Table of Contents
This was a new session this year, an open forum for INN-Reach users. Representatives from III were also there to answer questions: Sandy Westall, Ann Rakes, Sonya Walters, and Jing Wang. All kinds of issues were discussed:
1. A library considering using INN-Reach wondered if INN-Reach is used for article requests. INN-Reach was designed to be used for circulating items. A few years ago, Innovative and OhioLINK did tests using a citation database to supply articles to users. This development for article requesting did not proceed past testing for a variety of reasons. Anita mentioned: 1) the complexities of tracking copyright; 2) the potential large increase in the volume of business for libraries. Sandy mentioned: 1) the difficulty of parsing holdings statements in order to direct requests to the correct library; 2) the need for the user to key citation info since INN-Reach database does not include articles. Development of article requesting within INN-Reach is not being pursued actively by Innovative at this time.
2. The pros and cons of having AVS (advanced keyword searching) on the central INN-Reach system were discussed. Everyone using AVS on their central systems highly recommended it. Sandy Westall advised that as soon as some local sites bring up AVS, AVS should also be installed on the central system. This is because pass-through searching from local old keyword to central AVS will work, but pass-through searching from local AVS to central old keyword will not work.
3. A new INN-Reach site had concerns about printing pick-up lists from multiple locations, but in fact you can print by location. There is a bug that cancelled holds can be printed only from one location, but the enhancement to print notices by patron's home library, planned for 2002 release, should help.
4. Another library considering INN-Reach had concerns about the non-standard material type codes and how that might affect building the central union catalog. ORBIS reported that the result of using non-standard material types is that patrons will get false results when they use material type limits in the catalog. III plans enhancements to allow libraries to map their local BCODE1s and BCODE2s to central codes to allow libraries to keep using their local codes. You could also choose to limit using the 008 material type code in the central catalog, instead of using the III BCODE.
5. Someone had a question about whom to ask in her system about user interface problems. This provided an opportunity for Anita and Sandy to review the recommended administrative setup for INN-Reach systems. Each INN-Reach system has an overall coordinator. Then there are also official coordinators for each local site. Staff should contact their *local* coordinator about any INN-Reach issues, not the central system coordinator, and not III. The local coordinator should contact the central coordinator who contacts Innovative if there is a problem or setting that needs adjustment. This makes sense, as there are many, many people sharing one central system, and it is essential to coordinate changes carefully.
6. The San Diego Circuit system is beta-testing the new visiting patron option. The new feature will allow different loan rules for a patron from Library X in the case where they are requesting remotely from Library Y and when they are visiting Library Y in person. San Diego Circuit would like to see a counter that keeps track of how many items a visiting patron has checked out (right now it is possible for a visiting patron to exceed their checkout limit).
7. MOBIUS has had some problems in overriding renewals with INN-Reach. It was difficult for Sandy Westall to diagnose the problem, since there are 14 places in the system where you could be overriding renewals. The override will really change the due date internally back at the owning library in some places, but in other places that will fail. Release 2001 will add a warning message to reflect that.
Then one library revealed that they try to get around this by checking an item back in and then checking it out again rather than overriding the renewal date. Sandy warned them that this only *looks* like it works. ORBIS reminded INN-Reach circulation users that whatever they do in fact affects *three* systems, not just one, and that very close coordination between local sites is necessary. Always check with the other library to see if something is working or not, and how it is affecting others.
8. A new INN-Reach user wanted to know if there is a way to view the complete bibliographic record from a virtual item, and the answer is no. Only enough bib information is carried over with the virtual item to print notices.
9. The question was raised, is III going to develop a database maintenance module for the central system? This started a very interesting discussion about issues of local maintenance, cooperation, and the ultimate purpose of the central union catalog. The INN-Reach system was developed to be as low-maintenance a system as possible. It is designed through its record merger algorithm to take advantage of the maintenance performed on the local catalogs. The algorithm that chooses the master record looks for the highest encoding level, making it imperative that local sites use those codes properly. An INN-Reach system can also choose to include institutional priority codes in their merger algorithm. This is a policy decision that local sites need to agree upon, based on whose records they feel are best maintained. For example, some sites just don't have the local resources to do authority control, and as a system you might want to take such factors into account.
There is also no central authority control module for INN-Reach. Sandy explained that central authority control would be very complex. For example, central automated authority control would change master bib records--would these changes then be transmitted backwards to the local system? It is not clear if that would even be desirable. However, a file of authority records could be loaded into an INN-Reach system if a group wishes to do so (if they can find a way to select the records and de-dup them), in order to get cross-references in the central catalog. But no maintenance will take place on the central system.
OhioLink then described their philosophy of "errors of consequence"--they have agreed upon parameters about what constitutes an error important enough to be fixed, instructions on how to identify who owns the master record, and then a list of the cataloging contacts to notify at each local site.
At the end of the session, everyone agreed that it was extremely useful and should be repeated at the next IUG conference.