looking for information on features of the HOLLIS Pl< EM>us version of Lynx, note that we are currently running version 2.4.1. If you have any further questions about the Lynx common client, please contact Lydia Ievins in OIS.

    As of JANUARY 27
    (the beginning of the Spring term),
    the HOLLIS Plus gopher

    will cease to exist.

    In its place will display only
    a pointer to the Web version.

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    Notes and Reminders
    Music and Tozzer circulating online
    At the start of Spring semester, two more libraries will begin participating in HOLLIS circulation. The Music and Tozzer libraries are scheduled to “go live” at the end of January -- including the display of circulation status in the HOLLIS Public Catal og. They join 15 other Harvard libraries:

    Andover-Harvard Lamont
    Cabot Science Law
    Countway Littauer
    Fine Arts Loeb Design
    Gutman Physics Research
    Hilles Widener
    Kennedy School Wolbach
    If you have questions, contact Martha Creedon in OIS.

    HULPR extended hours in January
    During January 1997, HULPR system availability is being extended while Cabot Library remains open extended hours during reading period and final exams. From January 6-24, HULPR availability will be:

    Mon/Tue Down @ 3am
    Tue/Wed Down @ 3am
    Wed/Thurs Down @ 1am
    Fri/Sat Down @ 4:30am
    Sat/Sun Down @ 4:30am
    “Sun/Mon” and so forth, means Late Sunday night/early Monday morning.

    On all nights HULPR will be brought up as soon as possible after 4:30am. On Mon/Tue and Wed/Thurs, restoration of HULPR may be delayed by use of the regularly scheduled “window” for system maintenance and testing.

    After the night of January 23/24, HULPR hours will return to normal. During this period, the HOLLIS system will maintain its regular schedule. If you have questions, contact Linda Marean in OIS.

    Library Guide reminder
    With the 1997 spring semester about to begin, this is a reminder for libraries to update their Library Guide (LG) records with any new information about their hours of operation or services. Also, libraries involved with retrospective conversion should re view the LG descriptions of the portion of their collection “in HOLLIS” and “not in HOLLIS” in case this information has changed.

    If you need more information about editing LG records, contact Julie Wetherill in OIS.

    Books File weeded
    The Books File (BF database) in HULPR has been weeded to remove all records with a publication date earlier than 1993. This weed process includes LC, National Library of Canada, and pre-cataloging records from Harrassowitz and Casalini Libri. This proce ss is done at the beginning of every calendar year. If you have any questions, please contact Linda Marean in OIS.

    Register your HOLLIS Plus in-library devices
    When libraries install new HOLLIS Plus public access workstations, an important part of this process is registration of the device with OIS. A registered device will be exempted from access control to restricted databases and have access to the Unix common client. (For more information on the HOLLIS Plus common client, see the short article above.)

    A registration form is available from the OIS web site: http://hul.harvard.edu/ois/hplus_info/hpregister.html

    A copy can also be obtained by contacting Patti Fucci in OIS (by phone or email to: p_fucci@harvard.edu). Turn around time for requests is normally two days. Staff should avoid calling OIS to register devices -- the information on the form is necessary to the registration process.

    OIS staffing changes
    In December, Christina Oltmer joined OIS as a new Microcomputer Support Specialist within the Network and Desktop Systems group, replacing John Maher, who left at the end of 1996 to return to school full-time. Christina was previously a Staff Assistant for the Data Decision Making Project in the Department o f Population and International Health, Harvard School of Public Health. In this former position, she provided computer support, World Wide Web development and maintenance, and coordination of all desktop publishing for the project.

    HULPR passwords
    When submitting requests for changes or additions to HULPR Security, remember that OIS does not under any circumstances need passwords. We do need the Logon id, but we have no interest in the password. In fact, the whole point of a password is that you sh ould not be telling anyone what it is.

    When setting up a new HULPR Logon id, the password will be whatever is entered at the first Logon, provided it is “legal,” i.e., 6-8 characters and a combination of letters and numbers. If you contact us by mail, do not w rite the password on the form, although there is a blank requesting you to fill it in. These forms are outdated. As the reason for sending forms in a sealed envelope was to protect your password, if you omit it, you needn’t seal the envelopes, and we can recycle them for further use. If you have further questions, please contact Linda Marean at OIS.

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    HOLLIS & HOLLIS Plus Enhancements
    Major recent efforts have concerned the indexing enhancements described in last month’s Newsletter. The two bugs reported then have been fixed. In addition:

    • Processing of incoming serial records was changed to support implementation of the recommendations of the HUL CONSER Task Force.
    • Search qualification by format was implemented in the RI database.
    • The awards note (586) was added to the OPAC long display.
    • A change was made to the format of GET ANY e-mail to libraries so that “deliver to” information is separated from other comments.
    HOLLIS Plus
    • Added 17 Institute of Physics Online Journals.
    • Added “Literature” and “Economics” as subject categories.
    • Removed “(May 1990- )” from the U.S. Supreme Court Decisions title since this site also includes selected historical decisions. Also modified the About U.S. Supreme Court Decisions page to reflect this coverage.
    • Assigned the subject term “Area Studies” to the United Nations and Other International Organizations site.
    • Changed title Academe (Chronicle of Higher Education) to Academe This Week. Users have been incorrectly assuming that this resource also includes free access to Academe Today.

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    4 February
    HOLLIS II Checklist Review
    9am-10:20am, Lamont Forum Room
    Agenda: Circulation, Reserves, & Inventory Control Task Group

    4 February
    HOLLIS II Checklist Review
    10:40am-12 noon, Lamont Forum Room
    Agenda: Public Services Task Group

    5 February
    HOLLIS II Checklist Review
    9:30am-12:30pm, Lamont Forum Room
    Agenda: Financial Operations and Processing & Intellectual Access

    7 February
    ABCD Main Meeting
    12 noon, Aiken 241

    7 February
    Librarians’ Assembly 3-5pm, Lecture Hall C, Science Center
    Agenda: Pres. Neil Rudenstein will preside, addressing the PIQ Task Force Report, the Professional Development Report, and the Librarian’s Assembly Review Task Force Report.

    12 March
    HOLLIS Liaisons
    2:30-4:00pm, Lamont Forum Room
    Agenda TBA

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