May 24, 2017

Borrowing from NH colleges

Recently posted on the NHAIS-ILL e-mail list:
There is one listing in Nhupac with a college with no option to borrow, so I thought I’d try an email.  Looking for  England's Years of Danger by Paul Frischauer.

Saint Anselm College is one of several colleges that does not lend through the NHU-PAC (hence no checkbox on the Select Union Lenders page) but allows New Hampshire libraries to log into its own catalog to place ILL requests. Information about which schools have such an arrangement and how to borrow from them can be found on the NHAIS Services webpage about borrowing from New Hampshire colleges.

May 23, 2017

NC Van Route Shortened 5/23

Today's NC Van Delivery route is being cut short today.  The affected libraries are:

North Conway
Twin Mountain

The libraries receiving delivery before Jackson have received their delivery for today.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

May 22, 2017

No NC van Mon 5/22

The NC Van Delivery Route is cancelled today, Monday, May 22nd, 2017.  The affected libraries are:

North Woodstock
Sugar Hill
Lisbon Regional High School

Sorry for any inconvenience.


Rebecca Stockbridge
Reference Librarian
New Hampshire State Library
20 Park St. Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-2239
[Updated 9:40 am to correct list of affected libraries] 

May 18, 2017

Diplay limitations in the ILL program

We hope to be working with a new ILL program within a couple of years but for now we have to live with incoming requests that look like this:

The only clue that the borrower is looking for an audio version of this title is the mention of an unabridged edition.  But which audio version?  You could look up the OCLC number elsewhere in the NHU-PAC... find that it's an 8-CD set with a bonus PDF disc being requested.  That puts an extra burden on the lender.  A previous post includes suggestions on how borrowers can help make it clear which edition they're after.  This post is for those curious about why our ILL program doesn't automatically show some important information in its displays.  It has to do with changes to cataloging standards since the ILL program was written.

NHAIS Services can and does adjust indexes so your searches will find appropriate information in records both old and new.  What we can't change is the way the ILL program displays records.  Here's a 1999 record as seen in the ILL program:
Here are the key fields from the record displayed above:
010:  $a 89006110
020:  $a 1568000316 (alk. paper)
020:  $a 0452262739
100:  1 $a Santos, Jim.
245:  10 $a Sports illustrated track : $b the field events / $c by Jim Santos and Ken Shannon ; photography by Heinz Kluetmeier.
250:  $a 1st Sports Illustrated Books ed.
260:  $a New York : $b Sports illustrated, $c 1999.
300:  $a 281 p. : $b ill. ; $c 23 cm.
440:  0 $a Sports illustrated winner's circle books
650:  0 $a Track and field $v Juvenile literature.
650:  1 $a Track and field.

Everything you'd expect shows up in the ILL display except that, where there are multiple ISBNs, the program can only show the first one it finds in a record.  Here's the ILL display of a record cataloged according to today's standards:

And here's what the incoming request would look like (with note added by borrower):
Although the information labeled as imprint, series title, ISBN, and LCCN is all present in the MARC record (details below), it's no longer in a field or format that the ILL program can handle.  The publication information ("imprint") is now commonly entered in field 264 rather than 260.  The series information is now entered in field 490 (and, in many cases as here, an accompanying 8XX field) rather than field 440.  While the ISBN and LCCN are still stored in the same fields (020 and 010, respectively), both have been lengthened while the ILL program can only display the older 10-digit ISBN and 8-digit LCCN formats. (While there is a 10-digit ISBN in the details below, it's not the first ISBN in the record and thus can't be displayed.)

010:  $a 2016041158
020:  $a 9781410495624 $q (hardcover)
020:  $a 1410495620 $q (hardcover)
100:  1 $a Brunstetter, Wanda E., $e author.
245:  14 $a The Hawaiian quilt / $c Wanda E. Brunstetter & Jean Brunstetter.
250:  $a Large print edition.
264:  1 $a Waterville, Maine : $b Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, $c 2017.
264:  4 $c ©2016
300:  $a 469 pages (large print) ; $c 23 cm.
490:  1 $a Thorndike Press large print Christian fiction
650:  0 $a Amish $v Fiction.
650:  0 $a Quilts $v Fiction.
650:  0 $a Female friendship $v Fiction.
650:  0 $a Ocean travel $v Fiction.
651:  0 $a Kauai (Hawaii) $v Fiction.
651:  1 $a Hawaii $v Fiction.
830:  0 $a Thorndike Press large print Christian fiction series.

Further making it hard to distinguish different editions of titles is the phasing out of the general media designator (GMD) that used to be in subfield 245h.  This is the [videorecording] or [sound recording] or [text(large print)] or [microform] or [electronic resource] or [realia] that you used to see next to the title.  Not only are these not appearing on newer records but OCLC is systematically removing this subfield from older records in its database.  You'll still find the GMD on many of the older records in the NHU-PAC but that will change as records are updated.

While unrelated to changes in cataloging standards, it's worth noting that some special characters aren't accurately displayed in the ILL program--Nestlé becomes Nestlâe, Bohème becomes Boháeme, and 10% happier may appear on some screens as 10Áappier. 

May 17, 2017

Brief NHU-PAC searching outage Thursday 5/18 7:35am

There will be a brief interruption of NHU-PAC keyword searching starting at 7:35 a.m. on Thursday, May 18.  This is to allow installation of updated indexes.  Keyword searching should be restored by 7:40 a.m.

May 15, 2017

Van Delivery News - May 2017

The NH State Library will be closed on Monday, May 29, 2017 in observance of Memorial Day.  There will be NO VAN DELIVERY on that date.

For a complete list of all of the holidays the State Library is closed, please visit (the van delivery instructions) and scroll down to "NO Van Service".

If for any other reason (e.g. bad weather) van service on a particular route(s) does not operate, libraries will be notified via an e-mail message and this blog. If your library does not receive van service on a particular day, please check your e-mail and this blog before calling the State Library.

Please remember to properly label each item which you are sending via the Van Delivery Service. This will help ensure these items make it to the correct destination in a timely manner.

If you need a refresher on how items should be marked for the van, please refer to the Van Delivery Service - Instructions,, and scroll down to number 3 of the guidelines, "Addressing material to be sent on the van".

To print a current van directory list arranged in alphabetical order by library, please use the PDF version which is available at
You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print this pdf file. If you do not have it installed on your machine, you may down load it for free from

Due to the ever increasing load of materials transported by the New Hampshire State Library van delivery system, our vans can reach maximum capacity before the end of a van route, especially following long weekends and holidays. Our drivers can decline to accept materials if they feel they cannot fit them safely on their van. We are also asking libraries to please be aware of volume during times when there is likely to be a problem. You should prioritize your materials to be picked up, in case some items must be left until the next van pick up. That will allow us to immediately transport the most important items as quickly as possible.

If you have any questions you may contact  Diana DeCota at 271-2206.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

May 4, 2017

Getting the right edition through ILL

Recently the topic of getting the wrong edition (e.g., regular print instead of large print) for an ILL request came up--again--on the NHAIS-ILL list.  Some of the problem can be blamed on human error but much of it can be attributed to the failure of our ILL program to keep up with changes in cataloging standards for MARC bibliographic records.  Some important information on newer records doesn't get displayed, either on the availability screen or the incoming request "pick slip" screen.

As noted in other recent postings here, we expect to move the NHU-PAC to a new system in the next two years--but in the meantime we have to work with what we've got.  I'll detail the known shortcomings of the ILL display in a future post but first let's consider what you can do now to get the edition you want.

First make sure you've found the correct record corresponding to the edition you're after so your request will go only to the libraries which have told us they have that edition.  The ILL program has an "Enter Advanced Searching Terms" option which allows you to combine two different types of search terms.  Many (but not all) records for large print books have the subject heading Large type books in the record so you can include that as part of your search:

That fact that the names of performers and narrators are indexed the same as authors can come in handy when trying to locate an audio or video item:
Many users will find it easier to use the searching tools found elsewhere in the NHU-PAC--just open another browser tab while you stay logged into the ILL program.  You'll find many more ways to search the same database--additional indexes; additional ways to combine search terms; limits for format, language, date, and holding location; sorting options; the option to do browse searches instead of just keyword searches; and the option to enclose a specific phrase in quotation marks.
If there's an ISBN in the record you've found, highlight and copy the number, click on the browser tab with the ILL program, and paste the ISBN into the search screen there.

Although you'll be looking at information from the same NHU-PAC record, it displays differently in the ILL program.  In this example the publisher and ISBN don't show:
After you create a request, the Request Summary page allows you to add a borrower note which can reinforce the edition you're after:
Another option is the Edit Bibliographic Information button.  This will allow you to fill in the missing information and alter other info (but the ISBN must be in 10-digit format) as you see fit.
Changes will appear in the incoming requests pick-slip display seen by lending libraries:
Here's what it would look like without the modifications mentioned above:
One might think the edition statement contained in the record would be sufficient to get the correct edition but experience shows that's not necessarily so.  In the example above, the lending library had its local call number included with its NHU-PAC holding but many libraries submit their holdings without any call number information.

Again, make sure you start by finding the record for the edition you want.  Don't just find any old edition of the title and alter the bibliographic information.  Your request won't be seen by the correct holding libraries if you do that.

April 27, 2017

Slimming down the database

In 2002, when the NHU-PAC last changed systems (Galaxy to Horizon), there were approximately 1.2 million bibliographic records in the database.  Today there are nearly twice as many: 2.35 million bibliographic records.  7.14 million holdings are attached to those bibliographic records--but not to all of them.  There are more than 320,000 bibliographic records in the NHU-PAC that have no holdings attached.

These "orphaned" records include dozens of manuals on how to use WordStar (a popular word processing program in the 1980s), operas on audiocassettes and LP's, feature films on VHS and Beta videocassettes, and oodles of books for which there is no longer enough demand--or enough shelf space--to remain in the collections of New Hampshire libraries.

For as long as I've been here (19 years) the policy has been to retain bibliographic records in the NHU-PAC even when no libraries hold the titles represented anymore.  The thinking was that a library doing cataloging might need one of those records someday--perhaps because an older book was donated to the collection or because a library was working on retrospective conversion ("recon") of its catalog.  We'd already paid for the records and added them to the NHU-PAC so why not leave them there just in case?

Interlibrary loan librarians can answer that: because those records without holdings clutter up search results and give false hope that certain titles can be found within New Hampshire.  There are other arguments in favor of deleting the orphaned records.  I get a daily report from OCLC about updated records and I've noticed in recent months that I'm spending quite a bit of time improving older records that no longer have any NHU-PAC holdings.  And, if things go as expected, in the next two years we'll be migrating the NHU-PAC to a new system.  Having a smaller database should save money and effort when that transition happens.

All of which leads to this: in the next few months NHAIS Services will be removing from the NHU-PAC those bibliographic records that have been in the database at least 5 years and have no holdings.  The plan is to do this procedure annually.

But what if your library wants to add Mastering WordStar on the IBM PC to its collection after we've removed the record from the NHU-PAC?  Just send NHAIS Services the information as you normally would--either in a file of MARC records sent as an e-mail attachment or via the online NHU-PAC MARC Record Request Form--and we'll add the record, with your holding, back to the NHU-PAC.

April 24, 2017

Brief NHU-PAC outage Tue. 4/25 7:35am

The NHU-PAC will be offline for approximately 10 minutes starting at 7:35 a.m. on Tuesday, April 25.  This outage is for routine server maintenance done on the last Tuesday of the month.  Also expect a brief (less than a minute) interruption of NHU-PAC ILL service around 9 a.m.