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Now They Tell Me: Reindexing the INNOPAC

David Miller, Curry College
Amy Bohman, Innovative Interfaces, Inc.
Mark Braden, Occidental College
Virginia Scheschy, University of Nevada, Reno

Amy Bohman began the session. She explained that the enhanced functionality of the indexes is in each system but libraries who installed with earlier releases need to reindex in order to take advantage of this. One explanation for the reindexing charge is that it is a lengthy process for Innovative to reindex the database. Reindexing is considered a service, not a product.

A typical reindexing project would include all the enhancements listed on her slides. A library should consider the addition of new indexes, rotating or keywording subject headings, lengthening the keyword index from 12 to 35 characters, the addition of fields/subfields to existing indexes, and changing/enhancing the stopword list before starting a reindexing project. By doing a lot of reindexing together, Innovative prices it as a package deal.

Database refurbishment can also be incorporated into Project Millenium pricing. When doing a reindexing project, Innovative runs it in the lowest impact way possible. Page three of Amy’s slides in the IUG conference notebook lists the priority order in which Innovative reindexes the system. It takes approximately three to four months to reindex a 500,000 record database. It takes proportionately less time for larger databases. It has more to do with the number of unique headings than the number of records.

Virginia Scheschy discussed the rationale for having a journal title index, the most important of which is ease of access to these titles by patrons and staff. The fields included in the index are the 222 key title field for all bib level “s” records of current and dead titles and a locally defined 599 field (see handout in the conference notebook for specific details). The 599 field is suppressed from public display. They do not index the 780 or 785 fields.

When implementing this new index they wanted a critical number of titles included so they waited until all the current journal titles were cataloged. The result: search statistics indicate that the subject index is the most heavily searched, followed by the title index. The journal title index is third at 16% of all searches. Virginia mentioned an upcoming article on putting cataloging procedures on the web which will be published in Cataloging and Classification Quarterly.

Mark Braden described reindexing policies and procedures at Occidental College. They have reindexed several times. Reindexing is a given, a necessity. There is a budget allocation of $1,500 for reindexing, which gets done every two to four years. They reindexed after the numerical fix with Release 8 and last year after the punctuation enhancements. When reindexing, it is important to be conscientious and test it like TestPAC.

The cardinal rule from Innovative: when an index table is changed, reindexing needs to be done for the integrity of the database. The size of the database, the time of day/night during which the processing is taking place, and the speed of the machine are all factors to consider when planning the processing time for the reindexing. It usually takes less time than expected. When reindexing, get as many features as you can possibly afford. Consider both rotated and keyword subject indexes.

David Miller stated that Curry College did some unusual indexing when they did their initial indexing setup. This presentation was intended to stimulate thinking for more marginal indexing. They have not done any traditional reindexing yet.

The first example David presented was the genre/form heading index using the 655 field. They have started defining which subject headings ought to come over to this index. The three main areas where they add genre headings are fiction, videos, and the educational resource center. One thing they don’t have are authority fields (155 or 455) to create authority records. LC will be adding them so they might download from them.

The unusual example is what they’ve done with the call number index. The theory is that very few patrons do a call number search on purpose unless they know what they’re looking for so why not give them everything in one index: example - Dewey 780s interfiled with LC MLs. (See the attached handout for example.) To accomplish this, they had to use two call number indexes and set up some fairly sophisticated procedures for location of the call numbers in the MARC record.

Please contact David for more specific details as this is a work in progress.

Recorded by: Marilyn Hanley, Keene College

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