NCLA 2013 Presentation by Mary Jane Conger "Three to Get Ready...Migration"


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  • First came to UNCG in 1977 as serials cataloger and in 2006 became head of the Cataloging Dept. Have been very active in all the migrations
  • Four migrations, been involved in them all. Went live on WMS June 2013, had WorldCat Local interface since June 2012 but it was gathering its data from Sirsi until June 2013
  • The cleaner your data the better off you will be. But when I asked libraries that already migrated to WMS what kind of data clean up did they do or what did they forget to clean up that they regretted, never got any suggestions. So I will give you some suggestions which may or may not be germane to your situationWe ran a variety of reports ahead of migration, often because we needed to answer questions about locations or material types. It was a result of these reports that we found we had:items with blank locationsbibliographic records with no itemshad a category of unknown itemsMismatched items, had on order but was in the stacks. DVDs in the stacks Music materials in the main library. Many records with old order/received records because for a long while DRA and Sirsi did not allow us to get rid of any older on order/receivedrecords
  • If something is not functional in the new system and you really want to try to migrate specific data over, keep making suggestions, ask support What IfWe were aware that none of local fields in the bibliographic records residing in SIRSI would migrate over. One field we had used in a variety of ways over the years was the 910 field, first it displayed on catalog cards to say who cataloged a title and whether to pull cards from the card catalog. In the online environment we used it for serials and series to replace our Series Form File we gave elaborate directions on how to handle a series or serials. Here it tells us to rush the title and it is latest in ref. Some are keep latest only, latest in ref, two editions in stacks to be circulating, etc. No data in the serials module would move over. How to keep this valuable information. Suddenly I realized there was staff notes in the Local Holdings Record. Was there a way WMS could move what was in a bib record into the local holding record. I asked our migration specialist and viola we could indeed map the information to the LHR
  • Long ago we decided to use the one record approach because it was the most helpful to our patrons. WMS would migrate our records based on both our holdings and the OCLC number in the record we used. After discussion within library and with OCLC we directed migration specialists to put our holding and LHRs on hard copy record for the title.
  • In retrospective this was a wise decision as records in OCLC WMS display according to no of holdings on an OCLC record. Patrons not finding it under most used record need to know to click up editions and formats.
  • In our SIRSI system we had made extensive use of the ability to mask records from the public. Our serials staff used to suppress records that we no longer were getting but we would get a stray issue, or we had what were membership records that were not useful to the public but helped us know what titles were attached to a specific organization. Also when a popular or newly published book was “lost” we would shadow it but wait for 6 months before actually deleting it as we found that material often reappeared againWe were very surprised to learn there is no ability to hide records from appearing in the online catalog. This is a promised enhancement by OCLC but isn’t available yet. This caused us to reevaluate all the records which were suppressed in SIRSI and for many of these we either deleted the record or came up with an alternate solution
  • Although SIRSI had a somewhat convoluted way to handle titles that were bound in one physical volume it did work. Through the testing phase and learning more about WMS and WCL we learned that a way of handling bound with materials did not yet exist.
  • Here is an example in SIRSI. Florida Anthropological publications, no. 1-4 and 9-10 are bound together but each one has its own separate record so if someone only knows the title they can find it as well. We have a lot with bound together records especially in music, Special Collections and archival materials but also a lot of this is in the stacks as many years ago this was the preferred way to treat materials in a series. We were able to run reports on this and found we had 3,099 of these. What to do. We didn’t want to have these valuable records not migrate over. WMS promised that handling bound withs was on their road map to come up with a solution. What we needed was a way to preserve these records but in WMS there are no shadowed/masked/suppressed records.
  • Many times we wanted to say take this field and if it was in this location or item type or format do this, and if in this other location or item type or format do this. We wanted to migrate anything that was called a child record, but that was not coded so we couldn’t migrate based on that criteria. What all child records had in common were that they did not have any item record attached. Problem was that we had other records often problem records with no items and couldn’t fix everything before migrating. Do we migrate all records with no items or none and lose the 3000 bound withs, many of the special collections materials bound withs were original records. If we migrate them how do we make it clear at least to the public staff what this is and how to handle it.
  • We ended up migrating all the records with no items that we couldn’t put in another category into a location: Jackson Library Stacks Bound with-Ask at Check Out Desk. By having the Bound with at the end of the shelving location this gives staff a clue to where these materials may be located. If not able to resolve then it is sent to cataloging usually to me. So far all have been bounds withs. But we know that some in this category are not bound with problems.
  • If a patron discovered one of these bound withs the record is updated with correct information.
  • There was much gnashing of teeth by public services. WMS provided an A-Z list but it really was an A-Z list for electronic journals and many of our electronic journals were not in the list yet. Information for the A-Z list was not coming from OCLC holdings and LHRs, it was coming from a separate database called Knowledge Base which provides OpenURL resolution and A to Z list. At first there was no way to even include our bound journals holdings information but before we migrated an update made it possible to add hardcopy titles, their holdings and location one by one. It was decided this was too labor intensive to get all that information into KB. Patrons would just have to adapt to searching in WorldCat local for physical volumes and their location.
  • It made no sense to go backwards in what we could offer to patrons who wanted and needed articles from print journals especially those not on online or not all volumes available electronically. After some discussion I realized we were able to get groups of electronic titles into KB in a batch load. Was there a way to do that with physical journals. None of the summary holding information would migrate over because it lived in the serials module. Was there a way to get it into the MARC bibliographic record. Discussing the matter with our migration specialist and examining MFHD fields figured we could move information from the serials holdings as shown in OPAC to a spreadsheet. Reference and Serials and other cataloging staff helped to populate the spreadsheets and those with serials expertise refined the holdings. This was placed in an 866 field, MARC edit used to pull information and put in batch in KB. Handled about 1300 titles in about 4 weeks.
  • Final result, print periodicals could be found in the A-Z list also as summary holdings in the online catalog
  • In our past migrations we were used to being able to so some tasks in cataloging before the system went live to the public. In the case of SIRSI we had the luxury of test server. With WMS we could not work on the system until all of our data and circulation transactions were loaded and we went live as soon as that happened. Although took lots of classes and tried out some procedures in a small generalized test environment, there is nothing like being live to figure out exactly how your theoretical work flow really works.In WMS a call no. must be added when an ordered title is received. We needed to revise our work flow with Acquisitions. They are now receiving and cataloging all titles done by the Library of Congress, including adding the bar code. Other cataloging records not cataloged by Library of Congress have call numbers in them but indicate in process to the public. When we first went on WMS there was no good way to receive firm and approval orders. We are still working with YPB to get automated information about our approval shipment into one purchase order into WMS so all we need to do is receive and invoice. Lots of tweaks, moving target as we learn more about the system and what it can and can’t do. There are upgrades every two months which also means work flows get tweaked in some way every other month. Not every scheduled enhancement affects technical services but sometimes there is a bug that is an unexpected result of the new enhancement which means we need to figure out how to handle it and how to work around it if the bug cannot be fixed within a reasonable time (immediately is best but doesn’t always happen)To summarize, acquisition staff is now doing a greater percentage of our firm and approval book titles. They have had to have more training and receiving (cataloging) and invoicing now takes more time so Acquisitions has redone a position to also work with receiving materials. Cataloging staff have had time freed up with the diversion of some duties to Acquisition and a shrunken materials budget. All catalogers now spend a larger percentage of their time on cataloging unique materials or working on backlogs of gift scores, materials in special collections.
  • Learning to live in the cloud or clouds. Sometimes a white fluffy experience other times feel like it is raining on your parade. All of our edited work that was present in our local records in SIRSI would disappear if it was not on the OCLC master record. We have on OCLC since 1975 , long before master records could be updated. Also had changes that just pertained to our copy. Whatever information was in the master record that is currently in OCLC at the time a patron looked at it, that is what the patron would see. Usually the quality of OCLC records improves as various libraries update and upgrade the record. But many of us are aware that is not always the case and sometimes records get merged incorrectly. What about all those local notes you added for whatever reasons. Especially those gifts where the donor wants to search the public catalog and see all the books he or she donated. LBD
  • Know what work a rounds you developed in the past to have a better public display or other functionality, any non standard decision and ask how it will display/work in the new system. What have you been doing for years because you had to or needed to may no longer be a need New book shelf, accepting call nos. Changing systems is stressful, even good change, getting married, having a baby, is good but still stressful. Same with implementing an new system. Be kind to your staff, to others you work with, to those working on your behalf at the new system, be kind to yourself. You cannot solve or fix all the data so it migrates over like a dream nor can you force the new system to act like you know would be best. Offer solutions, compromise when you can and be an advocate for change. If you’ve been through other migrations remind staff what it was like when you migrated before, what you hated about the current system when it was new. Seek out the positives.
  • NCLA 2013 Presentation by Mary Jane Conger "Three to Get Ready...Migration"

    1. 1. Three to Get Ready (and Go Live!): System Migration in Academic and Public Libraries Mary Jane Conger Head of Cataloging University Libraries University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    2. 2. UNCG Environment  University of North Carolina at Greensboro – Enrollment: 18,771 – Doctoral-granting, research-intensive institution – Established 1891 – Over 100 undergraduate, 77 masters and 28 doctoral programs  University Libraries – Includes main library (Jackson Library) and a separate Music Library – Affiliates: Teaching Resources Center, Multicultural Resource Center and Interior Architecture Library – Current holdings 2.47 million printed books – Access to 300,000 ebooks – Access to 44,000 journals electronically – 60 support staff and 30 librarians 2
    3. 3. Migration Facts and Figures • Our systems – LS2000 in 1990, DRA in 1993, Sirsi in June 2005 – WorldShare Management Systems in June 2013 • Total number of bibliographic records loaded: 1,244,504 • Total number of items migrated: 1,513,527 • Total number of patron records loaded: 26,893 • Number of current circulation loans: 22,313 • Began using WorldCat Local as public interface 6/12 • Began filling out data migration questionnaire fall 2012 • Ran numerous reports to identify problem areas between fall 2012 and May 2013 and proceeded with clean up
    4. 4. Clean up of your data is essential
    8. 8. Devil is in the Details Things that your current system handles very nicely may not work so well in your new system. Your job is to make sure you have as few surprises as possible. Test as much as possible in the new system and ask lots of questions.
    9. 9. Discovered a total of 3,099 bound together records
    10. 10. One Size Fits All Often you can’t slice and dice the data the way you want to
    11. 11. What does the customer, patron, user see, is it helpful? One of public services greatest concerns was faculty and students reliance on our custom made tool for finding any journal, whether in the stacks, online, on microfilm in one place. This was Journal Finder but Journal Finder was not compatible with WMS
    12. 12. Cataloging to the Rescue
    13. 13. Challenges of rearranging work flow Cataloging went live on the new system June 4, 2013 Acquisitions needed to finish out the fiscal year so needed to wait until July 1st
    14. 14. Cloudy with a Chance of WMS, WCL, LHRs , LBDs, KB Scope statement
    15. 15. Final Thoughts • Know how your current system works • Ask lots of questions, never assume something will work the same in the new system • Be friends with whoever runs reports on the old system • Clean up data and evaluate work flows • Encourage patience, empathize with frustrations • Everyone handles stress of change differently, acknowledge and plan strategies around that