IUG 2001 Conference Proceedings

Table of Contents

Session: G5

Public Library Forum

Elizabeth D. Nichols, Iowa City Public Library
Betsy Graham, Innovative Interfaces
Leslie Straus, Innovative Interfaces

General announcements and opening comments:
Sign-in sheets were passed around for attendees to note their name, library, and email address. The expectation is that a special mailing list will be set up which will focus on issues that affect public libraries.

Special thanks were given to Karen Perone and Judy Humphreys for serving on the IUG Steering Committee, and for providing a public library presence and perspective as they served the IUG.

People were encouraged to volunteer to serve as coordinator for next year's public library forum at the IUG conference; Shari Nichelini from Sacramento Public Library has volunteered to moderate the Forum next year.

It was noted that various ways of facilitating communication amongst public library Innovative sites have been tried. These include the annual Public Library Forum at conference, the online bulletin board, and various informal and formal public library meetings at conferences, such as this year's Public Library Luncheon. Attendees were encouraged to forward any comments or ideas for further such communication. Members indicated by a show of hands that the use of a Bulletin Board as a public library forum was thought worthwhile. Sacramento Public Library has volunteered to assist in the coming year by developing a website for the PLF. Gerry Calderon will coordinate the website effort.

Leslie Straus, Vice-President of Customer Sales & Marketing for Innovative, spoke briefly. She noted Innovative's recognition of the importance of its public library customers. Although Innovative's initial customer base was largely academic, they have always also had public library customers, going back to the days of the "black box". They understood that to really succeed in the public library market, the circulation module had to be able to meet the special needs of public libraries. Public libraries have a greater need for high production circulation software, for the ability to handle a much larger patron database than most academic libraries, and they are very concerned about the public catalog. It is vitally important to Innovative that they continue the tradition of listening and reacting to the concerns of public library sites.

Betsy Graham, Innovative's Director of Product Management, made some general comments about the enhancement process. Innovative currently receives enhancement ideas through numerous channels, one of which is the Innovative Users Group via its enhancements team. Lately, she has noticed a trend towards the enhancement requests being stated in terms of "solutions" rather than as more pure statements of the specific problem. When wording an enhancement request it is more helpful if the user states it in terms of what functionality is missing rather than what they feel the solution might be. Betsy noted that the four main clusters of Millennium functionality are Circulation; Acquisitions & Serials; the WebOpac and associated products; and Cataloging. She also noted that when a product goes into Beta release, they try to have a public library or a public library consortium as part of the Beta group.

Attendees raised the following topical questions/concerns (italicized text refers to comments by Innovative staff):

Call Numbers: the call#s used in public libraries are very different from those used in academic libraries. The great number of prefixes used in public libraries makes it difficult to output reports which include call#s. When call#s are used in both the bib record and the item record, would like the ability to choose which call# to prefer on a particular report. (Claire Boone, Tuscaloosa Public, Alabama)

Claims Returned: If an item is "claims returned" and then later turns up (i.e., it truly was returned), would like to see the CL RTRND statistic reduced accordingly in the patron record (Dick Hanrath, Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Illinois)

Claims Returned: there are 3 options when processing a Claims Returned; but they only want their staff to use one of these; would like the option of turning off the other two (Carol Gyger, Fort Collins)

Customizing Date Due slips: would like these to be more customizable (e.g., for privacy issues, may want to not show the patron's name on the slip) (Mike McClellan, Minneapolis) Customizing display: would like the term "available" to be replaced by a more meaningful term (Mike McClellan, Minneapolis) Libraries are already able to change that wording locally

Customizing display: Phone# indexing is a good idea; but when searching by phone#, the address displays; they want the name to display in the browse list (Darla Wegener, Santa Clara P.L.)

Customizing Paging slips: want to be able to customize the paging slip (e.g. add bib info) (Mike McClellan, Minneapolis)

Customizing reports: would like to be able to customize the sequence of fields so that a particular field would appear sooner on a display/printout (Ann Wood, Kitchener, Ontario County) In Release 2002 this will be more customizable

Duplicate name check: need a better way to avoid multiple records for the same person (e.g., perhaps a check on phone number field) (Mike McClellan, Minneapolis)

Electronic ordering: when using the electronic ordering product, the 024 field (and possibly the 028) is "trumping" the 020 (Michelle Graye, Tucson-Pima County) In the next release you will be able to specify which 020 to use in the electronic order and that ISBN will be kept as part of the order record.

Fines: would like to have the ability to carry a credit balance on the patron record (so patron would in effect "prepay" for overdues they have not yet incurred) (Claire Boone, Tuscaloosa Public, Alabama)

Fines: would like to have the option to NOT see the total of waived fines during checkout (Fran Levin, Rogers Public Library, Arkansas)

Fines: In character-based, when checking in overdue items from multiple patrons, the system keeps track of the fines and one collects the fine at the end. In MilCirc, as the borrower changes, the fine is added to the previous patron (e.g. mom comes in and 1 of her overdue items is checked in; the next item is for her child, and as the child's item is checked in mom's fine is added to her record). Can be a problem, especially during high circulation times such as during Summer Reading Program in public libraries. (Marilyn Weinberg, Suffolk Cooperative Library System)

Help desk: turnover time in solving some problems is too long (Darla Wegener, Santa Clara P.L.)

Holds: would like to be able to know what title(s) have the most holds at any particular time (Carol Gyger, Fort Collins)

Holds: would like to be able to override "deny a hold" (instead of having to manually re-do a hold list) (name unknown, __ County Library, Ohio)

Holds: would like to see the hold pickup go to where the book is. (When hold comes in from the Internet, patron can choose the pickup location; but the problem is that an item from a different branch is getting flagged to fulfill the hold) (Shari Nichelini, Sacramento P.L. Consortium) Innovative would like to talk to Sacramento about their WWW file settings.

In Transit: would like a statistic for taking books out of "in transit"; i.e. if a transaction is a branch-to-branch issue, do not want to collect stats as if it were a circ transaction. (Libby Flynn, Marin County)

In Transit: it is too much work to manually cancel these. (Darla Wegener, Santa Clara P.L.) Release 2002 will allow for automatic expiration of "in transits"

Inventory: would like the full barcode to be shown in reports (name unknown)

Inventory: make it location-code-based and provide the option of turning off the misshelving aspect. They are really only interested in whether the item is coded at the right location. (Carol Gyger, Fort Collins)

Location field: would like a secondary location field (so when they move collections around, they can restore the original location more easily) (Ann Wood, Kitchener, Ontario County)

MilCirc: When a record is in use, would like to be able to see it on another computer in "view only" mode, instead of it being totally unavailable (Fred Schumacher, Houston Public Library) A future release will include this ability

MilCirc: when an item is marked "lost", allow the option to have the fine posted to the patron record at the same time (Fred Schumacher, Houston Public Library)

MilCirc: when checking in an overdue, you can deal with that particular item's fine, but not with other fines for that patron; would like to be able to deal with all fines for the patron (Mike McClellan, Minneapolis)

MilCirc: need to be able to add a message at the time of checkout (e.g. "damaged item; needs repair after returned") (Darla Wegener, Santa Clara P.L.)

Paging slips: when printing paging slips, turns into an item hold; but what they would prefer is for the next available copy at any branch to be paged instead. (name unknown)

Passwording: would like to be able to password staff to edit only particular fields in a record, not all fields in a record (Angie Hunek, Sarasota County Libraries, Florida)

Patron record: would like separate fields for city, state, and zip. (Jan Bachich, Sacramento) This is a profiling issue; library can ask to have these variable fields added.

Patron Self-Renewal: would like to be able to see a log of patron self-renewals in order to have some recourse in case of a dispute with a patron. (Fred Schumacher, Houston Public Library)

PIN: should not require a PIN to place a hold, even if you need it for other things (Mike McClellan, Minneapolis)

Purchase alerts: would like purchase alerts to be generated based on bib-level holds even if there are no items on the record. (May Anstee, Helen Plum Memorial Library, Lombard, IL)

Recalls: Would like to be able to turn off the recall ability; they do not use it (Carol Gyger, Fort Collins)

Telephone Renewal: want to be able to tell patron WHY they can't renew the material (Mike McClellan, Minneapolis)

YTDCIRC/LYRCIRC update– general comments (name unknown, __ Cnty Library, Ohio) Release 2001 improves on this process

YTDCIRC/LYRCIRC stats: should be able to include renewal totals as well as checkout totals when calculating circ stats (Jackie Licalzi, West Bloomfield, Michigan) Release 2002 will address this.

Margaret Jasinski, Arlington Heights Memorial Library