Boasting a little pre-success

The province is gearing up for a whole new library system. The new format for the library catalogue comes online at the start of December in some parts of Saskatchewan (new library cards will be necessary) but cataloguers and aquisitions and my part of the job (processing/materials linking) are getting something of a head start now.

Ideally, we’ll have templates set up for many of the things we’d be doing every day, but even if not, I have at least found a workable solution to a little problem I was going to face.

With our old setup, I could link multiple copies of a book to the catalogue record quite quickly. A few item specific tweaks may have been necessary for the first copy (price, volume, requestable or not) but after the first item, all I had to do was zap a barcode and key in what library would own it, then zap and key and zap and key until I’d done all forty copies in less than five minutes. Easy peasy.

Prior to today, it was looking like I’d have to tweak an item in every necessary way, add the call number, zap the barcode and save that record before starting from scratch with the next. Time consuming is the politest way to describe that nonsense. But, I found what might be an easier shortcut where I can choose a field and copy/paste the info down from item #1 to #45 and then switch fields and do the same routine. Not ideal, but certainly better than the horrible chore I was anticipating.

Obviously Millennium is designed for a radically different workflow than what our library does. It appears to be set up so the catalogue work (including the location info and barcode linking) could be accomplished before any labels are printed for those materials. Linking is the last step we do here before we send the stuff out.

The “automatic label” making seemed like a great idea when we first heard we’d be switching, but now it looks like I’ll have to do them all with Word like before anyway. Millennium is not designed to print 50 spine labels on an Avery sheet like we do. It’s built for universities and other setups that use the Library of Congress call numbering system instead of the Dewey, and will also print labels to stick on cards/pockets like back in the day when people physically stamped books when lending them out. How many libraries still do that? Seems like such an archaic thing now.

But enough job related stuff. I’m just glad I sorted out a minor worry. Let the big job worries sit on someone else’s shoulders. Like the fact that since we’re ready to catalogue before the patron side of this is online, the cataloguers will have to do their work twice, as will Aquisitions – once in the old system (so patrons can still see what’s new and put holds on it all) and once in Millenium (because they can’t search for stuff in there yet). As of yet, I don’t know if I’ll even start linking any of the stuff ready to go out. I don’t really want to wait a month to start shuffling this stuff out of here, but whatever. We have enough work waiting on carts and boxes without a bunch of last-step stuff waiting around, too. Will see later how that works out, I guess.

About 1minionsopinion

Canadian Atheist Basically ordinary Library employee Avid book lover Ditto for movies Wanna-be writer Procrastinator
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