Background: EndUser is the annual conference for users of Endeavor's suite of library software applications. This includes the Voyager ILS that is in use at FDU. However, at the end of last year, Endeavor was purchased by ExLibris, so this may very well be the last year that this conference will exist under this name.
Here are some highlights from the conference, which was held in Shaumburg, IL from April 26th through the 28th.
Note: Handouts from most sessions will be posted in the Voyager Knowledgebase at the ExLibris website. Denise O'Shea has print copies of most of the handouts.
Voyager and Acquisitions: Keep it Simple
Originally titled, "Voyager and Technical Services: Keep it Simple", this presentation focused solely on Acquisitions. The handouts include lots of screenshots of Acquisitions workflow processes. This is very useful because both CSE and FDU are investigating the full implementation of the Voyager Acquisitions module.
Recommendations from our presenter:
- Use EDI, it is vital even for small libraries. It is easy to setup and to use (vendors will provide much of the necessary data). But don't use it for managing credits, let the business office handle that.
- One fundamental rule for Acquisitions -- one line item per purchase order for monographs.
- Archive your data, sometimes FTP corrupts files.
- With EDI you must establish consistent file naming conventions.
- You must decide how you want to handle tax and shipping and handling? Separate funds/accounts?
What Happens after Your Database has been Rescued by Good Authority Control
Note: I have copies of the complete PowerPoint presentation. I am only putting my notes here.
K-State (Kansas State University) Libraries last catalog cleanup was in the 1990s. Needless to say their authority records were out-of-date. This presentation summarized the planning and communication with two vendors for a major database cleanup and establishment of an authority control vendor. It also looks at how tech services workflows were modified and new tools were implemented to support ongoing authority maintenance work.
The speakers made some interesting recommendations and raised some questions that we need to look at as CoolCAT prepares to address its authority maintenance issues:
- Do we have any locally created authority records? Do we want to preserve these?
- The vendor that they used was Backstage Library Works (BLW). Should we get a quote from them? Some members of the audience were not happy with LTI's customer service.
- As part of the process we need to document any local cataloging practices or quirks. We should also collect some sample records for testing purposes.
How was the work divided?
- BLW -- database cleanup and processing, authority work.
- ExLibris -- copied the database, index regen, and reloaded bibs. It was quicker and easier to have ExLibris do that work.
- K-State -- library does monthly loads.
- Send bibs to authority vendor during the summer, when it is quiet on campus.
- Catalogers should meet weekly to complete authority profiles/refine database cleanup wish list
- Communicate often and early with everyone involved -- staff, systems/IT, and vendors
- Watch for problems with Unicode
- Establish new workflows for editing bibs once database is sent to vendor. Ideally there should be no editing of existing bibs until the file is returned.
- Don't delete old authorities file until new one is loaded??? (need to confirm this). Note: they used Gary Strawn's Authority Delete program (use LCCN option)
- Library staff does monthly pulls & reloads (train a backup person or 2)
- Reports management is key, else the time and $ invested in authority control are wasted. Warning: the authority reports can be huge. May need to use Excel spreadsheets to manage them.
- Each staff member working on reports has Gary Strawn's Cataloger's Toolkit and Correction Receiver. PCs with dual monitors are very helpful.
- Use 948 $z to identify bibs for the monthly pull. Use MARCEdit to add this field to batch loaded records.
- Use Gary Strawn's VgerSelect to hanlde monthly pulls
The handouts contain many more tips. Furthermore, the authors have agreed to respond to any emailed questions, plus they have supplied us with some additional documentation:
Getting Voyager to Work -- Using Other Software
Implementing Gary Strawn's Voyager Programs
Systems Problem Solving Methodology
ExLibris Product Suite Demo
Since the merger with ExLibris, the size of the Voyager development team has doubled. The team is now split into 2 groups -- 1. New Features, 2. Maintenance.
A WebVoyage "face lift" is coming soon. They will modernize the OPAC displays, based on usability testing. Many in the audience felt that WebVoyage needs a transplant not a face lift.
The development team will conduct site visits to learn more about our libraries, and they will work closely with the Voyager product working groups in ELUNA and IGELU (the 2 ExLibris user groups).
Voyager 7.0 (scheduled to be released in 2008) is not the last release of Voyager! There will be minor 7.x releases targeted for mid-2008. The release date for Voyager 8.0 is 2009.
- Development is complete
- Currently being field tested
- Should be available i na few weeks
- Better OPAC displays for cover art, HTML links, etc.
- Cross references are grouped by type and sorted alphabetically
- Relevance ranking for Z39.50 searches
- Pickup locations will be linked to request groups (Callslips)
- Updated Voyager.ini includes sample search URIs
- New clients are required
- Service packs 6.5.2 & 6.5.3 will contain bug fixes
For Key Components:
- Enhancement requests
- Look and feel of OPAC
- Standards support
- Integration with other ExLibris products
Top 10 Enhancement Requests Note: Most of these apply to the Acquisitions Module. I put a *** next to any enhancements that may be of particular interest to CoolCAT In reverse order:
- Select ISBN on a PO
- Suppress & unsupress records using pick & scan
- Edit a Hold or Recall request ***
- Validate ISBN & ISSN
- Select issues in serials history using standard Windows functionality
- Clising a non-predicative pattern without losing reciept history
- Change location on a PO without losing receipt history
EndUser -- Ask the Board
The EndUser Board announced a number of significant changes for the user group which will take effect after EndUser. These changes have been necessary due to the merger of the Ex Libris company and the reality that this is the end of an era with the planning and management of the EndUser Conference and the role of the EndUser group in its current form.
- The North American user group will be ELUNA
- The worldwide user group will be IGeLU
- Formation of a Voyager Product Group within those 2 major user groups
- Confirmation of the enhancements process as previously planned
- Confirmation of the Voyager-L list continuing exactly in its current form (other non-Voyager lists will continue as well)
- North American Board members joining the ELUNA Steering Committee
- Non-North American Board members joining the IGeLU Steering Committee
- Regional User Groups under the new structure
- Continuation of appropriate SupportWeb and Knowledgebase content