By Charles Clemence
This time of year is a transitional time in resource sharing. The school year is over and summer library program about to begin. It seems like in May and early June I’m doing cleanup and taking care of odds and ends. In that spirit, here are some odds & ends for you to consider.
Be sure to check Not Received requests
I periodically go into each library’s WISCAT profile to look for things that need attention. One of the places I look is in the Not Received requests as a borrower. More often than not I find requests that were shipped more than two weeks previously but have still not been received. I send an email reminder, but this is something it would benefit you to check regularly. Follow up with these requests with the patron and the lender. The longer you wait the harder it is to resolve, so keep on top of those requests.
Batch updating is back
Those of you who don’t use the batch updating feature of WISCAT probably haven’t followed its convoluted recent history. Batch updating is the ability to update the WISCAT union catalog by sending one file with all the changes since the last update. We lost the batching capability at the end of 2010 when the person at RL&LL who did this work retired and her position wasn’t filled. For all of 2011 the only way to update holdings was item by item.
At the beginning of 2012 batch updating returned through the generous offer of Autographics to do this work at no additional cost to Wisconsin. As of this writing all but one of the libraries that needed to update had sent a batch file to Autographics. I’m working with the remaining library that needs an update. We’re trying to overcome some software problems. Sound familiar?
WISCAT update coming
There is a WISCAT update coming soon. Some of the expected changes are bug fixes, like a problem with email notification for nonreturnable requests and error messages when some staff tried to access bookstraps. Other changes are enhancements like adding some functionality in the address feature of ISO requests (those going outside WISCAT). These are pretty minor changes, for the most part.
This update nicely illustrates the condition of WISCAT right now – it’s in a stable position. There are things that could be improved and of course bugs always appear. But basically everything is working well and there are no major problems to address. It’s a good place to be.
Iluminar status improving
Speaking of stable software, this is the goal for Iluminar as well. The last update fixed a lot of the issues that were causing daily problems. There are still some nagging issues that are being worked on and some major improvements in the works for Acquisitions and Cataloging. The change to HTML will fix some issues and others will be addressed in future updates. Then we can turn our attention to enhancing the program to make it the best we can. That will be the fun part (no, I’m not being sarcastic).
BadgerLink training on the way
The final odd or end is BadgerLink training (that isn’t odd so it must be an end). We are in the process of setting up some webinars for helping people use the software more effectively. I’ll organize and manage the webinar with Noreen Fish of La Crosse Public Library reference being the trainer. Everyone will receive an invitation by email when the dates are set. The first session will cover Learning Express.
That’s all the odds and ends for now. Enjoy the summer.