September 17, 2021

"Add More From These Libraries"

Have you noticed the "Add More From These Libraries" at the bottom of your search results? It shouts at you in a relatively large font:


This feature was added as part of Tuesday's SHAREit update. While it serves a purpose for ILL programs using SHAREit elsewhere in the country, it does nothing useful with the configuration of library catalogs we have in the NHAIS ILL System (at this writing, SHAREit searches 141 catalogs representing the holdings of more than 200 libraries in New Hampshire). We've asked Auto-Graphics if the "Add More..." can be removed from our screens. They're looking into it.

September 14, 2021

Multi-copy request improvement

A change to the multi-copy feature is among improvements being installed to the NHAIS ILL System tonight (Tuesday, Sept. 14). The system will be unavailable for up to 15 minutes starting at 10 p.m.

The program update includes a behind-the-scenes change to the way multi-copy requests are divided among potential lenders. Up to now, lenders from each library's assigned Preferred Lender List have been added to lender lists as in the example below, with all locations at the top of the Preferred Lender List usually clustered in the first one or two of the several requests that are created. With tonight's update, preferred lenders will be evenly distributed across the requests.

If libraries A, B, C, and so on are in that order at the top of your Preferred Lender List, here's the way they've been distributed for multi-copy requests, assuming these locations all have holdings on the desired material:


Tonight's change spreads the top preferred lenders (generally, libraries of similar type on your van route) across all the requests:


This change gives the libraries at the top of your Preferred Lender List more chances to fulfill your multi-copy requests and should eliminate the clustering of a single library type (public, school, academic, special) in any one request.

Also part of tonight's update: the Activity and Request Reports for Lender Response Records will now include the Author and Pub. Date. As in the Request Records report, they will display immediately after the Title:


Another change concerns the "go back" arrow when viewing a full record in search results. Currently it returns you to the top of the previous page. With this release, the "go back" arrow will return you to where you were on the page, eliminating the need to scroll back to find where you were.

Finally, there's a fix that affects only libraries that allow patron-initiated requesting and use the ILL Request Limits option. When the limit was set to a "number per week," patrons were able to place more than the allowed number on Sundays. This was because the start-of-the-week time was not resetting correctly, allowing patrons to bypass the request limit on Sundays. Patrons will now be restricted to the weekly limit every day.


September 9, 2021

Follow-up to last week's ILL enhancements

A follow-up on NHAIS ILL System enhancements and fixes installed August 31...

-The display changes involving navigation buttons when viewing a full record noted different behaviors for those using a full-size screen vs. those using a mobile device. Note that when using a browser magnification above 100% when viewing a full-size screen, the program may behave as if you were looking at a mobile device.

-While the bug that was causing the Request This Item button to appear in list views for users who weren't logged in has been corrected, it's not immediately apparent in our system. An extra step is required to make that button disappear; that extra step will be applied to the NHAIS ILL System soon. In the meantime, not-logged-in users who click on Request This Item will continue to see a login prompt which will keep them from creating phantom requests.

September 2, 2021

Digitizing NH Town Reports

Part of NHSL's Town Report Collection
One of the ARPA-funded projects the NHSL is working on is to provide a permanent digital collection, accessible on the web, to town reports for all 234 New Hampshire Towns. We are doing this in partnership with UNH.

UNH’s collection includes 15,700 digitized reports from 214 of the 234 towns in New Hampshire. It is hosted as part of their scholars archive at https://scholars.unh.edu/nh_town_reports. Since December 2020 documents in this online collection have been downloaded over 25,000 times by users from 136 countries around the world. They have a process in place and a contract with a company that digitizes the reports for them. It is a great resource!

The NHSL has a paper collection of NH Town Reports, some dating as far back as the mid-1800s. We obtain these reports each year directly from the Town clerks per RSA 201-A:18, paragraph (d): “The clerk in each town and city shall forward to the state library 2 copies each, and to the library of the University of New Hampshire one copy each, of the city or town report for the previous fiscal year.”  http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XVI/201-A/201-A-18.htm

The project we are are undertaking is to fund UNH to fill in the existing gaps in their digital town report collection. We will also be working with them to locate paper copies of reports needing to be digitized. The project will be worked on throughout the coming year (up until the ARPA grant funding deadline) and will include loading existing born-digital reports to the site and digitizing from paper those reports that are missing from the digital collection. NHSL staff and UNH staff are working on inventorying existing physical holdings so we will know if we have gaps. If we do, we will do outreach to specific towns to fill those gaps.

The NHSL catalog includes a serial record for each NH town report. We have added a link to each of these bibliographic records (with a few exceptions which I will address next) that takes you to the UNH page for that specific town. The paper holdings of NHSL are reflected as individual items on the serial records in our catalog. When we began working on this in May we realized that lots of our paper holdings were not reflected in the online catalog. Since that time NHSL staff has added 8,504 town report items to the catalog and continues to work on this (about 2,000 town report items are being added each month).

The towns that do not have links in their report records to the UNH site are the ones for which there are no digital holdings in the UNH collection. These will be the first priority in the digitizing project:  Middleton, Mont Vernon, Orange, Pittsburg, Sugar Hill, Sullivan, Surry, Waterville Valley, Webster, Wentworth, Westmoreland, Whitefield, Wilmot, Winchester, Windham, Windsor, Wolfeboro, and Woodstock. The full NHSL holdings for these town reports are reflected in our catalog.

If you would like to replace the MARC record in your local system with the one to which we have added the live link (as an 856 tag) to the digital collection, you can do so by saving the MARC record from the NHSL catalog:

  1. Search the catalog for the town report you want (a keyword search for REPORT and the name of the town typically gets you there)
  2. At the right side of the screen is a "Save record" option. Click that and choose the format your local system uses (MARC UTF-8 is common) and save the bib record.
  3. Load the saved record into your local system so that it will overlay your existing record and keep your items intact. (How to do this is different in every system).