September 30, 2014

Brief NHU-PAC outage Tue 9/30 7:35am

Tuesday, Sept. 30: The NHU-PAC will be offline for about 10 minutes this morning starting at 7:35.  This is part of our last-Tuesday-of-the-month maintenance routine.  Also expect a brief (less than a minute) interruption of ILL service around 9 a.m.

September 26, 2014

NHU-PAC outage early Mon. 9/29

The State of New Hampshire will be making changes to its Internet structure Monday morning.  We've been told to expect connectivity issues with state websites, including the NHU-PAC, between 3 and 5 a.m. on September 29.  It's possible there may lingering issues later in the morning.

September 25, 2014

No NC van Fri 9/26

The North Country van route is cancelled for Friday, September 26, 2014.  We are sorry for the inconvenience.  The following libraries will be affected that day:

                North Woodstock
                Center Sandwich
                North Conway

Ruby Matott

September 24, 2014

Turnaround Times

The recent changes in the way that library holdings are being maintained in the NHU-PAC have caused an almost total overhaul of the work flows used in NHAIS Services to process the various types of files now coming in to us. The volume of files coming into our office for processing has also increased and we expect that as more and more libraries adjust to the new process the volume will continue to grow.
The quantity of NHAIS Help Desk queries, both by phone and by email, has also increased and we are making every effort to respond to these as quickly as we can. Responding to Help Desk queries takes priority for us over processing files.

Consequently, the turnaround times that were standard for us before are not currently possible.

Here is what you should expect at this point as far as processing times:
  • Files of OCLC MARC records downloaded on the NHSL OCLC account and sent to us for loading will be replied to and added to NHU-PAC the day they are received or the next business day at the latest. This applies only to participants currently in the OCLC Direct Access Program.
  • Files sent to us via email at (and you should not be sending files to us at any other address) will be replied to as soon as possible and in the order we got them. On days when the incoming email volume is very high it may take a couple of days before all the messages are replied to.
    If you have not heard back from us about a file within ONE WEEK. please follow up. This applies to files for loading holdings and for deleting them. Please do not resend files without checking with us.
  • Requests for new records submitted through the MARC Record Request Form are harvested each day the NHSL is open and are processed the next business day. If a matching record can be found on OCLC it will be in the NHU-PAC with your holding on it within 2 days. 
  • Files of records sent for loading to NHU-PAC will be loaded in the order they are received. We are currently loading records that arrived 3 days ago. Once they are loaded if they are not clean matches to existing NHU-PAC records they will need to be checked and matched to a record manually. This process takes a full week assuming there are several hundred records to be checked (what we have been seeing). If the quantity of records to be checked manually increases it will take longer to get them all done. Typically some of the holdings (the perfect matches) will show in NHU-PAC as soon as the file is loaded, some will show after the manual check is completed, and some won't appear until we get additional info (a copy of the title page and verso) or complete original cataloging on the item.
    If you do not see your holdings reflected in NHU-PAC within SIX WEEKS, and have not received a paper request from us for additional info on the titles in question, please follow up if you are concerned.
  • Files of bib#s sent for deletion will be processed monthly, so you will not see these reflected in NHU-PAC until the end of the month they were received. If you sent them at the end of a calendar month they may not get done until the following month (staff availability changes exactly what day this processing gets done). If you do not see your holdings deletions reflected within TWO MONTHS please follow up.

September 23, 2014

Updated Sending Files Document

To better reflect how holdings are now being maintained in the NHU-PAC we have updated our guidelines on Submitting Records to NHU-PAC. The links to this document in recent NHAIS Notes blog posts have been updated.

Here is what changed:

  • We took out all the stuff about the old holdings maintenance system which no longer applies
  • We streamlined what you need to include in your email message 
  • We added the record count to the file name structure you need to use. Many libraries have been doing this and it works well for us to keep track of the file through its processing.
  • We increased the limit on how many records can be in an individual file to 500.
  • With the new process of getting records into your local system via Z39.50 and then extracting a file  periodically to send to NHAIS Services so your holdings can be added to NHU-PAC the need to send us files of records from individual vendors (Baker & Taylor, etc.) is eliminated. The guidelines reflect this change.
In order for us to keep up wiht the increasing volume of files we are receiving from libraries it is essential that the files you are sending follow the naming conventions we have asked for. This convention has been in place for well over a decade, but we have accommodated many, many libraries over the years who chose to disregard it in naming their files. We cannot continue to do this. 

The naming convention that needs to be used is:
Your HSA code 
followed by the date the file was created 
then a dash and the number of records in the file.

For example: 
A file of 27 records created by NHSL (HSA code NHSS) on Nov. 3rd  
would be named NHSS1103-27.dat

Different systems export files of MARC records with different extensions (.dat is used in the example above) keeping the 3-character file extension you have been using for files you send us is probably going to be fine. If you send a file with an extension that doesn't work we will let you know. 
If you are just starting to process your holdings additions this way, please use .dat if you can.

September 18, 2014

State e-mail problems

Thursday, Sept. 18:  There are problems with outgoing state e-mails this afternoon so if you were expecting to receive something from the State Library today you may have to wait for another day.

September 16, 2014

Video on Creating a NHU-PAC Holdings Deletions File

Since we announced the procedure for submitting holdings deletions to NHAIS last week we have received more than 50 files from libraries and completed the first batch of deletions (673 items).

We also heard from a couple of libraries who suggested alternative ways of doing this. We had considered all the alternatives suggested and determined that they wouldn't work before we announced the process we came up with. (More on that in a recent FAQ post.)

The third group of libraries we heard from were ones who were having trouble figuring out how to create the spreadsheet. To help those libraries we have created a video that walks you through the process. This is the first of what I hope will be a series of how-to videos for NHAIS which will be posted on the NHAIS YouTube channel as we create them. If you have a topic you would like to see covered in a future video please email me your suggestion.

The video shows how to create the spreadsheet using Microsoft Excel 2010, other versions of Excel are going to work almost identically. You may certainly use whatever spreadsheet program you prefer, we received files created using several different ones and they all worked fine. If you don't have a spreadsheet program there is a free open-source program available from Open Office called Calc that you might want to check out.The things you will need to do to create the spreadsheet will be the same regardless of  the software you use, what will vary is how you complete the steps.

September 12, 2014

FAQ: Why can't I just email a list from the NHU-PAC of titles from which our holding should be deleted?

When you email a list of titles from the NHU-PAC you are sending copies of the public catalog display record to whomever you direct the email to. There is no way to modify NHU-PAC records from the NHU-PAC interface visible on the web. So, sending an email copy of the public catalog display is as useful for holdings deletions, or for holdings additions, as mailing us a piece of paper where you wrote down the titles. 

Our holdings deletion process involves importing lists of bib numbers into a script that can be run against the database and the holding on that record number with a specific hsa code in the location field is deleted. We do not have the staff here, nor have we ever, to  search individual records and make deletions for each library which is the only way a public OPAC list could be processed for holdings deletions. 

For at least the past 15 years, and probably a lot longer than that, NHAIS members have been entirely responsible for deleting holdings from the NHU-PAC when they discard materials. NHAIS Services staff will now be taking on part of the work of doing this, but NHAIS member libraries will have to continue to do their part to keep the holdings in the NHU-PAC up to date.

September 10, 2014

From the State Librarian

To:              NHAIS Member Libraries
From:         Michael York
Subject:      NHU-PAC Holdings Maintenance
Date:          September 10, 2014

The last three months have been difficult for all of us regarding the holdings maintenance system in NHU-PAC.  The State Library has been working during that time with the NH Department of Information Technology (DoIT) to resolve the problem with the holdings maintenance server and have not been able to get it back online. We have determined that repairing the old holdings maintenance system is not possible and we need to continue to move forward with the alternate solutions that have been found to  let NH libraries maintain their NHU-PAC holdings.

I think it is instructive to give some background on our Sirsi Dynix system to explain where we are at with the restoration of the holdings maintenance system. The current Sirsi Dynix System was installed in 2002 and the system was selected after developing an RFP with the help of a broad-based committee of NH librarians who represented large, small, urban, and rural NH libraries.  A critical specification for the system was interlibrary loan. We need a system that will allow all libraries to borrow and lend materials easily.  The ability of our over 450 libraries to maintain accurate information about their holdings in NHU-PAC is critical to a healthy interlibrary loan system. When we developed the specs for the system we required a holding maintenance module that was platform-independent, web accessible and web enabled. There were no vendors at the time that had a system that had a holdings maintenance module that was fully web enabled. Sirsi Dynix won the contract to supply the system to New Hampshire because they were willing and able to custom design and build what was needed to meet the project specifications. They did this by creating a set of ASP pages that NHAIS member libraries could access over the web to add and delete information from the main NHU-PAC server with individual passwords. We purchased the system and the custom scripting and it has worked well for us for many years. 

The scripts used for holding maintenance are now recognized as posing a threat to the state network and because of this the DoIT cannot support it any longer and will not allow it to be on the State Network. A lot has changed in information technology in the last 12 years and cyber security is a major concern for NH state government and specifically DoIT.  

The NHAIS Services staff have been working on finding new ways libraries can do the work they previously did using the holdings maintenance scripts. We believe that the solutions that have been found, which were originally expected to be temporary workarounds, will in the long term actually be more efficient and user friendly.  Using Z39.50, an industry standard which most library automation systems include, to find and export records from the NHU-PAC and then adding holdings to NHU-PAC with periodic extractions of records from a library’s local system is a move toward a simpler cataloging process for NHAIS libraries. A free Z39.50 client has also been identified for use by libraries which don’t have such a local automation system. Finding an easy way to delete holdings without the holdings maintenance scripts has been more challenging, but a workable solution has been found and we hope to improve on it in the future. All of the functionality previously offered by the holdings maintenance module has now been tested and found to work satisfactorily. We recognize the difficultly that this situation has caused and as we have been working on solutions we have tried to communicate our progress using the NHAIS Notes blog. We will continue to use the blog to keep libraries up-to-date.

Questions about implementation etc. should be directed to the NHAIS Help Desk. Questions, complaints, and suggestion on the general state of affairs regarding this situation should be directed to me at   

Michael York
State Librarian
New Hampshire State Library
20 Park Street
Concord, New Hampshire 03301
603 271 2397
Cell 603 419 7100
Fax 603 271 6826