Enterprise Upgrade Tonight/Tomorrow Morning

The Enterprise catalog will be undergoing a scheduled upgrade early tomorrow morning.  SirsiDynix will be upgrading our instance to 4.3 GA 6.1 which adds some much desired functionality.  The catalog will be unavailable from approximately 2 am to 7 am tomorrow morning.  Later this evening, a pop-up warning will be added to the catalog notifying patrons of this scheduled maintenance.

Rooms Committee Membership Finalized

We are pleased to announce that all the open slots on the Rooms Committee have been filled.  Thanks to all who have agreed to serve:

Michelle Gurung – Albert Lea PL
Stephanie Silvers – Harmony PL
Brad Haugen – Lourdes HS
Megan Seeland – Red Wing PL
Michele McCaughtry – Wabasha PL
Bev Hall – Wabasha PL
Linda Weinmann – Winona PL
Tyler Irvin – SELCO
Chris Austin – SELCO
Rachel Gray – SELCO (committee chair)

The first committee meeting will be scheduled in August and we will present an update at the September Technology Users Group meeting.

SELCO Automation Forums Go Live

Starting today, there is a new place for Online Libraries to talk about SELCO automation services and library technology.  The SELCO Automation Forums are the place to go to ask questions, share ideas, and stay in touch with the SELCO community.  While SELCO staff will participate, we hope that the forums will make it easier for Online Libraries to work together as well.

To get started, simply browse to http://forums.selco.info.  You’ll need to register, which is quick and easy.  We ask that you use your SELCO username to help everyone know who is participating in the conversation.  SELCOtv has posted a short video illustrating the registration process in case there are any questions.

See you in the forums!

SELCO and the Heartbleed Bug: What You Need to Know

As some of you may already know, a serious security vulnerability in OpenSSL encryption came to light a few days ago and has been the talk of the internet ever since.  SELCOtv posted an episode of What Does That Mean? with more information on the Heartbleed Bug this morning and I encourage you to check it out if you have not been following it on the news.

Since this issue came to light, we at SELCO have been reviewing our systems and talking to our vendors to ensure that patron and library data are secure.  Thus far, it appears that we are in good shape.  We identified one server running  a vulnerable version of OpenSSL.  It is not a server that patrons connect to for any service and, in fact, access to SSL on that server is blocked by the firewall.  Nevertheless, we patched that server this morning before production hours to eliminate the vulnerability.

While we are still talking to vendors, the news has been positive so far.  SirsiDynix, our ILS vendor, and SiteGround, the hosting service we use for library websites, are either secure or have patched their servers this week to eliminate the vulnerability.  These are the two that we were most concerned about.

We will continue to monitor the situation and take actions as needed.

Enterprise Usability Testing Starts on February 27

Usability testing on the beta version of Enterprise starts on February 27, 2014 at Kellogg Middle School (Rochester Public Schools).  One media center specialist and one student will be asked to carry out a series of tasks to test the interface and functionality of the catalog.  Results of this and three more sessions will guide us as we refine the catalog for its launch on April 01, 2014.

Future testing sessions will be held at:

  • March 06, 2014 – Lake City Public Library
  • To be scheduled – Red Wing Public Library
  • To be scheduled – Zumbrota-Mazeppa Schools

Future sessions will feature three to four testers, drawn equally from library staff and patrons.

Enterprise Usability Testing Sites Announced

Within just a few days of placing our call for partner sites to host Enterprise usability testing, we had received offers from twice as many locations as needed.  Thank you to all who offered to help! 

After looking at the logistics and other considerations, we have decided to conduct testing at:
  • Zumbrota-Mazeppa Schools
  • Red Wing Public Library
  • Lake City Public Library
  • Kellogg Middle School (Rochester Public Schools)
Thanks again to all who expressed interest in Enterprise usability testing.  The first sessions will be held during the week of February 24.

Winter 2014 Cooperative Technology Purchase

The order form for the Winter 2014 Cooperative PC Purchase has been posted and an email has been sent to Online Library Directors and Automation Contacts. The deadline for orders is Friday, January 31, 2014, with SELCO placing orders in the first week of February. Equipment installations will be carried out as orders arrive. 

Winter 2014 online order form

  • There are a couple of things to note on this purchase are: 
  • We are using an online order form for the Winter 2014 Cooperative Purchase. Please fill it out online, once we receive your order, we will send a confirmation email. Please respond to the confirmation email so that we can ensure your order is correct.
  • We will be offering the new iPad for purchase in this order. As these devices are very subjective and require user specific iTunes accounts, SELCO cannot provide support for them.
  • Systems are coming with Windows 7 now, and due to the fact Microsoft has not released a version of Steady State for Windows 7, we will have to start using Faronics Deep Freeze to lock down the public computers. This is a paid solution from Faronics and is not free as Steady State was previously. You will notice this option on the bottom of page one for Deep Freeze, select this if you are planning on getting a public computer or using a Nettop for an iPac computer.
  • Windows XP and Microsoft office 2003 will reach end of life on April, 2014. While they will continue to work, no future updates for them will come out. If you have systems running these it may be time to consider upgrading. Some computers can be upgraded without having to purchase new software. Public computers being upgraded will need to have a copy of Faronics Deep Freeze purchases for them.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the SELCO Help Desk, thank you.

Enterprise Roll Out Meeting – January 29, 2014

I am pleased to inform you that things are finally moving forward with Enterprise. As you may recall, our implementation was put on hold when it came to light that item-specific holds were not available in the software despite previous assurances from SirsiDynix. A new upgrade for the software has been announced that will add the missing functionality. We are scheduled to get the upgrade in early January 2014.

The Technology Users Group will meet in late January to see the catalog and learn more about our implementation process. This roll-out meeting does not follow the standard “second Tuesday of the month” date in order to give us time to get the upgrade and wrap up work on the draft catalog. The roll-out meeting will kick off a two-month evaluation period. The catalog will be up for library staff, who will be encouraged to use the software and submit comments. At the same time, we will carry out usability testing with some library staff users and patrons. The results of the testing and comments will be used to help us fine-tune the catalog.

Here’s the schedule:

Wed, Jan. 29, 2014 – Roll out meeting for the Technology Users Group. We will offer two sessions, one in the morning and an identical session in the afternoon. Hopefully, the afternoon session will make it easier for everyone to find a way to get away from their libraries. Exact times for these meetings will be released in early January but for now, you can mark this day on your calendar.

Topics addressed at the roll out meeting will include:

  • Demonstration of the software and it’s functionality
  • Method for users to submit comments during the two-month evaluation period
  • Methods used for usability testing with library staff and patrons
  • Training options for library staff
  • Promotional tools for library use
  • Possibly time for hands-on use of the catalog; we’ll need to see how much time we use up on the other topics

Wed, Jan. 29, 2014 to Wed, Mar, 26, 2014 – Usability testing and user feedback. Details will be shared at the roll out meeting on Jan. 29.

Tues, Feb. 04, 2014 – Snow date for the roll out meeting.

Tues, Apr. 01, 2014 – Launch date for patrons

This is just a preliminary announcement. More details will be forthcoming. For now, mark your calendars for Jan. 29, 2014. I hope to see you all there as we move forward.

2014 PC Lease Program

I am pleased to announce that SELCO is now taking signed contracts for the 2014 PC Lease Value Added Service. A contract has been sent out to Online Library Directors and Automation Contacts. A copy of the contract can be downloaded at the PC Leasing service page listed below.

 PC Leasing customer libraries will lease some or all of their PCs from Dell, with SELCO managing the paperwork and financial management of the lease. At the end of the three year lease term, which starts in January 2014, SELCO assumes responsibility for returning the equipment to Dell. If the customer library chooses to renew the lease for another three years, the old PCs are simply replaced with new ones. 

  • Advantages of PC leasing include: 
  • Spreading cost of PCs out over a three-year period without additional financing costs
  • Making PC costs a regular, predictable item in the library budget
  • Ensuring that PCs are uniform and standardized throughout the library
  • Eliminating PC disposal costs

Further information on the PC Leasing service can be found on our PC Leasing page.

Signed contracts must be returned to SELCO, no later than November 15, 2013. Because there are several agencies coordinating their activities, the project timeline is fixed and this deadline must be firm. We cannot take contracts after the end of the business day on November 15th. 

If you have any questions or concerns about this lease, please feel free to contact the SELCO Help Desk. Thank you.

OCLC Experiments in FRBR and Cookbooks

FRBR, Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, is the foundational theory behind the new library cataloging code RDA (Resource Description and Access). FRBR attempts to define library materials in the context of the entity relationship model used in most databases and has a focus on users’ interaction with data. To achieve this model FRBR has basic groupings of material that divide records differently than how data is currently structured in the library catalog (see final paragraphs for more detailed information on the structure of FRBR).

There have been a lot of questions about how FRBR will translate in the current environment and what a library catalog based on FRBR might look like. OCLC, attempting to answer some of these questions, and give visual representation to a theory, has created a searchable experimental cookbook database utilizing the FRBR model located here. Searching the cookbook database for a standard like Mastering the Art of French Cooking retrieves results that comprise many differing editions under one title, or in FRBR terms, many different manifestations and expressions under one work, with a link to individual items.

This experimental database takes what would have been multiple titles, or bibliographic records in the current system, and unites them under one umbrella record (work) and displays enough detail to allow a user to select a different expression from one another then funnel down to the exact item of interest.

It’s an interesting experiment in that has the possibility of eliminating one common problem and speeding up cataloging. The duplication of records that patrons see when there are differing versions of a work has long been an issue for libraries. The FRBR model has the possibility of eliminating the decision catalogers presented with when determining if material is unique and specific enough to justify a new record. Additionally cataloging under this model would mean a decrease in the duplication of data added to the database, allowing material to be more quickly added to the database for patron use, and possibly freeing up staff time for other needs.

At its most basic level FRBR defines material into one of four categories; Works, Expressions, Manifestations, and Items: collectively referred to as WEMI. The work is the general idea and is often quite nebulous, the expression is the form the work takes when it’s realized, the manifestation is the physical embodiment of that expression, and the item is the individual copy. In general terms one expression varies from another when the intellectual content has been altered or added to in some way, but those two expressions are still of the same work.

In the cookbook example used above; the work is Mastering the Art of French Cooking, one expression would be this work translated into Russian, a second expression would be the original English edition published in 1961. The 1961 English expression has many manifestations such as the 1965 reprinting, the paperback version and the ebook.

For more information on FRBR please visit the links on the SELCO RDA/FRBR page located here. For more information on the OCLC Cookbook Finder experimental database please click here. To search the database click here. Please remember this is an experimental database from one of many vendor for testing and learning purposes, it is not meant to be a replacement of any current system or to be comprehensive.