CUNY Libraries Circulation Committee Meeting Minutes Wednesday

CUNY Libraries Circulation Committee
Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Monique Prince
Joy Dunkley
Geri Hebert
Bridget Nowicki
Trevar Riley-Reid
Curtis Matthew
Harry Johnson
Kathleen Collins, Jeffrey Kroessler
Jennifer Noe
Chris McHale
Angelina Brea, Addy Soto
Octavia Ealey
Nancy Gonzalez, Cailean Cooney
Simone Yearwood
Travis Hilton
Dean Bryan, Marsha Clark, Kevin Collins, Larry McCue, Angela Sidman, Allie Verbovetskaya
1. Welcome and introductions
2. Library Systems updates
a - Allie demonstrated Patron Checker ("patroncheckr"), a web service she created that will soon be
available CUNY-wide. The service can help library public safety/security or other staff members quickly
determine a patron's physical access rights to the library. Use of this free service is completely optional.
The patron checker application is accessible from any browser. It is tied to Aleph patron data, but does
not give anyone access to Aleph or patron information. A patron's barcode number is entered via
barcode scanner, card swiper or manual input. The service returns information on the patron's status,
which is displayed on a terminal as a brief message against a color coded (green/yellow/red)
background. Sample messages include:
- Full library access granted. (green background)
- Alum from (NAME OF COLLEGE) does not have visitation or borrowing privileges at this library. Access
is denied. (red background)
- Patron should visit the Circulation Desk to discuss fines on the account. (yellow background)
The results displayed on the screen very briefly. The display time can be lengthened as requested, but
must be balanced with the need to allow multiple queued patrons to enter library turnstiles or security
gates quickly.
The service should be accessible soon. Allie will notify everyone as soon as server space is available.
b - There were recent service interruptions due to the re-indexing of the database. This is the first time
CUNY libraries have ever done a major re-indexing, after talking about it for years, thanks to a joint
effort by campus folks and OLS.
The 'formatted contents note' (505 $$t) was indexed. Aleph now has searchable titles within collections
(e.g., 'All My Sons' can now be located in the collection Six Great Modern Plays). Many split files were
cleaned up so you should see cleaner displays. If you see split files, please send a note to your cataloger
so the splits can be investigated.
c - Primo still stuck in procurement.
d - Upgrade to Aleph Version 21. We've been told we'll have a mirror environment. CIS still reviewing.
No ETA on install.
As previously discussed, biggest changes in Ver.21 are to course reserves module.
Circ staff module differences are very slight. Other than task manager being in different location, looks
like the old version. Subtle differences may reveal themselves with use.
3. Board of Trustees approved changes to Tuition & Fees manual.
See "Revision of The City University of New York Tuition and Fee Manual." (It can be viewed online at:
Committee had questions about fines "ranges" (e.g., $5 to $15/hour). Bridget explained it's $5 for
books, higher costs for other materials (e.g., bones!).
Still have grace period. May want to waive fines, etc., at campus discretion – discuss and confirm with
your campus chief librarian. Note that fees can’t be changed for individual libraries, but grace periods
may be able to be changed.
Libraries need to post / advertise / explain changes.
Worry expressed by some that there is not enough time to inform patrons of fine changes.
Board of Trustees determined fees/timing, not us.
Sometimes different rules apply for different patrons. Kevin offered to break out fine files into tables
(showing item status, patron status, etc.) for those that submit a work order. Please enter a work
order/ticket if you want the table for your library.
Other questions followed. Kevin and Dean are working with CUNY’s circ expert, Pat, on this project and
the changes will be according to the publically available mandated new fees. Meanwhile, refer to
There was also a question of notices generated by Aleph that refer to fees. The fine amounts are
automatically generated in billing notifications. They are not included in overdue notices.
4. Angela: Textbook initiative.
Everyone can start buying now. Angela discussed best practices. Codes remain important so we can
track materials to prove how well money was spent. X4 is new code. Ordering is off to a fast start
compared to last year.
Old materials should stay with old code (X3). We are still tracking these materials. If taking an item off
reserve, consider doing what some colleges do and move items from X3 reserve code to X3 stack code.
Important reminder: Never use temporary codes.
Handout available online at:
5. Marsha asked if libraries were open on 8/31 and 9/1 and about half are.
6. & 7. Kevin: Printing/Email Notices
Aleph automatically pushes files out to PCs so custom versions get overwritten. It is hard for OLS to do
problem solving for printing and notices when the changes that are likely causing a problem are on an
individual workstation.
Starting now, OLS recommends having your custom versions on the server. Then only the alephcom.ini
and print.ini files would need to be changed by selecting a number each time the GUI was updated,
rather than whole files needing to be recreated.
Moving toward Version 21, Kevin requested a copy of every library’s circ ini files to see where some of
these changes are. About half of the libraries have responded to date. He will send out a message with
the file names needed to the individual campuses that haven't yet supplied this information.
Jennifer: email – KB must manually update email for faculty notices.
Curtis: If you alter the due date, the courtesy notice does not go out.
Kevin: Changing a due date does not reset the internal counters that produce courtesy notices;
'Renewing' an item does.
8. Circ log history
Limit to how many records you can have before circ log history begins to not work right.
No surprise that CUNY is over limit.
Kevin doesn’t see much else that can be changed/removed. However, he will send out the list again so
circ committee can see the table and make recommendations as to what may be cut. Only those that
respond will have their votes "counted."
9a - already covered
9b - Other:
Bridget - blocking faculty in CUNYfirst?
Blocking - some schools brought over old blocks from eSIMS, but most are unable to access or even view
old blocks. Continue to notify other schools to remove old block at their discretion.
Remember, do not remove a block from another school. Instead, ask home library. Should ask patron’s
home library to place blocks, too.
There is an online form (to block or remove block) posted on OLS support site, under the "Services"
menu as "Forms."
Suggestion was made to create generic account to allow all-staff access to support forms? Currently,
only librarians with support site accounts have access.
Tumbleweed - old topic - is that service discontinued? Was based on eSIMS.
If your campus needs this functionality, open a work order. Highlight that you had functionality that is
now lost.
Work orders help our case with CIS that changes are requested/needed by campuses, not by OLS
creating busy work.
Permission level necessary to place blocks is at discretion of home library.
Number of staff who can place blocks varies by school.
Prior SIMS blocks are still active at some campuses. Some campuses that more recently moved to
CUNYfirst are finding that the SIMs blocks are being brought over to CUNYfirst. There is no replacement
yet for blocks to be exported from Aleph to CUNYfirst, although a C5 request for this is pending.
(Maybe it’s just transcripts? BC will continue to monitor.)
When preparing for CUNYfirst demand that you get/keep access to E-SIMS.
IS EMPLID available in Aleph yet? No ETA. It is supposed to be in the first round of C5 changes that CIS
is working on.
See CUNYfirst problem document online at:
10: Survey (Jennifer)
- global and local patron privileges.
- Jennifer collected handouts (spreadsheets) from a few attendees, everyone else was asked to email
their spreadsheets to her by next week (to: [email protected])
This is a chiefs-requested survey.
Jennifer also handed out a second short survey with further policy questions. Please reply to this second
survey as well.
11. Other Old/New items:
- Taking out circ created records. Sometimes reserves staff accounts don’t have sufficient authorization
level, so catalogers must remove records. Catalogers can have different levels of privileges set so that
they can remove circ-created but are not able to edit full records. Put in work order if you want to try
this (to remove circ-created records).
- Fines: As we previously agreed, do not touch or waive fines for another school.
- OLS: into Week 3 of full weekly patron loads. Will default to monthly loads later in Week 3 of the
Is it possible to leave retired faculty so they are not scrubbed?
Already set. Maybe their status is wrong. Make sure their status is Retired Faculty (Patron Status 41).
12. Next meeting:
November 13, Wed. 10:00 a.m.
(NOTE: Room resv. confirmed by Monique's email 8/23/13)