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Maintaining Your INNOPAC: Keeping a Tidy System

Lynne Lysiak, Appalachian State University
Howard Pasternack, Brown University
Linda Bills, Tri-College Consortium
Katrina Anderson, Innovative Interfaces, Inc.

The first part of this session, presented by Howard Pasternack and Linda Bills, led us through a detailed list of a variety of methods for maintaining a neat, tidy and efficiently functioning system. Many of the points they mentioned are not only good practice, but also essential for the smooth running of INNOPAC. This was an interactive session with opportunity for comments, queries and suggestions from members of the audience. The solutions described by Howard and Linda are documented in the prepared handout -- this report merely records additional information and suggestions from participants under various headings.

System: Backup

It was clear that practice varied with regard to the cycle of use of backup tapes and their replacement.

Suggestions: Clean tape drives weekly; store backup tapes off-site; the ability to backup Innovative software would be useful.

System: Reboot Monthly

Useful for clearing out defunct processes and Innovative recommends regular rebooting for this purpose.

Suggestions: It is better to shutdown INNOPAC, then press the hard reboot button rather than physically switch off the system. When doing a reboot it is also useful to recycle all Lantronix boxes.

Comments: Rebooting can cause problems in some cases with libraries losing logins or losing the OCLC interface. However, rebooting can help with memory fragmentation problems.

Management: System File Information

Suggestion: Libraries need to consider staff on special projects when looking at the system status screen, particularly if this is likely to create large numbers of extra records.

Management: Login Statistics

Suggestion: Libraries can have more flexibility with their logins by setting up overlapping login groups where the total logins of all groups is greater than the total logins permitted at any one time.

Management: Passwords

Comment: Some systems people were worried that they had to give out login passwords. One solution within a single site library would be for staff to see the systems coordinator and enter their own passwords.

Management: View System Messages

Comment: It is not necessary to check these regularly if you look at the system status screen daily. That will indicate if there are any system messages.

Management: List Circulation Overrides

Comment: Some libraries need to keep lists of circulation overrides to provide the auditor with details on fines which have been waived.

Suggestion: Reviewing this file regularly can reveal problems with loan rules or policies if staff are constantly overriding and may help with reviewing procedures.

Management: Review File List

Suggestion: Specific files can be allocated to departments in order to limit access. Many systems administrators may empty files based on date of creation, however, staff could bypass this by renaming and redating old files.

Suggestion: Files can be rearranged so smaller capacity files are listed first. (Ask Innovative)

Suggestion: File capacity can be changed to allow larger and smaller files. (Ask Innovative)

Management: FTS and Load Files

Comment: Error log files created when loading records need to be deleted, preferably before deleting the load file. Otherwise it is necessary to load another file and then access the previous error log from that point.

Management: Bounced E-mail

Suggestion: Mail often bounces when patrons forget to add the domain name. If patrons forget this and you want to have a common domain name added automatically, this can be set up if you have a Unix specialist to access the sendmail program.

Circulation: Days Closed

Comment: It may be useful to keep old dates in this table in case it is necessary to re-calculate any fines for which there may be particular queries.

Database Maintenance: Location Codes

Suggestion: Before deleting any location codes, check in bibliographic, item, order and course record types to ensure they are no longer in use. Create lists or statistical reports can be used to identify these.

Problem: Two users discovered that location code figures from create lists did not match those found by running a statistical report.

Database Maintenance: Heading Reports

Suggestion: If working within a consortium this task may be rotated each week between different institutions to spread the workload.

Performing an Operating System Upgrade

Katrina Anderson spoke briefly about this topic which primarily concerns software only sites. The Innovative FAQ on this topic contains most of the information needed. Innovative will advise turnkey sites if new versions are needed or if patches need to be added. They do not encourage upgrading the operating system simply because a new version is available - it may have little effect on the operation of the INNOPAC. If there are no problems and the system is stable it is better not to upgrade. However, if there is a particular problem that may be solved by an upgrade then it is probably a good idea.

Comment: Libraries should check with their vendor on which version of the operating system will be year 2000 compliant.

Recorded by: Diane Leeson, University of Hull

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