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Cataloger’s Workstation: The User

Coordinator:
Fred Gertler, Santa Clara University
Presenters:
Carol Shapiro, New York University
Mary Chapman, New York University
Mary Chevreau, Innovative Interfaces, Inc.


This program was Part 2 of a two-part presentation on the Innovative Cataloger’s Workstation. Part 1 was an Innovative product presentation and Part 2 was a presentation by users on how it is being used, what people like about the software, and suggestions for improvement.

Mary Chapman gave an overview of how the staff at the New York University Library is using Innovative’s Cataloger’s Workstation (a.k.a. “GUICAT”) in their workflow. NYU Law Library was involved from the very beginning with product development and they helped find many of the initial problems and bugs. NYU Law Library uses this software for new cataloging, maintenance of existing cataloging, new authority records, and maintenance of authority records. The staff like the functionality of the multiple windows (both within INNOPAC cataloging and also with RLIN and OCLC), including cut and paste, and drag and drop.

Initially the transition from keystrokes used in the character-based catalog to those of a windows environment was difficult. There is also a perceptual problem that some functionality available in the character-based catalog was lost in the windows-based catalog. With newer versions, some of that has changed. An example of this is that review files still must be created in the character-based catalog but you can now update review files in GUICAT. Chapman stated that overall, the NYU Law Library staff do like this product.

Chapman then discussed how the Acquisitions staff at NYU Law is using this product. They feel that Z39.50 makes GUICAT a useful acquisitions tool. Their staff search RLIN and other databases for the best available MARC record at the point of ordering but this also starts the cataloging process. They use this for firm orders, approval plan titles, and gifts (mainly monographic titles).

Acquisitions staff actually prefers to use GUICAT over other software (e.g., character-based INNOPAC and WinRLIN) because there is instant record transfer, no batch processing, access to many databases, and Windows full screen editing. Although staff still have to attach the new order record in character-based INNOPAC, they prefer to work in GUICAT whenever possible.

At the conclusion of her presentation, Chapman made several suggestions for improving the product: Z39.50 client needs to provide numerical searches (ISBN, record numbers, etc.) and any other indexes available in the library catalog (Mary Chevreau said these would be available in Release 12.), access to the RLIN cluster member IDs found in 952 fields and RLIN Zephyr should serve up the cataloging category code. Additionally, it would be nice to attach order records within GUICAT. The system also needs to process records more quickly and it would be nice to have the ability to build macros.

Carol Shapiro then discussed why NYU Law cataloging staff like and use GUICAT. They began using the product in 1997. At the beginning, the system crashed a lot but staff could see the software’s potential. Staff really like having a record almost instantly in the catalog, display of search history, ability to tile multiple records for viewing, editing functionality, windows environment with drop-down menus, pop-up dialog, and drag and drop.

Mary Chevreau’s presentation was mainly in response to Chapman’s and Shapiro’s presentations. She remarked that the “scan” ability for Z39.50 is available with Release 11 but it must be turned on. The scan problem is usually at the target end. She announced new Z39.50 features with Release 12 (available summer 1998) which include: search ability on any indexes available on the target server, and record overlay. The development of a web-based database maintenance product has not begun at Innovative; this is last on the Millennium development list. She expanded that this is largely because web technology does not currently have the type of functionality required in database/cataloging maintenance. Acquisitions will NOT be added to GUICAT so there will not be the ability to add order records in GUICAT; Acquisitions is in development as a web-based product now.


Recorded by: Kathleen Schweitzberger, University of Missouri-Kansas City

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