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.  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.  With Windows 7 or 8, click Start, then right-click Computer and choose Properties.  For Windows 10, click Start, then Settings, then scroll to the bottom and click on About.  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 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.

NOTE: Links in this post were updated on 10/24/2017.  Windows 10 information added 11/24/2015.

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