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OIS News -- February 2002

Aleph implementation

Decision on system names
Upcoming Aleph demos
Limited-time deal on 17" Dell flat panel monitors
Aleph implementation update


Change to frequency of HULPR login setup
30,000 HOLLIS records converted to Pinyin Library


Recent change to HOLLIS portal access rules

Digital Initiative

Changes to Harvard namespace

Notes and Reminders

OIS Library Assessment and Fees FY2003

URLs in this issue

Aleph implementation

Decision on system names

The University Library Council, in consultation with the Aleph Implementation Steering Committee and the OPAC implementation team, recently made a final decision on naming of our new online systems.

"HOLLIS Catalog"
will be the name of our new Aleph library catalog (no change from current)

"Harvard Libraries"
will be the new name of the HOLLIS Portal Site

will continue as name of the staff access portions of the Aleph system

This decision keeps the names of the library catalog and portal distinctly different to avoid confusion between them. People intuitively understand the word "catalog" and there is a historic investment in the word "HOLLIS". The name recognition of "HOLLIS" is too widespread to ignore at this point. In addition, preserving the name "HOLLIS Catalog" reinforces the fact that the function of the new "HOLLIS Catalog" remains essentially the same as the old; people will still use HOLLIS Catalog to determine what materials the Harvard libraries own. Ì

Upcoming Aleph demos

One more OPAC demo. One more demonstration of Harvardís draft Aleph OPAC has been scheduled for February 12, 3-4pm, Science Center A. This is the same demo offered earlier this year.

Demo of staff client. The Aleph Implementation Steering Committee and the Aleph functional implementation teams cordially invite you to a demonstration of the Aleph Staff Desktop Client, which will be used to access the "staff side" of Aleph for searching, cataloging, acquisitions, serials, and circulation functions. A demonstration of the web-based print course reserves module will also be featured. There will be three open meetings:

Wednesday, February 13, 2002: 1:00 pm-2:30 pm
Thursday, February 14, 2002: 3:00 pm-4:30 pm
Friday, February 15, 2002: 1:00 pm-2:30 pm

All meetings will be held in the Science Center, Hall A. No registration required. The demonstration will include a brief overview of the Aleph Desktop Client and record examples from each of the Aleph functional modules. Ì

Limited-time deal on 17" Dell flat panel monitors

The recommended Aleph staff desktop configuration includes a minimum 17" display monitor. The Harvard College Library has selected the Dell 17" flat panel monitor for use within HCL. Dell is offering a Harvard Library-wide price for monitors effective ONLY through March first. Each Library will need to manage their own order, receipt, payment and installation. Those interested should follow the process outlined below.

Monitor: Dell 1702FP, 17" Flat Panel Display, Midnight Gray, Part Number (320-4106)
Unit price $569.00 + Shipping (approximately $13.00 per monitor)

Please send all orders with quantities to:

Andy Meyer
New England Higher Education Sales
Phone: 800-274-7799 ext 48366
Fax: 800-365-5329
Email: Andy_Meyer@Dell.com
Reference Quote # 75229432

Make sure you include

  • Your name
  • Ship to and Bill to address
  • Telephone Number
  • PO #

Direct any questions to Jeffrey Bernhard, Interim Director, HCL Information Technology Services (617-495-0353; jbernhar@fas.harvard.edu). Ì

Aleph implementation update

Status of Harvardís Aleph system. The machine that will be Harvardís "production" Aleph server has been installed and configured. OIS has extracted a full copy of data from HOLLIS (circa 10 million records); this data is now being loaded and indexed on the production server. Given the huge volume of data we are converting, it is amazing that only 6 records out of the entire bibliographic file were rejected during the conversion and loading.

Aleph release 15.2 status. The first release of Aleph 15.2 has been delivered to Harvard. This is the release that Harvard will "go live" with in July. After some testing, OIS has repackaged the 15.2 client and has made it available for installation on the desktops of implementers and trainers. This first release of 15.2 contains about two-thirds of the enhancements specified by Harvard, including changes to financial processing, acquisitions, circulation billing and proxies, indexing and HD. Implementation teams are evaluating these changes now -- reports are positive on what has been seen so far. Aleph 15.2 will be "re-released" again in February and in March with the final set of Harvardís "Day 1" enhancements.

Scaling, performance, conversion tests. Installation of version 15.2 and a full load of Harvard data will make it possible to begin review of converted data and tests of configuration settings and performance. Review of our converted data will be performed by implementation teams. The first scaling and performance test is planned for late February, with another planned later in the spring.

System configuration and data cleanup. An important part of the HOLLIS-to-Aleph data conversion process is to make every effort to clean up problems in HOLLIS before they make it over to Aleph. In many cases, such clean up is critical to accurate conversion of your libraryís data. Please contact OIS first if you are planning any major clean up projects of your own. It may be better to delay certain types of work until after Aleph comes up.

An article in the January 2002 Aleph Project Update describes why clean data is important. In recent weeks, library Project Liaisons have received details on cleanup projects related to X vendors in order records and DUMM loan codes in item records. (For more information see the cleanup projects page in the AIP section of OIS web site.)

OIS and implementation teams continue to configure Aleph to accommodate Harvard library practices. The survey process to gather library collection names that started in Fall 2001 is drawing to a close. In late January and early February, Project Liaisons received new surveys on desirable reporting functionality and IP addresses for circulation workstations. (For more information see the Project Liaisons page in the AIP section of the OIS web site.)

Outstanding implementation issues. Kathy briefly reviewed still unresolved implementation issues. Discussions continue about the conversion of Harvardís serial pattern data and its use with Aleph serial prediction. The serial implementation team is eagerly awaiting arrival of enhancements to the serials module, due in mid-February.

Still under study is a strategy for backing up the new system and all its data.

Support for print course reserves processing is available in Aleph and Harvard will be implementing this function on Day 1. However, Harvard is awaiting more information on Aleph support for electronic reserves, which is expected in February.

Preparations for desktop support of CJK functionality in Aleph are underway. From what has been seen so far, developments in CJK display and input look good.

A preliminary schedule of cutover times (when various activities in HOLLIS are frozen in preparation for the final move to Aleph) was published in the January 2002 Aleph Project Update [ http://hul.harvard.edu/ois/projects/aip/aipupdate_200201.pdf ]. It is entirely possible that these cutover timings will change as we move closer to July. OIS will publicize any changes to this schedule.

Staff training development. The Aleph curriculum for library staff is well defined at this point --23 classes are in various stages of development by Harvard trainers. (A Catalog of Classes [PDF format] is available in the AIP section of the OIS web site.) Staff training is expected to begin in late March 2002 and continue past our 1 July implementation date as needed.

The Training Advisory Group (TAG) is now developing a schedule of classes and making plans for staff registration. Libraries are completing a second and final training needs survey, which is due Friday 15 February 2002. This survey will provide an accurate count of staff to be trained and prepare local units for the class registration process. (For more information, see the training needs survey page in the AIP section of the OIS web site.) Ì


Change to frequency of HULPR login setup

Requests for new and changed HULPR logins are now being processed bi-weekly instead of weekly to allow OIS Operations staff more time for Aleph system configuration. Libraries should continue to send login requests to the OIS Security Administrator, but should expect turnaround for these to be up to two weeks (instead of one week). Contact Maureen OíDrisceoil in OIS if you have questions.Ì

30,000 HOLLIS records converted to Pinyin

The records OIS sent to OCLC MARS for Wade-Giles to pinyin processing, and authority processing, have been returned and reloaded into HOLLIS. Some 3,000 records require review and reports about these records will be sent to appropriate library staff for review and correction (these corrections will be made as soon as possible so that the corrected versions can be loaded into the new Aleph library system)..

The reloading of these records completes a first phase of the Harvard project to incorporate vernacular Chinese, Japanese and Korean data in HOLLIS records in Aleph. The next phase will occur in late spring when copies of some 500,000 CJK records on RLIN will be pulled and sent to OCLC MARS for authority processing (transliterated data were converted earlier to pinyin by RLG for records in the RLIN file). After authority processing, these records will be incorporated into HOLLIS records in Aleph.

Until all records are available in pinyin, we will continue to have split files in HOLLIS - some records using Wade-Giles name forms and other records using pinyin forms. We will also continue to have cross reference conflicts between pinyin and Wade-Giles forms. If you have any questions about conflicts, please direct them to Ann Sitkin, Chair, Standing Subcommittee on Bibliographic Standards and Policy. Ì

HOLLIS portal

Recent change to HOLLIS portal access rules

In late January 2002, a change was made to how the Access Management Service (AMS) decides whether a person is authorized to use restricted electronic resources at Harvard University. (AMS is a relatively new service of the Library Digital Initiative that provides access control for our campus-wide electronic resources, including those in the HOLLIS portal.) This change to AMS affects access by Harvard retirees.

Previously, AMS used a list of Harvard University IDs that were extracted from the HOLLIS patron file. The people on this list could generally be described as current students, faculty, and staff of the university. However, there were some people on the list who fell outside of these categories. For example, there were a number of retirees on this list. These people are not covered by the licenses that have been negotiated with resource providers.

With this change, AMS no longer uses the list of HUIDs extracted from the HOLLIS patron file and instead uses information acquired from LDAP (a directory service run by the Central Administration) to make decisions about authorization for access to electronic resources. The algorithm that has been implemented to make the decision only recognizes current students, faculty, and staff. Thus the people who are not in these categories but who were able to access restricted resources by virtue of being on the old list are no longer authorized for access to these resources. However, it should be noted that the license agreements that are in effect do allow any patron at a public computer in the Harvard libraries to access the restricted resources. Thus any person who lost remote access to resources because of the AMS change should be able to access those resources from within a library, provided they are allowed entrance to one of the Harvard libraries.

Direct any questions about this change to Caren Smith or Ben Noeske in OIS. Ì

Library Digital Initiative

Changes to Harvard namespace

OIS is in the process of changing the namespace of names created at Harvard. This change will have an effect on anyone who uses names to provide links to their digital content. This message attempts to explain what is changing, why it is changing, what needs to be done about it, and when.

What are names?

Names, or URNs (Uniform Resource Names), are meant to be persistent, location-independent identifiers of network-accessible resources. When a person clicks on a link that contains a name, their browser is redirected to the URL that name maps to. The advantage to using names rather than URLs is that if the URL of a resource should change, only one update needs to be made (i.e. in the database that stores the mappings between names and the URLs they resolve to) instead of needing to find and update each instance of the URL throughout webspace. Names are used to provide links to electronic resources through the HOLLIS portal and HOLLIS catalog, to link to images in the VIA catalog, and in many other places.

What is changing, and why?

Names have a specific format. They consist of a namespace identifier, which essentially indicates what organization the name belongs to, and a namespace-specific string, which identifies the particular resource the name refers to. When OIS first began creating names we used "nrs" as the namespace identifier. We have subsequently applied to IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) for an official namespace and were assigned the identifier "urn-3". This means that all our names that use the nrs namespace, e.g. nrs:FHCL:123456, will have to be converted to use the urn-3 namespace, e.g. urn-3:FHCL:123456. This is a little ironic given that the stated advantage of names is that links which use them should not need to be updated, but this should be the only time such a change is necessary.

Note that active links that use names include the address of the name resolution server: http://nrs.harvard.edu/. This address will not be changing. Thus the URL form of the name used as an example above would be http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL:123456.

When is this happening?

The switch to the new namespace is a multistage process. The first stage began on 18 December 2001 when we made changes to OIS systems so that people could create names in either namespace. The goal was to provide adequate time for those who are directly responsible for requesting new names to migrate their systems to use the new namespace, but to also allow individuals to make that switch as soon as they were ready. This stage ended in late January.

The second stage began on Monday, 28 January 2002. In this stage new names are created only in the urn-3 namespace. However, existing names in the nrs namespace will continue to be resolved appropriately. In addition, at the beginning of this stage copies of all the nrs names were created in the urn-3 namespace. This means that urn-3 versions of nrs names will resolve to the appropriate location. During this stage OIS will work on migrating the links using nrs names that are located in systems and content directly under our control, including the HOLLIS portal, OLIVIA, and the VIA catalog. We will also be working with the CONSER office to change all links that appear in the HOLLIS Catalog.

However, instances of links to nrs names in other systems (e.g. library web sites, finding aids, etc.) will need to be transformed to the urn-3 version by individual content owners. The purpose of this stage is to give webmasters, systems administrators, and content owners adequate time to make the changes to material that contains nrs names. This stage will be fairly long (at least 6 months). OIS would like to receive feedback from content owners regarding what you think would be a sufficient length of time for this stage. Of course, whatever end date is chosen will be somewhat flexible.

The end of the second stage will mark the complete conversion to the new namespace. In the third stage nrs names will no longer be supported and will be dropped from the system. Only urn-3 names will be created or resolved.

What do I need to do?

If you are responsible for a web site, finding aid, or other content that contains links that use nrs names, you will need to convert these links to use the urn-3 versions of the names. If you are unsure whether your content falls within the categories that will be converted by OIS, feel free to contact us.

Whom do I contact to get more information?

If you have any questions or other suggestions about this, please feel free to contact Caren Smith (caren_smith@harvard.edu, 617 495-3724) or Ben Noeske (ben_noeske@harvard.edu, 617 495-3724). Ì

Notes and Reminders

OIS Library Assessment and Fees FY2003

The University Library Council approved the OIS library systems assessment for fiscal year 2003 at their December meeting. The 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:

  • Operation of the Aleph system including staff training and documentation
  • Operation of the HOLLIS portal to electronic resources,
  • OASIS: finding aids catalog
  • VIA/Olivia: visual materials catalog and cataloging system

LDI infrastructure systems including: the Name Resolution Service (NRS), the Access Management System, digital object delivery services, and the core costs associated with the Digital Repository (DRS). (The assessment does not cover storage costs for objects stored in the DRS.)

The increase in the assessment for FY03 is 5.2%. 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 FY02 FY03
Business 3.61% 112,375 118,274
Design 2.32% 72,219 76,010
Divinity 3.01% 93,698 98,616
Education 2.60% 80,935 85,183
Government 2.48% 77,199 81,252
HCL/FAS 67.43% 2,099,011 2,209,193
Law 9.36% 291,365 306,659
Medicine 7.22% 224,750 236,547
Radcliffe 1.34% 41,713 43,902
Central Adm 0.63% 19,611 20,641
Total 100.00% 3,112,874 3,276,276

The fees and services that are NOT covered by the HOLLIS assessment include

  • storage costs associated with special local databases (e.g., Anthropological Literature) and the Digital Repository System
  • exceptional support for local reporting, programming, or technical support
  • RLIN searching or telecommunication charges.

RLIN charges

Our estimate of $90,000 in search charges for FY02 (a 13.6% increase over the previous contract) proved low; the new two-year fixed fee covering both FY02 and FY03 is $99,900 per annum, based on an estimated net search volume of 185,000 per year (actual growth in search activity was 17% during the preceding two years). These charges are billed back each May based on actual searching statistics. Using search statistics for FY 2001 as a guide, individual library charges can be estimated as follows:

Baker $ 28
HCL $ 59,277
Law $ 38,859
Schlesinger $ 1,736
TOTAL $ 99,900

We have negotiated some flexibility into the current search contract in the form of a credit (or debit) if search volume varies by more than 10% over the two year period, to be applied to the following (FY04-05) contract. Whether our judgement is justified that the potential for gain in this arrangement outweighs the risk will be apparent in FY04.

RLIN Telecommunications Charges. Telecommunications charges are billed annually at current rates. If these charges remain unchanged, the total charges can be expected to be approximately $38,280 in FY03. There are two components to these charges: individual port costs (up from $115 in FY00 to $120 per month in FY01), and a basic network link fee ($550 per month). Two additional ports were added in FY02, split between HCL and Law. 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

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

URLs in this issue

Aleph desktop configuration recommendations

January 2002 Aleph Project Update

HOLLIS data cleanup projects (for Aleph implementation)

Aleph Project Liaisons page (on OIS web site)

Aleph training program: Catalog of Classes

Aleph training program: training needs survey

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