Aleph shortcut keys template

Oxford University libraries’ new LMS/ILS, Aleph, went live on Friday 22nd July and so far, it’s gone pretty well!

One feature of the new system is that you can use keyboard shortcuts to move easily between different tabs in each module (not rocket science, but a great leap forward from our previous system).

In a training session I attended this morning, some people said they were having trouble remembering which function key did what, so I made a template which looks like this:

I’ve added colours to the second line which match the background colours of each tab.

Then all you have to do is print it, cut out the version you prefer and place on your keyboard as a reminder:

Download the template

Retreat from Advance

On Friday 8th July, the library management system used by most libraries at the University of Oxford will enter a 10-day downtime period, during which all the data will be migrated from the old system, Geac Advance, to the new LMS, Aleph.

For more information about the impact of the downtime, please refer to this post on the switchover of the library management system.

Here are some screenshots of Geac Advance, lest we forget.

The login screen.  Nothing appears next to ‘password’ as you type, no asterisks, nothing.  If you make a mistake when entering the username or password here, you have to begin again – you can’t delete or backspace:

Login screen
The main menu for Circulation.  Keyboard navigation – no clicking!

Circulation main menu

This is what the first page of a MARC record looks like:

MARC record in Geac

Some people may lament the loss of the feature which allowed you to change the font and background colours:

Changing font and background colours in Geac

Mmm… magenta text on cyan background.

I’m looking forward to the new system – being able to click, use keyboard shortcuts to copy and paste, and being able to move between circulation and cataloguing modules in the same session.  Nice!

Switchover of the library management system (LMS)

This information has been circulated internally within my organisation, but I’m posting it again here on the web in the hope that anyone searching for information about the switchover will find it helpful.

The new library management system (Aleph, replacing GEAC Advance) is scheduled to go live on Monday 18th July 2011.  OLIS is the local name for this software, and the term ‘OLIS’ will still be used from July onwards to refer to the system.

Associated with this changeover are two periods of reduced activity on the system, and this will affect all libraries in Oxford using OLIS, not just St Hugh’s College Library.

The first period affects orders and new items. These cannot be added to OLIS during June and July, in order to allow the data to be migrated from the old system to the new.

We cannot order any new items during this time, and suggestions for new books made in June or July will be considered in August.

The second period of downtime will begin at 17:00 on Friday 8th July and end at 09:00 on Monday 18th July. It will involve a complete shutdown of the system.  Library users are asked to avoid borrowing and returning books during this time if at all possible.  Any loans and returns will be recorded manually by library staff and the new system will be updated after the go-live date of 18th July.

Summary of the impact on library services during the downtime period (this affects all Oxford libraries which use OLIS):

  • OxLIP+ and OU eJournals will be available throughout the downtime period and so readers are encouraged to look for alternative electronic versions of texts where possible.
  • SOLO will be available throughout the scheduled downtime period for readers and staff to consult the library location details of an item but will not show availability status (due dates etc.)  SOLO will be unavailable for a short period at the end of the downtime period (details have yet to be confirmed).
  • OLIS Patron functions will not be available during the downtime.
  • Automatic Stack Requests (ASR) cannot be made during the downtime period and requests made after 17:00 on Thursday 7th July will not be fulfilled. Please request any material required for consultation in good time.
  • Self-issue is not available during the downtime.
  • Reservations will not be migrated to the new system. You may wish to keep your own record of any active reservations before Friday 8th July.

Library Day in the Life round 5, day 1

So, what else do librarians do all day?

Apart from attending learned lectures and making copious notes, they also:

  • Read and answer many emails
  • Liaise with the Finance Team about payments
  • Receive new books that have recently been ordered
  • Help summer school students and teachers find resources they’ve discovered on the library catalogue
  • Help summer school students and teachers use the library catalogue (if you don’t believe me that it’s necessary, please try using OLIS)
  • And best of all, think and try to plan ahead.  I have several different projects on the go this summer (more on this later in the week), and the key to making everything happen on time is to make plans and triple-check them.  I find milestones motivating, and the first is coming up at the end of the week when the library team prepare to move out of our office and into our temporary home for August.