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

Deleting Holdings from the NHU-PAC

NHAIS libraries have always been responsible for deleting holdings from the NHU-PAC for any materials they no longer hold. Without an online holdings maintenance tool this process is going to be brought into NHAIS Services for the first time. Consequently, this procedure is somewhat experimental. We have tested this process and think that it will be manageable, but once we start getting requests from libraries for deletions we may find that some aspect of the process--either what libraries send us or what we do when we get it--may need to change.

Locate the bibliographic record you want and in the lower left column click on
"MARC Display" which will display the record with the "BIB#" in the upper right.
You can copy it ready for pasting from here. 


If you have holdings to be deleted from the NHU-PAC for your library here is what you need to do:
  1. Create a spreadsheet containing ONLY one sheet and a SINGLE column of data (without a header row). The data in that column will be the NHU-PAC bib number of the records you want your holding deleted from. The cells must be formatted as numbers with 0 decimal places.
  2. Save the spreadsheet as a csv file and name it CODEmmddyyyy.csv where CODE is your library's HSA code and the date is the day you are sending us the spreadsheet.
  3. Email the csv file as an attachment to with the subject "Deletions for CODE" (use your library's HSA code in place of CODE).
The FIRST TIME you send a file for deletions:
  1. Don't put more than 20 bib numbers in your file
  2. Indicate in the email what software you used to create the csv file (MSExcel, etc.)
  3. Wait until you get an email back from us indicating the file was correctly formatted before sending another one
Our plan is to process all the deletions we get over a period of time as a batch once a month. Initially we will probably process files more often (weekly?) to be sure we catch any problems as soon as possible and can modify the process if needed.

The process we will be using to delete holdings is an automated loading and item removal process and the format of the data being loaded must be exactly what the program expects so we will return files for reformatting if they aren't in the format we can load. After you have sent one file and heard back from us that it could be used you will be able to send csv files with as many deletions in them as you want. 

September 3, 2014

Pictures, reviews, etc. are back!

Here's some good news: the pictures, reviews, and other extra content that have been missing from the NHU-PAC for most of the last 11 months are back!

In the time since we last had reliable access to this content, reviews from Booklist and Choice have joined those from Library Journal, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly.  In addition to reviews and cover images, links for Author Notes & Sketches, First Chapter Excerpts, Summary, and Table of Contents are available for many titles.

August 27, 2014

SE van delayed Wed 8/27

The SE van route will be running around 1 ½ hours late today, but it will arrive!

Southeastern Area (SE)
Center Strafford
New Castle
North Hampton
Hampton Falls

Donna Gilbreth
Supervisor, Reference and Information Services Section
New Hampshire State Library
20 Park Street
Concord, NH 03301

August 25, 2014

Van Delivery News for September, 2014

The NH State Library will be CLOSED on Monday, September 1, 2014, in observance of Labor Day. There will be NO VAN DELIVERY on this 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 Donna Gilbreth at 271-2060 or Diana DeCota at 271-2206.

August 15, 2014

Requesting MARC Records from NHAIS

 The Holdings Maintenance page on NHU-PAC formerly included a form libraries could fill out to provide NHAIS Services staff with information about bibliographic materials for which no MARC record was available in NHU-PAC.

We have created a new form and the processes here at NHAIS Services that we need to process these requests for records.

The link to the new "Add Brief Records" form is

If there is not a record in NHU-PAC that accurately reflects the item you are adding to your collection, please use this form to describe the item so that a record can be added to NHU-PAC.

When completing the form please be as accurate as possible, especially when entering numbers and HSA codes. 

NOTE: This form will be UNAVAILABLE between 8:30AM and 9AM on days the NHSL is open. This is necessary so that we can harvest the requests without losing or duplicating any.
DO not enter information into the form between these hours even if you find that it is OPEN. When we get to the step in the process where the survey is closed (which will happen during this half-hour) you will be kicked out of the Survey and your info lost.

If your library is already set up to get catalog cards printed or to have MARC records emailed to you, there is a place on the form to indicate whether you want that done for the specific request.

If you are not set up to have MARC records sent to you for these materials and you would like to be, please complete the Marc Record Request Form and send it to us.