June 30, 2020

Diacritics, Lender's Notes, and other enhancements

The NHAIS Interlibrary Loan System will be offline for up to 15 minutes starting around 10 o'clock tonight (Tuesday, June 30) to install updates. Enhancements and fixes include:

-There will be significant improvements in how accents, symbols, and other diacritic characters are handled by the program. Additional language, character set, and diacritic issues will be addressed in future releases.
-When the enhancement to make it easier to find notes on requests was released (May 21), the Lender’s Notes field was inadvertently not addressed along with the Borrower’s Notes and Patron Notes. With this release, Lender's Notes will also display in a larger, bold font with a bolded text box outline.
-When users change the Date Shipped from the Lender’s Full Record Display, then change the status to Shipped and click Submit, the Date Shipped did not display on the confirmation page so staff could be sure the date change “stuck.” The Date Shipped field will now display on the confirmation screen (whether changed or not).
-When requests are moved to Will Supply status by the lender, there were times when the request would go into Expired status by the time the item reached the borrower. The request no longer appeared as an active request for the lender, creating problems for both borrower and lender workflows. With this release, requests in Will Supply will not expire even if the Need By Date passes prior to the lender moving the request to Shipped status, which will allow the request to move through all steps in the ILL workflow.
-Because an Expired request does not have a current lender, the options for Received and Lost will no longer be available to the borrower.

June 29, 2020

IMLS Changes to Annual Report FY2020

     I know we just finished the annual report for FY2019, but I wanted to make you aware of some changes that IMLS is making to FY2020.  This email is going to deal with the easy ones.  These are the new elements being added to the annual report going forward.  The next email will go over the questions that IMLS is adding to the FY2020 (and possibly FY2021) annual report to account for COVID-19.
     Some of you may recall an email I sent out around December/January about the proposed new data elements for FY2020.  Only three of them passed and will be added to the report going forward.  They are:
·         Library Visits Reporting Method (drop down menu)
o   Annual Count
o   Annual Estimate Based on Typical Week(s)
·         Reference Transaction Reporting Method (drop down menu)
o   Annual Count
o   Annual Estimate Based on Typical Week(s)
·         Revised definition of Reference Questions

     The questions regarding the reporting method simply ask you to tell how you got the numbers for Library Visits and Reference Questions; an annual count (from a door counter or a reference log, for example) or an estimate based on the count from an average week/month.  Pretty straight forward.
     The changes to the definition of reference questions are nominal.  IMLS simply decided to adopt the text of the definition used by the Reference & User Services Association (RUSA) to avoid any confusion.  You can find the full, revised definition below.
     Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about these changes.

Tim Rohe
Reference Librarian/State Data Coordinator
New Hampshire State Library
603-271-2144 (Reference Desk)


Reference Transactions are information consultations in which library staff recommend, interpret, evaluate, and/or use information resources to help others to meet particular information needs.
Reference transactions do not include formal instruction or exchanges that provide assistance with locations, schedules, equipment, supplies, or policy statements.

(1) A reference transaction includes information and referral service, unscheduled individual instruction and assistance in using information sources (including websites and computer-assisted instruction).
(2) Count Readers Advisory questions as reference transactions.
(3) Information sources include (a) printed and nonprinted material; (b) machine-readable databases (including computer-assisted instruction); (c) the library’s own catalogs and other holdings records; (d) other libraries and institutions through communication or referral; and (e) persons both inside and outside the library.
(4) When a staff member uses information gained from previous use of information sources to answer a question, the transaction is reported as a reference transaction even if the source is not consulted again.
(5) If a contact includes both reference and directional services, it should be reported as one reference transaction.
(6) Duration should not be an element in determining whether a transaction is a reference transaction.
(7) Do not include transactions that include only a directional service, such as instruction for locating staff, library users, or physical features within the library. Examples of directional transactions include, “Where is the reference librarian? Where is Susan Smith? Where is the rest room? Where are the 600s? Can you help me make a photocopy?”

Annual Count vs. Annual Estimate
If an annual count of reference transactions is unavailable, count reference transactions during a typical week or weeks, and multiply the count to represent an annual estimate.
A “typical week” is a time that is neither unusually busy nor unusually slow. Avoid holiday times, vacation periods for key staff, or days when unusual events are taking place in the community or in the library. Choose a week in which the library is open its regular hours.
Example: If there are four weeks sampled, multiply the totals for those four weeks by 13 to get an estimate for the full year. If the sample is done twice a year (one week at each time, two weeks total) multiply the count by 26 to get the estimated annual count.

June 25, 2020

Reopening NH Libraries Task Force Update

NHMA Newslink – contains information about remote meetings by public bodies in relation to the Safer-At-Home initiative: https://myemail.constantcontact.com/NewsLink--NHMA-To-Host-Weekly-COVID-19-Call-for-Municipal-Officials-and-Employees-Starting-June-25th-.html?soid=1103731747368&aid=5ptLz9e5V5o

IMLS/OCLC/Battelle partnership releases first results of scientific study regarding COVID on library materials: https://www.webjunction.org/content/dam/WebJunction/Documents/webJunction/realm/test1-report.pdf

IMLS/OCLC/Battelle partnership announces round 2 test materials, with results due in late July: https://www.webjunction.org/news/webjunction/realm-happening-now.html

As always, if you find a good, vetted resource that would apply to many of our NH libraries, please send it to me for review by the Task Force.

 {This is a reprint of the report issued by Lori Fisher to the NHAIS-L listserv}   

June 19, 2020

Back to the office

Staff will be returning to the State Library building on Monday, June 22. The building will remain closed to the public for the time being and a resumption date for ILL and van delivery service is still undetermined.

By special permission of State Librarian Michael York we got a peek inside the building. It mostly looks as it did when we left the building on March 27 (van service last ran on March 17, also the last day the building was open to the public). Some furniture has been moved to allow greater separation of people and there's now plexiglass at the circulation desk:

And at the reference desk:

An archaeologist coming across this abandoned building could get a clue as to what happened by checking the newspaper racks:

June 18, 2020

Reopening NH Libraries Task Force Update

The biggest changes happened last Thursday afternoon, 6/11, when the Governor announced guidance for libraries from GOEFFR, and also announced that the stay at home order would expire on 6/15.  The stay at home order was replaced with stay safer at home:

Governor’s Safer At Home Guidance (replaces Stay At Home 2.0): https://www.covidguidance.nh.gov/

In addition, ALA released this document which could provide guidance for reopening:
ALA’s Reopening Under COVID-19: A Space Planning Approach - https://ala.informz.net/ala/data/images/PL_Reopening%20Under%20COVID%2019.pdf

We’re all still waiting for information to be released by IMLS/OCLC/Battelle regarding the REALM project and the morbidity of the virus on plastic surfaces.

Stay cool everyone!

{This is a reprint of the report issued by Lori Fisher to the NHAIS-L listserv}    

June 16, 2020

Suppressing e-resources in ILL searches

The NHAIS ILL System will be offline for up to 15 minutes starting around 10 o'clock tonight (Tuesday, June 16) to install software updates.

Most of the updates involve administrative functions, including a new setting which allows searchers to hide e-resources (e-books, downloadable audiobooks, etc.) in the results. The default is to display all search results. Libraries interested in not seeing e-resources in search results should send a message to the NHAIS Help Desk asking for this option. If chosen, it will apply to all searchers logged in with one of your library's usernames. What counts as an e-resource is determined by coding in the MARC record and this feature applies only to results from Z-target catalogs (which account for the majority of holdings in the NHAIS ILL System), not the union catalog. Note that this option applies to the borrower's end. Lenders can't limit what is displayed in search results but have long had the option to specify what formats count as lendable.

There's one fix among the updates: when attaching a file (such as a PDF) to a non-returnable (copy) request, the process could fail and prevent the attached file from downloading. This is due to an incorrect pathname being used for attachments and will be corrected with tonight's update.

All lenders in the NHAIS ILL System remain "on vacation" until further notice so any requests placed now, even non-returnable requests for a copy of a magazine article, will immediately go to Retry status.