July 23, 2014

Holdings Maintenance workarounds

Wednesday, July 23: While NHU-PAC Holdings Maintenance remains offline (a condition expected to continue at least into next month), workarounds have now been posted on the NHAIS Notes blog for catalogers who used to add NHU-PAC holdings and/or download NHU-PAC records through Holdings Maintenance.  Still to come: workarounds to request card printing, to request records for materials not already in the NHU-PAC, and to delete NHU-PAC holdings.  The card printing workaround may be announced next week, the others will likely take a little longer.

July 22, 2014

Z39.50 client for downloading NHU-PAC records

This post is intended for libraries that do not already have a Z39.50 client but would like to be able to obtain MARC records from the NHU-PAC while Holdings Maintenance remains offline.  It talks about how to get and use the MarcEdit Z39.50 client and is the third of several posts detailing workarounds for NHU-PAC Holdings Maintenance tasks.

Many of today's integrated library systems have Z39.50 clients built-in, allowing you to search other databases (including the NHU-PAC) and directly pull MARC records into your catalog.  For users who do not have a Z39.50 client as part of their ILS but would like to be able to obtain records from the NHU-PAC, Terry Reese's free MARC editing utility MarcEdit includes a Z39.50 client.

Although MarcEdit can run on several operating systems, the following assumes you're running Windows 7 or 8.  To obtain the correct download at http://marcedit.reeset.net/downloads, you'll need to know whether your operating system is 32- or 64-bit.  Click Start, then right-click Computer and choose Properties.  Under System (or System Type), it'll say whether your OS is 32- or 64-bit. Download the appropriate file and install it.

Once installed, open MarcEdit and click on the Z39.50/SRU Client icon.  (If you don't see the icon, go to Tools > Preferences, and make sure Z39.50/SRU Client is one of the selected default programs.)  To add the NHU-PAC to the list of searchable databases, go to Modify Databases > Add Database > Add New Z39.50 Server.  Enter NHU-PAC for the name, then enter the host (address/URL), database name, and port information (you'll need to send an e-mail to NHAIS Services to obtain the NHU-PAC connection settings).  Choose MARC21 for syntax.  Save the settings.

To find records in the NHU-PAC, choose Search Mode.  Under Query Database, it should say NHU-PAC.  (If not, click on Select Database, highlight NHU-PAC in the list, and choose Select Resource.)  Enter your search term(s), choose the appropriate type of search (title, ISBN, etc.) from the drop-down list, and click the green arrow.

By default, the MarcEdit Z39.50 client retrieves the first 20 records for your search.  You can change that under Set Options > Limit--or just keep clicking Get Next? near the bottom of the window to retrieve the next 20 records.

To see record details, double-click on a title.  If the record matches what you're cataloging and you'd like to download the record, note the path in the Save File area.  You change it by browsing to a location from the icon to the right of the box.  Check the Append box if you'll be saving multiple records to the same file (if you forget to do that, you'll be prompted later to append or overwrite your existing file).  With the save path established, click Download Record.

Once you've finished adding to your file of MARC records, you may import it into your ILS so you'll have the records in your catalog.  There you can add call numbers and other local information, then export a file of records for your new acquisitions that you can send to NHAIS Services (following our instructions for submitting MARC files) so we can add a holding for your library to the appropriate NHU-PAC records.

Alternatively, you may send to NHAIS Services the MARC file you created from the MarcEdit Z39.50 client directly to NHAIS Services (following our instructions for submitting MARC files, of course).  This allows us to add NHU-PAC holdings for your library but without your call numbers.  You may choose this method if you want to save a step or if you don't have an ILS to import records into.

Terry Reese has created a YouTube video on using the MarcEdit Z39.50 client if you'd like to see more.

There are many, many more things you can do with MarcEdit but the focus of this post is obtaining records from the NHU-PAC.  The MarcEdit homepage has links for tutorials on other tasks.

NHU-PAC outage Tue 7/22 7:35am

Tuesday, July 22, 7:35 a.m.: The NHU-PAC is offline this morning.  Service should be restored (except for Holdings Maintenance) by 7:45 a.m.

July 21, 2014

Acquiring MARC records from the NHU-PAC

This post talks about how to download MARC records from the NHU-PAC via a Z39.50 connection.  It is the second of several posts detailing workarounds for NHU-PAC Holdings Maintenance tasks.

Z39.50 is a protocol for searching and retrieving database information over a network.  It can be used to find and download MARC bibliographic records from the NHU-PAC.

If your library system includes Z39.50 capabilities, you can configure it to search the NHU-PAC.  Contractual restrictions prevent us posting the connection information on the blog but NHAIS members are welcome to send an e-mail to NHAIS Services requesting details.  You'll receive the address, port, database name, and other information needed to establish the connection.  The connection information is exclusively for use by NHAIS member libraries and should not be shared with non-NHAIS libraries.

Once connected, you can search the NHU-PAC and download records.  The downloaded records can be sent to NHAIS Services following guidelines referenced in a previous post as a way to add your holdings to the NHU-PAC.

 Z39.50 search results for subject "Lake Winnipesaukee" as seen in Koha

But what if your ILS doesn't include a Z39.50 client?  A workaround for that will be covered in another post.

Adding holdings to the NHU-PAC

This post talks about how to add holdings to the NHU-PAC based on MARC records you have for your new acquisitions.  It is the first of several posts detailing workarounds for NHU-PAC Holdings Maintenance tasks.

This "workaround" comes first because it really isn't a new procedure.  For more than a decade, libraries have been sending NHAIS Services files of MARC records either exported from their catalogs or as received from vendors.  The files are sent as e-mail attachments and NHAIS Services adds holdings to the NHU-PAC by matching the records in the submitted files with what's in the NHU-PAC.  The procedures for this method of submitting holdings have been in place for years and are documented online.

The NHU-PAC continues to grow, albeit more slowly, in the absence of Holdings Maintenance.  That growth is entirely attributable to libraries sending files of MARC records.  Since the Holdings Maintenance server crashed four weeks ago, the count of bibliographic records in the NHU-PAC has grown by 2636 while holdings are up by 9815.  For comparison, in the previous four weeks, while Holdings Maintenance was still working, the count of bibliographic records increased by 4054 while holdings went up by 19,902.

But what if you've been getting MARC records for your catalog from the NHU-PAC?  A workaround for that will be covered in another post.

Workarounds for Holdings Maintenance on the way

Monday, July 21: Today marks four weeks since the Holdings Maintenance server failed to recover from a power outage.  Efforts to move Holdings Maintenance to a new server began during the second week of the outage but a number of technical issues are dragging out the process.  It's clear we need to offer temporary, alternative ways for libraries to carry out the cataloging tasks formerly done through Holdings Maintenance: adding and deleting NHU-PAC holdings, acquiring MARC records, requesting new records for materials not already in the NHU-PAC, and requesting card printing.  Workarounds for adding holdings and acquiring MARC records will be announced soon in separate posts while we continue to test alternatives for the other tasks.

July 17, 2014

Brief NHU-PAC outage Thu 7/17 7:40am

There will be a brief interruption of NHU-PAC service starting at 7:40 a.m. on Thursday, July 17.  The NHU-PAC should be back online around 7:45.

July 15, 2014

Today's NHU-PAC Error Resolved

As of 9am today the NHU-PAC is once again displaying and is available for searching and ILL. The Holdings Maintenance server is still being worked on and should not be used.

NHU-PAC Unavailable

The NHU-PAC is currently unavailable. Searching and ILL should be back up and running by mid-morning.