IUG 2001 Conference Proceedings

Table of Contents

Session: F1

Millennium Serials Forum

Anne Myers, Boston University Law Library
Ted Fons, Innovative Interfaces, Inc.

The Millennium Serials Forum began with a request for audience participation that provided opportunity for informal demographic analysis. The audience was polled for the status of their implementation of Millennium Serials. About two dozen participants worked in a library that had already implemented Millennium Serials. Another two dozen or so intended to implement the product within the next three months. The majority of the audience used the character based applications and had worked in that environment for five years or more. Myers polled the audience for stress levels for those who had already implemented and for those who anticipated implementation. The audience laughed together realizing that stress was high for all of us. Myers encouraged the audience to participate and contribute towards future IUG programs by sharing their experiences with Millennium Serials.

Following the demographic polling, audience members were asked to suggest topics for discussion. Holdings, specifically the 85X 86X use in Millennium Serials, binding issues, statistics, training, and printing were suggested. Technology questions, limits for the number of item records and record limits in general, and archiving issues were also mentioned.

The discussion began with training and related issues. Most of the audience had provided training to their staff prior to implementing Millennium Serials. Some had opted for training afterwards and a few chose to provide training both before and after implementation. In-house training was provided by a few libraries, but most opted for hiring an outside agency for the training program. Most libraries had not yet developed in-house training manuals. Many had created test records in order to train and experiment with the new work environment. Most recommended that one create more than several test records as once a record is opened in Millennium Serials, that record's checkin card 'locks' in the character based environment.

Many audience members mentioned that they have experienced program lockups or freezing with Millennium Serials. Some expressed concern over blue bars and yellow lines showing up periodically when using the product. Ted Fons assured the audience that there were major system improvements with the 2001 release of Millennium Serials. An audience member said that the problems that she experienced were irregular, but could be predicted to occur on Fridays. It was mentioned that possibly the current release of the product had a memory leak. Several audience members responded that they had less trouble after they had increased their computers' memory or replaced their workstations with better hardware. It was agreed generally that by making hardware improvements, perhaps doubling the required system specifications, and by moving to the new releases as soon as possible, these types of problems would continue to decrease.

The discussion progressed to include Millennium Acquisitions. Most had not implemented both Millennium Serials and Millennium Acquisitions. Several said that it had been an awkward experience to bring up one module and not all. It was expressed that it has been difficult for some libraries to work with one module that has several enhancing features and provides a stable workstation environment and then rely on another department that has a respective Millennium product that is less efficient and less stable, thus not used. It was expressed that III would best serve us if the modules were developed, released, and made available to us together as equal parts or modules rather than piece by piece which results in some departments using a weaker product than what is available to others.

Other concerns expressed by the audience included inconsistencies observed regarding record displays, enumeration and chronology display problems, and problems with claims –both with status and display. Ted Fons explained that the Millennium Serials product uses the same logic as the character based view of the database. It is expected that data related issues would be consistent in both character based and the Millennium products. Display issues, interaction with the GUI interface, and system response time possibly could be different when you compare the character based work environment to that of the Millennium products environment.

Requests for improvements from the audience members included the ability to limit searches and the ability to use substitution phrases. Ted Fons replied that the 2001 release of Millennium Serials includes a template option that may be applicable as a workaround for substitution phrases. Another suggestion was that printing in general should be improved, specifically that more opportunities for printing should be provided. Examples included the printing of claiming lists for manual evaluation. Fons said that most of these issues would be addressed through future enhancements that would be included in the coming releases of the Millennium products. Many of the issues and concerns expressed are addressed in the 2001 release of Millennium Serials available to the general public in June 2001.

Stephanie Schmitt, Yale Law School