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OIS News -- February 2001

Feature HOLLIS assessment FY2002 Aleph implementation The Project formerly known as HOLLIS II
Aleph Implementation Project update

Aleph desktop configuration recommendations

Your Aleph Implementation comments are valuable!
HOLLIS portal (service formerly known as HOLLIS Plus) HOLLIS portal site enhanced
Browser compatibility update
HOLLIS ILS Impact of new AR system on circulation billing
HULPR login woes

Recent disruptions to HOLLIS Catalog telnet access

HOLLIS ILS supports new LCCN format

Requesting vendor set up: accurate tax status is vital
Notes & reminders Item record training now available
Web site updates
URLs in this issue


HOLLIS assessment FY2002

The University Library Council approved the HOLLIS assessment for fiscal year 2002 at their December meeting. The library assessment recovers expenses for core systems and services including staff, computing services, hardware, software, and operating costs for OIS supported library applications. The assessment allows OIS to provide many services and systems to libraries including:

  • the HOLLIS ILS (integrated library system): including staff training and documentation, printed products, standard reporting support, and storage and use of all "common good" files: HU, BF, RV, SH
  • the HOLLIS portal,
  • OASIS: finding aids catalog
  • VIA/Olivia: visual materials catalog and cataloging
  • Other new infrastructure systems including: the Name Resolution Service (NRS) and components of the new security system (authorization and authentication services)

The increase in the assessment for FY02 is 4.1%. The algorithm used to distribute the assessment across the schools was established in FY2000 and is based on average HOLLIS fees and charges during the period from 1994-1999.

Cost share







































Central Adm.







To reiterate the policy established in Fy2000, there are several services that are NOT covered by the HOLLIS assessment. Additional fees are associated with library specific services and databases. This includes storage costs associated with special local databases (Anthro Lit, Unitarian Pamphlets, Roosevelt Collection, the Old Widener file, EPB) or exceptional support for local reporting, programming, or technical support. The assessment also does not cover RLIN searching or telecommunication charges.

RLIN charges. A new 2-year fixed fee contract was negotiated with RLIN in September 1999 that covered searching, telecommunication, and database charges. Annual search charges remained constant at $79,500 in FY2001, but are likely to increase in FY2002 when the next contract is negotiated. Projecting the same level of increase as in our previous contract (a 13.6 percent increase for searching), we can estimate searching costs for FY2002 at approximately $90,000. These charges are billed back each May based on actual searching statistics. Using search statistics for FY 2000, individual library charges can be estimated as follows:

HCL $ 54,180
Law $ 33,480
Schlesinger $ 2,340
TOTAL $ 90,000

RLIN telecommunications charges are billed annually at current rates. If these charges remain unchanged, the total charges can be expected to be approximately $35,400 in FY2002. There are two components to these charges: individual port costs (up from $115 in FY2000 to $120 per month in FY2001), and a basic network link fee ($550 per month). One additional port was added in FY2001, paid for by HCL. These charges will continue to be allocated as in previous years:

number of ports

port charges @ $1440/port/year

Link charges**






















**Network link fee: Split 65/35 between HCL and Law

Digital Repository System (DRS) fees. Introduced earlier this year, the Digital Repository System (DRS) will be used by libraries at Harvard to store digital objects. The HOLLIS assessment will not cover the cost of data storage for DRS and so, in FY02, OIS will begin to charge for DRS storage. A fee structure is being developed which is designed to recover incremental costs for disk storage hardware but not the DRS system itself. More information about DRS storage charges will be available by early spring.

Shared Digital Resource fees. Following the cost-sharing model adopted by the ULC in FY2000, costs for shared resources are now paid centrally by OIS and charged back to libraries, on a quarterly basis, based on usage statistics or on ad hoc arrangements where usage statistics are unavailable. If you have questions about budgeting for digital resources, contact Ivy Anderson at 495-3724. Ì

Aleph implementation

The Project formerly known as HOLLIS II

The Aleph Implementation Project (AIP for short) is the new name for the project to implement our next integrated library system (a project known as HOLLIS II during the system evaluation stage). With this name change, hopefully there will be one less contributor to the confusion surrounding what is "HOLLIS." Although the project will be called Aleph Implementation, there has been no official decision on a name for the Aleph system that will be installed at Harvard. During February, we will be replacing instances of "HOLLIS II" with "Aleph Implementation" where ever they occur on the OIS web site. Ì


Aleph Implementation Project update

Aleph implementation planning is moving along at a quickening pace. Staff from OIS and Ex Libris have been meeting frequently since December 2000 on topics such as data conversion, Aleph configuration, Harvard enhancements to Aleph, and much more. Initial meetings have been kept intentionally small to facilitate the early learning process. Within the next two months implementation teams will be defined to include broader library participation.

The following list provides a flavor of the planning activities going on right now:

  • Systems analysis. During the week of 8 January, staff from Ex Libris and Harvard spent four days on systems analysis, that is, acquainting Harvard with the basic data structures and functionality of Aleph and helping Ex Libris understand Harvard's library system structure, its diverse set of work processes and what that means for configuration of an Aleph system at Harvard. The "output" from these meetings will assist Ex Libris in configuring the "first draft" Aleph test system they are now installing on Harvard servers.
  • Data conversion. In short, how to move 8.7 million bibliographic records, 1.3 million authorities, 1.1 million holdings, 600,000 orders, 6.7 million items, etc., etc., out of HOLLIS ILS and into the appropriate place in Aleph so that access to and usability of data is preserved. Because of the volume and complexity of these conversions, Harvard will sometimes face hard choices on moving data or leaving it behind. It is also clear that some cleanup of our data ahead of time will make for a smoother conversion. Better information on record cleanup efforts will be available later this spring.
  • Loading test data into Aleph. During March-April 2001, Ex Libris will load a subset of data from the HOLLIS ILS (in the 100,000 record range) into Harvard's Aleph test system. Half of this first subset will include randomly-selected records, the rest will be pre-selected records with attributes that will help in testing indexes, record displays and eventually Harvard's configuration settings. The process of defining subsets, conversion, loading and testing will happen over and over again until Harvard is satisfied with the conversion results. The first full-scale test conversion is expected to happen by the end of 2001.
  • Aleph configuration. The goal is to set up Aleph so that it effectively supports processing routines in the libraries. One of the initial hurdles has been to understand functions of the Aleph "sub-library," which is similar in concept to the HOLLIS ILS "LOC" (library holding location code). Work is also underway to define the properties of the indexes and displays of search results that staff and patrons will be using to find information in Aleph. Soon will begin the tasks of defining tables that control circulation policies and codes/functions used in acquisitions, fund accounting, serials control, etc. This is an area where the input of Harvard libraries will be critical. This process will begin later this year.
  • Harvard enhancements to Aleph. Harvard has contracted with Ex Libris for enhancements to Aleph in areas where current functionality will not meet our needs. What Harvard considers "critical" enhancements (needed by Day 1 of Harvard's implementation) will be spread out across Aleph semi-annual software releases between now and summer 2002, including version 15.1 (due July 2001), 15.2 (due December 2001) and 16.1 (due March 2002). Small task groups composed of staff from OIS and libraries are now working with Ex Libris to define specifications for these enhancements.
  • Forming implementation teams. Teams of staff from OIS and the libraries will be responsible for carrying out many of the activities associated with Aleph implementation. There will be teams responsible for specific Aleph functions (e.g., cataloging, acquisitions, serial control, OPAC, ...) in addition to teams covering training, staff productivity tools, desktop software issues, etc. Teams are expected to work closely with individual libraries. Scope and membership of teams is still under discussion.

Implementation activities to date have not been very visible to the library community, but this will soon change. Once the Aleph Implementation Steering Committee (ASC) approves the general plan for Aleph implementation (in the February - March timeframe), details of the process will be described in open meetings, newsletters and HULINFO. Direct any questions about the Aleph Implementation Project to Kathy Anderson or Tracey Robinson. Ì

Aleph desktop configuration recommendations

Now available on the OIS web site are recommendations for desktop hardware and software configurations for Aleph staff clients and OPAC. Point a web browser to:


These recommendations, based on specifications provided by Ex Libris, are intended to assist libraries in budgeting for upgrade or replacement of existing workstations. If you have specific questions about Aleph desktop configuration, contact Lesly Corrielus in OIS. Ì

Your Aleph Implementation comments are valuable!

The Aleph Implementation section of the OIS web site now sports a link to a comment facility for library staff (and patrons). Click this link to send your questions or suggestions to OIS implementation staff. Or, simply address an e-mail message to "aipcomment@hulmail.harvard.edu." Ì

HOLLIS portal (service formerly known as HOLLIS Plus)

HOLLIS portal site enhanced

An enhanced version of the HOLLIS Portal Site became available on Sunday 28 January. Changes to the site are based on usability testing, open meetings and the many requests submitted through the comment facility, all of which were prioritized and specified by the Ad Hoc HOLLIS Interface group.

Highlights include: improved visibility and color contrast, improved navigation, better links to help documents, increased font and graphic size, re-design of the e-resources pages and the creation of a "quick find" search designed to locate known resources with fewer clicks. Please note that changes in the subject categorization of electronic resources are still "in process".

Contact Caren Smith in OIS if you have questions. Ì

Browser compatibility update

The December 2000 OIS News reported significant incompatibilities between HOLLIS portal resources and the newly released Netscape 6. Among other things, this release cannot handle colons in the path portion of a URL a common occurrence in portal URLs. OIS has introduced a process to translate these colons properly, so Netscape 6 can now be used to access most HOLLIS resources.

However, all the latest versions of both Netscape and Internet Explorer no longer support the use of the APC proxy. Specifically, on PCs, APC is not supported by Netscape 6 or versions above IE 5.1. On Mac OS9, APC is not supported by Netscape 6 and IE 4.5 and above. The HOLLIS portal web site provides a description of the APC proxy. In portal resource listings, the letter "p" to the left of a resource name indicates when the APC proxy is in use.

HOLLIS portal has just over 200 APC resources and well over 1,000 resources that use other access mechanisms (including EZproxy). OIS is migrating resources from APC to EZproxy, but must do so slowly to insure no degradation in EZproxy performance.

Contact Janet Taylor in OIS if you have questions. Ì


Impact of new AR system on circulation billing

The University's new Accounts Receivable (AR) system is now in place. Changes to allow an electronic feed of circulation billing data from the ILS to the new AR system are nearly complete. And OIS has been working with the libraries to develop new workflows for reporting (identifying the status of aged AR fines) and processing of credits. OIS also plans on developing staff documentation on these processes. The details follow. (Background on the new AR system and its impact on libraries is available in the December 2000 issue of OIS News.)

New electronic feed: AR billing delayed until February

The HOLLIS ILS will begin electronic transfer of bill records to Accounts Receivable in late February. Scope of this transfer includes patrons billed by Accounts Receivable (generally defined as the non-student population). Details of the new process are described in the December 2000 OIS News. Because the electronic transfer of AR billing will not be ready until late February, the January external billing cycle will be run for Term Bill notices only. OIS will NOT be transmitting any billing information to Accounts Receivable in January. The first electronic feed of information will be transmitted at the end of February. This means that patrons who would be billed by the Accounts Receivable office will not receive bills from Accounts Receivable in February.

Librarians who are responsible for billing functions at their libraries were invited to attend the 6 February Circulation Liaisons Meeting to discuss the impact of this delay on patron blocking and other processes.

Reporting: replacing the "Aged Invoice Report"

In the past, a library received an "Aged Invoice Report" from Accounts Receivable approximately one month after a library submitted its report to A/R for patron invoice processing. Staff would use this report to mark AR bills in the HOLLIS ILS as "externally paid." The Accounts Receivable Department will no longer be generating this report. OIS is investigating the possibility of printing this report centrally at OIS and distributing it to the libraries.

In the event that OIS cannot distribute this report, libraries will need to have access to the new Accounts Receivable system and produce their own reports. Either the library itself will have to gain access to the new system, or the library will have to work with its financial office in order to produce these reports. The Financial Administration Office is offering training on the new A/R computing system and has created a class specifically for reporting information. Once a library has obtained its report, the library will still have to manually update HOLLIS bill/fine records with this information.

New process for AR credits

In the past, libraries have contacted A/R individually with information needed to process credit memoranda. The most common case has been when the patron, upon receiving a bill from Accounts Receivable for a lost book, comes into the library and returns the book. The library would manually waive the fine in HOLLIS and send some sort of communication to the Accounts Receivable office asking A/R to forgive the patron bill.

While the process in HOLLIS will not change, Accounts Receivable will no longer process these manual credit requests from the libraries. Unfortunately, HOLLIS is not capable of transmitting the information about credits to the Accounts Receivable office, and this means that libraries will have to access the new A/R computer system and send a credit memorandum directly through this system on the patron's bill.

The staff member who will be processing credit memoranda through the A/R system will need:

A. Access to the new A/R system

B. Training in how to process credits through the system

C. To know how to locate an invoice within the system

D. The authority to credit the appropriate 33-Digit COA number for the library.

Once access to the new system has been obtained the library's staff member will have to be trained. The Financial Administration Office is providing training on the new A/R system on how to search, create and credit invoices.

AR training offerings

Library staff will need to learn the use of the new AR system in order to process credits and track the status of AR bills. Financial Administration is offering training on using the new Accounts Receivable System.

If you are interested in obtaining report information on outstanding bills, the course you need to take is entitled "Using AR to Report on Receivables or Resolve Customer Inquiries." This class will provide an overview for generating reports and being able to respond to specific patron requests.

If you are interested in how to process credit memoranda, the course you need to take is entitled "Using Accounts Receivable to Create Customer Invoices." Although the class also covers the creation of invoices in the new system, it will also review the process of creating a credit memorandum and applying it to patron accounts.

See the training section of the Financial Administration web site for course descriptions and schedules. Registration for financial systems training at Harvard is handled by local training liaisons who can provide you with up-to-date information on offerings, dates, times, locations, and available seats. A list of local training liaisons is available from the Financial Administration web site.

OIS developing process documentation

OIS is currently documenting information that the libraries will need to assist with accessing invoices and reports in the new A/R system. Once this documentation is complete, this information will be disseminated to the libraries. OIS has also been meeting individually with the libraries about the new A/R system to discuss these issues and how they will impact each unit. This is an ongoing process and it is anticipated that there will be other workflow and documentation changes over the next few months.

If you have any questions about the new A/R system, please do not hesitate to contact Patty Hatch. Ì

HULPR login woes

Two separate events related to the HULPR login process got the attention of library staff during December and January.

December login failures. In mid-December there were numerous HULPR login failures associated with a large number of password expirations. The password expirations were a normal event; the login failures were caused by login macros that prevented staff from seeing system messages about expired passwords. In a HULINFO message from 13 December, Charles Husbands reminded everyone that current mainframe security requires that HULPR passwords be changed at least every six months, and that McGill or Reflexion login macros can interfere with the password expiration/changing process. Refer to Charles' message for the details. Information about HULPR passwords (including how to change them) are available in Reference Manual Appendix L (Operator Profiles).

December and January login slowness. The extra second or two that it consistently requires to log on to HULPR results from a change made on Sunday 3 December 2000 to AFC2, the security management program on the mainframe. This is a minimal inconvenience and probably with us permanently. Ì

Recent disruptions to HOLLIS Catalog telnet access

Periodic problems with telnet connections to the HOLLIS Catalog (hollis.harvard.edu) have been reported as recently as 18 January and as far back as July 2000. During these incidents, users reported that a telnet connection to hollis.harvard.edu ( resulted in the message:

Application Required. No Installation Default

Enter Application Name:

Regardless of the next key pressed, the telnet connection would terminate. UIS has tentatively identified the culprit as a memory problem (memory leak) associated with the TCP/IP region on the mainframe where the HOLLIS Catalog system resides. Every telnet connection uses up a bit of memory, but this "leak" prevents that memory from being released. Eventually enough memory is consumed to prevent connections altogether. UIS is looking into a permanent fix, but for the moment UIS will recycle or refresh that mainframe region late on Tuesday and Thursday nights as a preventative measure. This recycling (think of it as roughly equivalent to rebooting your PC) frees up the memory that has gradually been tied up, allowing telnet connections once more.

This problem does not affect access to the HULPR (staff) system or HOLLIS Web. If you receive a user report about problems with telnet to the HOLLIS catalog, ask the user to try HOLLIS Web [ http://hollisweb.harvard.edu/ ] and notify OIS. Ì

HOLLIS ILS supports new LCCN format

The Library of Congress is creating a new LCCN format for numbers assigned in the year 2001 and beyond. The format for LCCN numbers assigned before the year 2001 (referred to by LC as "Structure A") will not change. The new LCCN format (referred to by LC as "Structure B") will incorporate all 4 digits of the year of publication instead of just the last two years. The Library of Congress has a page at their website devoted to this subject at: http://lcweb.loc.gov/marc/lccn.html.

No effects on LCCN searching

The new LCCN format has no direct effects on LCCN searching in the HOLLIS Catalog or HULPR. Search input guidelines for LCCN are:

  • Input the alphabetic prefix if any.
  • Input 2 year-digits for LCCNs using Structure A or 4 year-digits for new LCCNs using Structure B.
  • LCCN searches may be entered with or without a hyphen between the year and the serial number.
  • If the serial number has fewer than six digits, and the hyphen is not used, zeros must be input to fill the serial number to six digits (e.g. the LCCN 82-424 can be input into HOLLIS for searching as 82000424 or as 82-424; the number 2001-3956 can be entered as 2001-3956 or as 2001003956).


Changes to LCCN data entry in bibliographic records

As a result of the new LCCN format (Structure B), there will be some change to the way operators should input these numbers into HOLLIS bibliographic records. There will be no change from the current practice for inputting the old (Structure A) LCCN format.

Entering pre-2001 (Structure A) LCCNs. The documentation for the current process can also be found in the HOLLIS Reference Manual, Chapter 6, section The LCCN number has always required a special formatting convention when input into the HOLLIS ILS. Operators would enter an LCCN in the following manner:

bbbb99999999b or bAAA99999999b

Where b = an explicit blank, 9 = digit, and A = any alphabetic character, or a combination of alphabetic characters or blanks.

The first position is always blank and must be entered explicitly. The next three positions can be alphabetic. If the LCCN has no alphabetic prefix, blanks are used instead. If the LCCN prefix has fewer than three letters, the letters are input first followed by an appropriate number of blanks.

The next eight positions are digits which consist of the 2 year-digits followed by the 6-digit serial number. If the serial number has fewer than six digits, zeros are input to create an 8-digit number (e.g. the LCCN 82-424 would be input as bbbb82000424b).

Hyphens are not entered. Following the eight digits another explicit blank must be entered. Any trailing data (e.g. //r33, rev, etc.) can be added following the explicit blank.

Entering 2001+ (Structure B) LCCNs. The following convention should be followed when entering a Structure B LCCN into HOLLIS:

bbb9999999999 or bAA999999999

The first position is always blank and must be entered explicitly. The next two positions may be alphabetic. If the LCCN has no alphabetic prefix, blanks are used instead. If the LCCN prefix has only one letter, the letter is input first followed by a blank.

The next ten positions are digits which consist of the 4 year-digits followed by the 6-digit serial number. If the serial number has fewer than six digits, zeroes are input to create a 10-digit number (e.g. the LCCN 2001-424 would be input as bbb2001000424).

Do not enter any hyphens. A blank at the end of the ten digits is not permitted. There will be no trailing data in Structure B numbers.

If you have any questions concerning the input of LCCNs into HOLLIS, please contact Patty Hatch at OIS. Ì

Requesting vendor set up: accurate tax status is vital

Electronic transfer of HOLLIS ILS payments to Accounts Payable requires (among other things) that a vendor record exist in both HOLLIS ILS and Accounts Payable (AP) systems. The process of getting a new vendor set up in both systems changed slightly in the last few months, as AP ceased creation of "skeletal" vendor records. For libraries, this change increases the importance of supplying full and accurate tax status information at the start of the vendor request process.

Why the "skeletal" practice has ended

A skeletal vendor is an incomplete or provisional record. In the first year of the new AP system, skeletal vendors were one tool used by the AP Vendor Hotline to manage what was a very high volume of vendor set up requests. Upon creation of a skeletal record, the all-important AP vendor ID and site number could be added to a HOLLIS ILS vendor record and payment batches could be transferred to AP. In the AP system, payments would be held until complete tax information for a vendor was received.

These days, a lighter volume of requests to the AP Vendor Hotline no longer justifies creation of skeletal records. Vendor set up requests received by HCL Book Accounts are still forwarded to the Vendor Hotline, but a skeletal record is not set up in the HOLLIS ILS. Instead, AP Vendor Hotline staff are able to immediately set up over 90% of requests they receive and within a week or less of the request, Book Accounts staff have a fully functional vendor record in the HOLLIS ILS.

Impact on library payment workflow

With the demise of skeletal vendor records, libraries now must hold invoices until a complete vendor record appears in the HOLLIS ILS. (In this context, "complete" means the vendor record contains both APSITE and APVNO numbers.) As mentioned above, turnaround for vendor setup requests is normally about a week. If after two weeks a complete vendor record is not available in the HOLLIS ILS, the library should contact HCL Book Accounts for assistance.

To insure success of vendor setup, the requesting library must provide key information about the vendor in the initial setup request. HCL Book Accounts staff report that failure of a vendor request is almost always due to incomplete tax status information. Common cases include

  • vendors without a clear corporate or non-corporate status,
  • U.S. individuals without a social security number and
  • foreign individuals without a completed Vendor Registration Form.

To avoid problems, the requesting library should check vendor information requirements (on the OIS web site) prior to filling out a vendor request form. Also be sure to include a copy of an invoice along with the request (vital tax status information may appear on the invoice).

Contact Patty Hatch in OIS if you have questions. Ì

Notes & reminders

Item record training now available

Beginning in February 2001, OIS will offer a training class on item record creation and maintenance. The class will review item record search and display, structure, creating linked and unlinked item records, maintenance, temporary locations, reporting data and multiple item ID fields. The first class will be offered on February 23, 2001, from 9:30 am-12: 00 pm. Consult the HOLLIS ILS training schedule for schedule and registration information. Direct any questions about this class to Patty Hatch in OIS. Ì

Web site updates

A new release of the Library Digital Initiative web site [http://hul.harvard.edu/ldi/] became available on 12 January. The site has been reorganized to improve navigation and includes fresh graphics and a few new features available from every page, including a site map, search function, staff contacts, job listings and a "highlights" section on the front page for quick updates and announcements for frequent visitors. The site is organized into four main categories: About LDI, Technical Development, Advisory Services and Grant Program. Where ever possible, existing page names were preserved. However, please check any of your browser bookmarks to LDI web pages as some changes were necessary. Contact Wendy Gogel in OIS if you have questions or comments.

New on the OIS web site [http://hul.harvard.edu/ois/]: Recommended desktop configurations are now available to assist libraries with planning for desktop upgrades to support the Aleph system. A set of Vendor information requirements is now available to assist units requesting vendor set up for HOLLIS ILS electronic transfer of payments. Descriptions, documentation and other support information is now available for these systems: EReserves, OASIS, VIA and OLIVIA. Ì

URLs in this issue

Aleph Implementation Project overview:

Aleph desktop configuration recommendations:

APC Proxy information:

Financial Administration training:

LCCN information (Library of Congress website):

HOLLIS ILS training schedule:

Library Digital Initiative web site:

Vendor information requirements:

New system documentation and support information:

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