1. ILS vendor training/documentation
Along with our ILS software and maintenance agreement purchase, I also decided to purchase a 6-hour block of on-line training. On-site training was available but appeared cost-prohibitive and unnecessary. This evaluation was correct in hindsight as I only availed myself of about 3 hours of training and was then off and running configuring and tweaking the software to our needs. I also was able to download, print, and use a “quick start guide” and a full “users guide” which proved helpful at times after training was over and at various times since then.
2. Configuration of web-based Atriuum ILS from Book Systems, Inc.
The following are areas of the ILS software that needed review and thought for its configuration. This was particularly difficult since no guidelines or input about the general direction of the library and its use or future use was provided by management. Some decisions made requried modifications at a later time due to insufficient information at the outset. The negative ramifications of other decisions make me wish that I had known more about the collections and possible/actual use beforehand because some functions are limited now.
Without going into too much explanation, the following are major areas that required configuration decisions without any guidance from management:
Item Circulation Class
Item Report Class
Quick Cataloging (Z39.50) Settings
Barcode Location Codes
User Defined Fields
Worker Settings Defaults
Custom OPAC Links
Edit Visual Search
News And Messages
Note: If you visit “My Atriuum OPAC” (see links column), you will notice the homepage has a significant amount of information, however, not as much as I would choose due to size limitations in the software’s OPAC template. I would have preferred to place there or elsewhere more bibliographic instruction for my current and future patrons. Future releases of the software, covered by the maintenance agreement, may allow increased size contraints.
Patron Circulation Class
Patron Report Class
3. Additional Book Systems, Inc. Z39.50 software called ”eZcat” was also purchased and configured for our particular application. eZcat expedites cataloging by searching for and obtaining free MARC 21 records.
4. After reviewing options, I decided to use the DDC system along with LCSH. DDC schedules, specific DDC shedules for our main subject, and the 5-volume LCSH 5th edition was purchased. LC websites for the LC Catalog and LC Authorities are used frequently to aid in cataloging as well.
5. OCLC cutter number generating software (free download) was selected and downloaded to my desktop to expedite the creation of consistent author and title cutter numbers. This really saves a great deal of time and you can’t beat the price.
In my next post, I will continue discussing the creation of policies and procedures.