IUG 2001 Conference Proceedings

Table of Contents

Session: H1

Migrating to Millennium Serials: A View From the Trenches

Anne Myers, Boston University Law Library

Adrian White, Wilmer, Cutler, & Pickering
Maureen Hattash, Greenwich Library
Carole Kiehl, Old Dominion University
Julie Owolabi, American University Law Library
Ted Fons, Innovative Interfaces, Inc.

A panel of librarians who have implemented Millennium Serials shared their experiences by answering a series of questions.

Q.1 Sum up your experience

Adrian: Howard University Law was a beta test site for Millennium Serials. They had been using the Innovative character based system since 1995, and felt that it was important for a law library to test the serials module. There was initial staff resistance, but after two weeks, check-in speed greatly increased, and the serials people were happy with it. Label printing works much better than in the character based system.

Maureen: Greenwich Library in Connecticut purchased Millennium as part of a building project. They are only using Millennium Serials to check-in magazines, and have not experienced many problems. Their biggest problem was training staff to use Windows.

Carole: Old Dominion University implemented Millennium Serials last year. They bought hardware according to the minimum specifications supplied by Innovative, and feel that has been the cause of their problems with system slowness, freezes, and printing problems. Because of the numerous problems they've had, they are waiting for the next release of the software before fully implementing it.

Julie: American University Law Library implemented Millennium Serials last summer, and is now on Early Release 2001 which has fixed many problems. They started with a few test records, are using machines with 128 MB of RAM, and have had a pretty good experience.

Ted: Noted that Release 2001 "fixes a lot."

Q. 2 What platform and type of system are you using?

Adrian: With Windows NT, experienced no problems printing. Now looking at the Windows kernel thin client solution.

Maureen: Greenwich uses Windows NT with 128 MB of RAM and has not experienced crashes

Anne: recommends 256 MB of RAM, minimum

Q. 3 Did you do your own training or hire III staff? In retrospect, what would you differently?

Julie: Had day of Innovative training 2 months after implementation. The trainer had great handouts, which Julie is willing to share (email: jowolabi@wcl.american.edu)

Carole: Didn't have formal Innovative training. They are dependent on written procedures they did themselves. In-house training has worked well for them.

Maureen: Greenwich had 2 full days of Innovative training. She recommends being very specific about what you want the trainers to cover. In retrospect, it would have been better to have 2 sets of training one before implementation, and one 2 months into the process, so you'd know which questions to ask.

Adrian: As a beta test site, there was no training available, though Ted did come and show them what he knew. Though the training from Innovative is not necessary, Adrian felt staff might be more comfortable with an outside trainer.

Anne: Supervisors had Innovative training, then supervisors trained staff in a lab setting.

Q. 4 Printing seems to be a problem. What has been your experience?

Adrian: With Windows NT, printing doesn't seem to be a problem. They did need to make their attached label printer the default printer.

Maureen: Their networked printer works well, though they had some problems initially with the default printer issue

Carole: Labels are not quite printing the way they want, but they do print

Julie: No problems printing using Windows 98 with an attached printer. Release 2001 solves many of the printing problems.

Q. 5 What decisions have you made about using the MARC holdings format?

Julie: Still using free text holdings statements in the check-in records. They move them to the bib record when they close a record. Planning to move to MARC holdings format next summer.

Carole: Still using open statements they maintain in the check-in records and bib records with no plans to change.

Maureen: Not using MARC holdings format and probably won't. Noted that holdings are easier for patrons to view in Millennium Serials.

Adrian: Howard has begun switching over. They change a record when they touch it for some reason, as they feel it may someday be very useful. He sees no reason to maintain the holdings in the bib records.

Ted: You don't need to understand all of the MARC tagging information to convert to MARC holdings format. Millennium Serials has templates that walk you through the process. It's not a problem to have only some records converted.

Q. 6 What kinds of test records did you use?

Julie: Used only one test record

Carole: Created several test records of varying complexity

Maureen: Used a few simple test records

Adrian: Dove in with no test records, counting on the daily back-up to restore in case of calamity.

Questions from the audience

Are there special considerations for consortia? If each institution uses its own check-in records, there will be no problems.

Are there problems with the bindery function? Printing slips doesn't work well, but Release 2001 fixes this. Even with Release 2001, you can't do batch printing, but you can still do this in the character based system.

Recurring notes/recommendations

1. It's fine to have some records "Millenniumized" but not all; easy to implement slowly.
2. Even after implementing Millennium Serials, you can still use the character based system for everything except check-in.
3. You can implement MARC holdings format for serials slowly or not at all.
4. If you're buying new machines, get all the RAM you can.
5. Use test records.
6. No one training method seems best.
7. Release 2001 fixes a lot.

Jennifer Bone, Keene Public Library