HARMONIC: Harris Montgomery Information Consortium

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Harmonic Meeting 8/2006

Present: Mark Harris, Maryann Readal, Ann McGittigan, Mick Stafford, Nancy Agafitei, Ty Beauchamp, Linda Gambrill, Greg Tramel

The July minutes were accepted.

Ann McGittigan reported that the Circulation Committee met and that they were still working on some of the issues they discussed.

Mark reported that these prefixes are being used on bin labels: NHML / MCMS / HCPL. Automated Library Services will be sending out the new bin labels to the libraries. Mark will implement the necessary coding for Conroe Center to be a pickup location as soon as the Center is online. Mark reported that new tubs and envelopes have been purchased. The following is a summary of the routing/sorting discussion.

NHMCCD is sending HCPL items to CyFair.
CyFair is sorting items going to NHMCCD by location.
NHMCCD is sending MCMLS bins to Tomball. MCMLS picks these up for delivery to MCMLS Central. As a courtesy, Tomball is sorting MCMLS items going to HCPL.
MCMLS is sending HCPL and NHMCCD items to Tomball.

HCPL places holds in red bins for priority delivery. Returns are placed in blue bins.

Fine and Fee collection policy was clarified. The library where the item is returned collects any fines or fees that are due. Owning library is notified if a patron loses and pays for a book. If patron wants a refund on a lost book, he must get the refund from the library where he paid for the book. He must have a receipt in order to get a refund.

Horizon and HIP will be upgraded to accommodate the 13-digit ISBNS. The upgrade will take place after the middle of the month. It will be a client upgrade and will happen as computers are booted up.

Nancy Agafitei distributed an Implementation handout for ILL lite. Consensus was that the ILL Lite saves the time of the ILL staff person because packaging does not have to be done. It does not minimize significantly the time it takes to get the item to the borrower. Colleges are considering Open Access for HCPL to the college collections. ILL Lite would be a procedure for HCPL and MCMLS to use. MCMLS will put this on the agenda for their Leadership Team. Nancy will send the Implementation Guide to Greg Tramel who will send it to the Steering Committee.

Mark said that the district was sending bib records to OCLC for reprofiling so that holdings in Worldcat will be correct. OCLC is doing the reprofiling at no charge at this time.

Next meeting is September 25 at the NHMCCD District office.

Harmonic Meeting 7/2006

Present: Katherine Green, Greg Tramel, Linda Gambrill, Mark Harris, Nancy Agafitei, Mick Stafford, Anne McGittigan, Ty Beauchamp, Ron Stauss, Gene Rollins, Sandra Dies, Maryann Readal

Guests: Scott Gilbert, T.R. Lynch, Bruce Farrar
Handouts: Bibiliographic Authority Control meeting minutes, Procedures for delivery of transit items, Area library database matrix, Tub label, Update on ILL “lite” trial.

1. Greg Tramel welcomed the guests.

2. The minutes were approved. Gene added that the Safari Tech books were now available to NHMCCD and MCMLS.

3. Day-end Processing
This process is run every night. Ty Beauchamp monitors the activity log for errors. MCMLS has noted some irregularities. Some of these irregularities have been sent to Dynix for resolution. Linda noted that HCPL sends an email to patrons when holds are ready. MCMLS calls patrons. Some patrons are being called by MCMLS and receiving an email notice from HCPL about the same hold. It was noted that the HCPL hold notice does not include the title and location, therefore patron does not know where to go. Perhaps there could be a way to eliminate this duplication of effort between the two systems.

Another problem is that sometimes holds do not get deleted from the patron record when the book is checked out to that patron. Ty can run a report on these holds, which then can be deleted from the patron record. Mark said that he has a “kill” program from Dynix that could be used to delete these holds. Ty said that he uses an SQL script to do this.

For the next meeting, Ty and Gene will look at the parameters on hold notices, Linda will bring examples of problems, and Sandra will look at patron records with “stuck” hold notices and Ty will look at the activity logs daily to monitor trends. Circulation Committee should discuss how to eliminate duplication of effort and other issues with hold notices, including what to tell patrons when they report that they are no longer receiving email notices.

There was a discussion of the length of time needed to run day end and whether it would impact running debt collect when it is implemented. Gene felt that this would not be a problem, since day end could be run during business hours.

3. Horizon Upgrade.
13 digit ISBN’s will begin to be used exclusively in February 2007. Currently, Horizon cannot handle the 13 digits – they cannot be used in ACQ and cannot be searched. Gene will see if there is a Horizon upgrade that will take care of this issue.

4. Issues with Deliveries between the systems:
Red and blue HCPL tubs are going to MCMLS
MCMLS tubs are only for internal use
Incorrect labels are being put on HCPL tubs going to Tomball for sorting to MCMLS
There are not enough NHMCCD tubs and the tub lids are disappearing
Sometimes tubs only have one or two books.
Labeling of transit items is not consistent.
Not all systems are using system generated transit labels.
NHMCCD items are not marked with name of owning library.
Communicating sorting and delivery procedures to staff is a problem, especially in branches which receive only occasional requests.

Solutions suggested:
NHMCCD is purchasing 100 tubs and additional lids that can be used by any system for deliveries.
NHMCCD is purchasing brightly colored envelopes to be used instead of tubs when only a few books need to be delivered. A plastic pocket will be attached to insert the destination location flag.
All systems will preface intra-system deliveries in tubs or envelopes with a flag that uses the institution code first – MCMLS, NHMCCD, HCPL
Flags for bins and envelopes should be created centrally to ensure consistency.
HCPL may investigate using TXpress to deliver occasional requests from branches.
Drivers need to know that HCPL tubs should not be used for deliveries to MCMLS Central.
Mark suggested that HCPL branches send materials for MCMLS patrons to Tomball and materials for NHMCCD patrons be sent to CyFair.

This issue needs further discussion.

5. ILL “Lite”
Nancy Agafitei reported on the ILL lite project. The conclusion is that when the item is on the shelf, using the ILL lite process is faster than using ILL. Even though staff intervention is necessary, time is saved on the return side since Horizon handles the record keeping for the item. Nancy estimated that expanding the service to all branches of each institution would increase the number of books being delivered between systems by 975. Nancy will develop a procedure to implement ILL “Lite” systemwide. Each system will discuss implementation of the service with the appropriate groups in their system.

6. Transit Slips
Katherine Green requested that MCMLS continue to circle the destination location on their transit slips. MCMLS will resume circling locations.

7. PC Reservation Software
PC Reservation software should be configured to look at Horizon to populate the software’s patron database. If this is done, HCPL users could easily use the MCMLS reservation system and vice versa. SAM Encompass and Visionware were two software packages that were mentioned.

8. Meeting was adjourned. Next meeting will be Monday, August 21 at DSTC.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Harmonic Consortium Standing Committees

Harmonic Consortium Standing Committees

Harmonic Steering Committee
Meetings: Once a month at 1:00 on Mondays after third Thursday. Chair and Recorder rotate and are chosen at November meeting.
Membership: HCPL: Assistant Director, Circulation Coordinator, Branch Manager, System Administrator
JOINT LIBRARIES: Library Director
NHMCCD: Automated Library Services Director, Library Director, Circulation Coordinator
MCMLS: Assistant Director, Adult Services Coordinator, Technical Service Director, Circulation Coordinator
EX OFFICIO: Vice Chancellor for Information Technology (NHMCCD), Director MCMLS), Deputy Director (HCPL)
Members: HCPL: Gene Rollins, Nancy Agafitei, Adrienne Stapleton, Ty Beauchamp, Sandra Dies
NHMCCD: Maryann Readal (Recorder), Mark Harris, Anne McGittigan
MCMLS: Greg Tramel (Chair), Linda Gambrill, Terry Melton, Greg Wamsley
Purpose: To facilitate the lending of materials between the Joint Libraries of the Harris County Library System, Montgomery County Memorial Library System and NHMCCD Libraries. To improve library services for patrons in service areas.

Circulation Committee
Meetings: Monthly, prior to Steering Committee meeting
Membership: Circulation Coordinators from college libraries and Circulation Coordinators from
each system, circulation staff from joint libraries.
Members: Terry Melton, Chair (MCMLS), Sandra Dies, Linda Nguyen (HCPL), Scott Gilbert, Linda A. Nguyen (Joint Libraries), Margaret Dawson, Anne McGittigan, Terry Gonzalez, Jean Lowery (NHMCCD).
Purpose: Discuss and make recommendations to the Harmonic Steering Committee regarding general circulation policies and procedures. Develop plans to facilitate the efficient circulation of materials between the three library systems by developing consistent delivery procedures and specific information for transit slips and tubs.

Bibliographic Authority Control Committee
Meetings: As needed
Membership: Cataloging staff from each system.
Members: Linda Gambrill, Chair (MCMLS), Kathleen Whitsitt, Carol Steinmetz, (NHMCCD) Bill Jarvis (HCPL)
Purpose: Discuss authority control and cataloging issues and make recommendations for change in policies or procedures.

Reference Committee
Meetings: As needed
Membership: Reference Librarians from each system
Members: Adrienne Stapleton , Mike Ledinski, Nancy Agafitei (HCPL), Greg Tramel (MCMLS), Patsy Brautigam, Cheryl Mansfield-Egans, Carolyn Jacobs, Pat Butler, Charles Gillis, Luke Rosenberger - Chair (NHMCCD)
Purpose: Discuss public service issues, HIP issues, electronic resources; Interlibrary loan


Harmonic Meeting 5/2006

1. The March minutes were approved with a note that Cataloging Committee did meet.

2. NHMCCD and MCMLS van drivers arrive at Tomball at approximately the same time. As a result, there is not enough time to sort the bins. If driver arrival schedules could be staggered, bins could be sorted and materials would get to patrons one day sooner. Each system will begin discussions about altering driver schedules.

3. Linda Gambrill asked that each library be careful about putting books into correct bins. Anne will send a note to college libraries reminding them of this. There was a discussion about consolidating college materials in order to eliminate tubs. A tub is not usually needed for Parkway or Carver. There was a question about how much sorting Tomball was doing. Possibly Tomball could function as a sorting center and North Harris could serve as a sorting center for the colleges.

4. Discussion about HIP limits. The "checked in" limit only works when indexes are run. HCPL is planning to remove this limit because it is not accurate. Limiters are built from itypes, locations, and collection codes, but these cannot be used in the same limit. Videorecordings are not coming up in Horizon searches.

5. Upgrades: 7.3.3 Horizon upgrade was implemented. Ty will send a list of bugs that this upgrade fixed to Sandra and Linda. Upgrade to HIP 7.4 and Horizon 8.1 will occur at the same time and will occur in 2007. Gene said that it cost $250 to do the custom programming to include the new book status (nb) on the request pull list. MCMLS was interested in this function. Mark said that the district would be upgrading the HIP server from this year's budget. HCPL has budgeted to purchase a new server next year.

6. Gene addressed emergency preparations of the HCPL servers. HCPL is investigating diesel and propane generators to keep power to the server rooms. They are also discussing adding another pole for a secondary source of power with rollover capacity if power is disrupted. He said that the El Rio site is on high ground and is not in danger of flooding.

7. Terry Melton has resigned as Chair of the Circulation Committee. Katherine Green will take over as Chair of the Circulation Committee. Katherine knows both the college and public library operations.

8. Safari Tech books are still not available to NHMCCD and MCMLS. Vendor is sending new records to correct the problem. A new Dartclix collection has been loaded for HCPL and is available to MCMLS.

9. Nancy reported on the ILL Lite project. This is an interlibrary loan pilot project between Barbara Bush and MCMLS Central. 6 books have been requested by Barbara Bush through ILL lite. An additional 13 could have been requested if all Harmonic partners were included in the project. Time saved using ILL Lite is inconclusive. As this process requires some staff intervention that differs from regular ILL, training is an issue. Sandra suggested that staff time should also be documented. Greg will investigate expanding the pilot to include ILL requests from MCMLS Central.

10. HCPL is changing Internet service providers by the end of July so the IP address for the Horizon server will change. All staff client (DSEdit) server listings for Harmonic need to be changed to ‘Horizon.hcpl.net,2025’ instead of ‘,2025’ before the HCPL IP change in late June or early July. This can be done on staff client machines anytime ahead of the change yet it should certainly be done before the HCPL server IP is changed. HIP, RPA, and Ezproxy connections to the Harmonic server may need to be scheduled for the change since they may require the specific new IP address. The same issue the servers have may also apply with self check out machines.

11. There will be no meeting in June because of ALA. Next meeting will be July 24. Greg will send out a call for agenda items that pertain to all institutions. The meeting will be cancelled if there are no agenda items.

Harmonic Meeting 3/2006

Present: Gene Rollins, Ty Beauchamp, Sandra Dies, Linda Gambrill, Greg Wamsley, Greg Tramel, Ron Stauss, Maryann Readal, Nancy Agafitei.

The February minutes were approved. The committee list was approved with corrections.

Approximately 20,000 Dartclix records were loaded in March. HCPL and MCMLS subscribe to this cataloging service for websites. There was an overlay problem with 700 records. There are still records that are not pulling the correct information from the MARC record. Mark Haris will write a program to identify the problem records so that they can be corrected.

Electronic govdocs are displaying correctly in the HCPL catalog. However, there is still a problem with the Sarfari Tech records. Learning Express items are still not displaying in the MCMLS HIP. There are about 195 Learning Express records. It was suggested that these can be added manually.

Maryann Readal suggested that libraries be kept informed when changes like this are happening in the catalog.

Gene Rollins reported that “OF” is on the stop word list because the HCPL location Octavia Fields is also “OF”.

All of the blind authorities have been deleted. HCPL will review the MARC maps and will re-index. Linda Gambrill reported that some foreign initial articles are not linked. “La Pierre” was an example cited. The exceptions table and stop word lists may have to be reviewed. Linda will call the Bibliographic Authority Control Committee together to discuss this issue.

An upgrade to Horizon 7.3.3 is planned for Sunday, April 23. This upgrade is only a client upgrade and will take care of some glitches in Horizon. Only staff machines will be affected. If staff have install rights, the upgrade will be automatic when they log in on Monday, April 24. Gene recommended that staff PC’s be brought online one at a time.

Horizon 7.4 is the next upgrade. Release notes are not out yet for this upgrade. Upgrade to 7.4 can be done at the same time we upgrade to 8.0. Web Reporter needs to work before we can migrate to 8.0 since all notices will be generated through this software. HCPL is still working on implementing Web Reporter. It is a problem.

There were no committee reports. Greg Tramel will charge the Reference Committee to meet and select a chair.

There was a discussion of changing the route schedule between MCPL and NHMCCD. Since Harmonic, the number of tubs at South has increased to 15-20 a day, which is creating a space issue. In addition, the college van sometimes does not have room for all of the tubs since they are also delivering college mail. Some alternatives were suggested: 1.) Institutional tubs instead of tubs for each location 2.) Use Mitchell branch as a collection point instead of South 3.) MCMLS driver delivers tubs to Tomball. It was decided to have the MCMLS driver deliver to and pick up tubs at Tomball. NHMCCD driver will pick up and deliver NHMCCD tubs at Tomball instead of South. Tomball has the space and a convenient loading dock. Tomball will not have to do any sorting. This change will not affect the delivery time for items going to the colleges. Mark will talk to NHC’s Charlie Zibilski concerning this route change. If this is OK, the change will be implemented on April 3 or April 17. Tubs will be appropriately marked.
It was decided that the duplicates on the detail title list represented borrowing of multiple copies or renewals, so was not a glitch. Gene said that barcodes could be added to the report to confirm this

Harmonic Meeting 1/2006

The November minutes were approved.

Terry Melton reported that the Harmonic Circulation Committee met and discussed labels to distinguish between in-transit holds and in-transit returns. MCMLS is now using larger tubs and has requested that the bins not be filled beyond the fill line. Greg Tramel reported that the MCMLS pick up and drop off of books at the Tomball Branch during the Christmas holidays was successful. Sandra Dies reminded Circulation Coordinators to close their pull lists so that items that cannot be filled are released for another library to fill. At the next Circulation meeting, the group will review routing maps and courier schedules.

It was decided that MCMLS will ask their administrators to review the policy requiring HCPL patrons in the “golden circle” to have MCMLS library cards to check out materials. Currently, “golden circle” HCPL branches are honoring MCMLS cards but not vice versa.

Sandra Dies requested that each system review the training handout for accuracy and report any changes to her. It was decided that as new policies and procedures are decided or clarified, they will be reflected in this document. Sandra will continue to manage the document.

Harmonic Committee Membership was revised. The charge to the Circulation Committee was accepted. The college Library Directors will nominate reference librarians for the Reference Committee. All committees will keep the user’s perspective in mind when making policies and procedures. The projects identified by December’s Harmonic Forum were divided up among the Harmonic Standing Committees as follows:

Steering Committee:
1. Improve the transportation of items between systems.
o Hire a dedicated library courier that could travel between counties
o Hire a consultant to study the transportation issue
o Investigate other package delivery services like DHL and UPS.
2. Provide total access to all collections.
3. Implement universal library card
o Instead of expiring students, convert to public patron
o Improve Colleague/Horizon interactivity by putting the library barcode in Colleague
Circulation Committee:
o Standardize policies and procedures between systems.
Reference Committee:
1. Collect data
o Analysis of titles that move between systems – compile data by call number
o Analysis of unfilled requests
o Collection analysis done by OCLC
o Use NHMCCD information tools to expedite data analysis
o Analysis of search terms used in the catalog searches
o Track HIP usage patterns overall (HCPL is already has a script to do this)
o Analyze Tomball stats by btype to predict demand for college materials by the publics
2. Work together on database licensing
3. Make ILL work
4. Make it possible for staff to get item and patron detail information in HIP.
Problem is that staff must use two catalogs when working with patrons.
Search engines are different in both in both interfaces.

Mark reported that a successful script for setting up E-branches for MCMLS and NHMCCD has been created. While it is easy to complete the Horizon part, it is a time-consuming, manual process to set up each item in RPA. Luke Rosenberger is working on it. MCMLS would like their patrons to be able to distinguish between TSLAC and college-owned netLibrary books. It was suggested that MCMLS could treat the electronic resources as databases until the individual records can be entered into RPA.

Mark reported that EZ Proxy is up and working for some NHMCCD databases. HCPL is looking at HIP 4.0 or EZ Proxy for database management. HCPL is also considering using Web Feet for patron authentication and consolidated searching. MCMLS is also interested in this product. Mike said that they would keep MCMLS in the loop on their discussions with the vendor.

Access to Safari Tech books, Dartclix, Learning Express and Tumblebooks was discussed, as this was one of the benefits promised by the Harmonic Consortium. This access is still not implemented. Online government documents are still not showing up in the HCPL catalog. Resolutions to this issue were discussed. It was suggested that a separate location be created for the online government resources. Maryann said that ownership of these resources must indicate North Harris College and that statistics must be able to be generated. Any changes to government document records should be reviewed by Maryann before implementation.

Because of IP authentication conflicts, CyFair is not able to access the HCPL’s Proquest product ancestry.com. It was suggested that the simplest thing would be for NHMCCD to subscribe to this product. Mark will arrange a trial and will have the NHMCCD Database Committee and LIBEX review it. He will talk to LIBEX about this matter.

Mark reported that two Dynix programmers were working on the 5 million unlinked authority records in the catalog. HCPL requested to be actively involved with this project so that they can put pressure on Dynix to complete the project.

CyFair and Tomball are still not able to see these newly created indexes in HIP: New DVD, New Video, New Audiobook and New CD. Mark will investigate the status of this.

Mike reported that indexes are rebuilt on Mondays and there could be some catalog slow down at this time. If the catalog is slow, HCPL wants to know.

MCMLS reported that the redundant T1 line between MCMLS and HCPL was in place and working.

Harmonic Project Forum Meeting 12/2005

The purpose of the meeting was to bring the Harmonic Consortium together to celebrate the Consortium’s success, debrief the implementation of the project and to plan for the future.


Mark Harris said that although he came in late to the project, he was impressed with the level of trust that was already established. He said that the strength of the Consortium is the expertise that has been pulled together and the access to the collections. He is looking forward to working on future opportunities together. He also commented that the the system is stable and that the authority control project has been a benefit for all partners and that the initial goal of the project to provide access to the collections has been accomplished.

Ron Stauss talked about the history of the project and how the college presidents and county commissioners were catalysts in getting the project started. He remarked that the success of the project was challenged at the beginning because of past negative experiences with partnerships. Unlike previous partnerships, the Harmonic Consortium has been a positive experience. He remarked that the NHMCCD District values its partnership with MCMPL especially since their service area and the college district’s match. He indicated that the college district does not serve most of Harris County.

Rhoda Goldberg valued the increased access for all patrons in our service areas.

Gene Rollins commented that sharing the same automation system certainly made the project easier to implement. If this had not been the case, the project would have been more costly and difficult. He discussed some of the early conversations about using the Dynix Ursa product to accomplish the resource sharing. This proved to be too costly.

Dynix was difficult to work with at first because of their lack of experience with mergers on this scale.

The project was very complex and that the wealth of expertise of the members enabled the project to be successful.

County commissioners and administrators made the project happen.

There have been many positive responses from patrons and collections are moving.

The project was a developmental challenge for Dynix.

Despite early challenges, things have now come into sync.

Communications, newsletters, meetings and training sessions helped with understanding and acceptance of the project by staff.

There has been quick response and timely resolution of problems. All staff were encouraged to report problems. This helped to ensure a quicker and smoother transition and staff felt they had a stake in the success of the project.

The group should document the process in order to share knowledge and to help others considering a similar project. Presenting at conferences such as Educause, ALA, CODI to share knowledge and expertise was discussed as well as writing articles about the experience were discussed.

Steering Committee should have been implemented sooner.


Kathleen Whitsitt provided an update on the blind authority project. Completion of this project will eliminate links to subject headings that do have items attached, which will decrease the size of the database and will make it possible to re-index less frequently.

Gene Rollins updated the group on Horizon 8.1. He said that it is likely that Horizon 8.1 will use IBM’s DB2 software. Harris County licenses this as their enterprise software so their expertise will be helpful in training. We will probably be ready in the Fall of 2006 to migrate. It was suggested to begin identifying windows of opportunity for when the migration could take place. Gene also said that 8.0 will solve many user errors and will be more efficient because it will not be as dependent on the robustness of the individual PC.


The group brainstormed future projects. Rhoda encouraged the group to make a decision and then act on it.

Improve the transportation of items between systems.
Hire a dedicated library courier that could travel between counties
Hire a consultant to study the transportation issue
Investigate other package delivery services like DHL and UPS.

Standardize policies and procedures between systems.

Provide total access to all collections.

Collect data
Analysis of titles that move between systems – compile data by call number
Analysis of unfilled requests
Collection analysis done by OCLC
Use NHMCCD information tools to expedite data analysis
Analysis of search terms used in the catalog searches
Track HIP usage patterns overall (HCPL is already has a script to do this)
Analyze Tomball stats by btype to predict demand for college materials by the publics

Implement universal library card
Instead of expiring students, convert to public patron
Improve Colleague/Horizon interactivity by putting the library barcode in Colleague

Work together on database licensing

Make ILL work

Make it possible for staff to get item and patron detail information in HIP.
Problem is that staff must use two catalogs when working with patrons. Search engines are different in both in both interfaces.

Keep the user’s perspective in mind when making policies and procedures.


Create sub-committees at next Consortium meeting to begin working on these issues. Sub-committees will meet to determine priorities and investigate issues.

The meeting ended with Mark Harris giving each member a silver harmonica engraved with “In commemoration of the Harmonic Mega Consortium Project, August 10, 2005”

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Harmonic Meeting 11/2005

1. Observations and information from the Codi Conference were discussed. HCPL is evaluating the hardware needs to migrate to Horizon 7.4 and 8.1.

2. We must go to HIP 4.1 at the same time as moving to Horizon 7.4. We will move to Horizon 7.4 if the reports are positive for 6 weeks to 2 months after the release date. Migration to Horizon 8.1 will require HCPL to purchase a database server. There will be no budget impact for the MCMPL or NHMCCD because of these migrations.

3. There will be no courier service from the college district during the Christmas holidays, 12/22 – 1/4. MCMLS has offered to use their courier to deliver tubs for Tomball, CyFair and Fairbanks Branch. They have agreed to pick up tubs for the MCMLS libraries from Tomball. Both systems will notify the appropriate staff of this plan.

4. The following Harmonic Standing Committees were formed:
Circulation Committee
Chair - Terry Melton, (MCMLS)
Members: Sandra Dies, Kathy Green, Linda Nguyen (HCPL); Terry Melton,
Cruz Lewis (MCMLS), Margaret Dawson, Anne McGittigan, Terry Gonzalez, Jean Lowery (NHMCCD).
Meetings: - Before Harmonic Consortium Meeting
Purpose: Greg will charge this group to discuss general circulation policies and procedures to facilitate the circulation of materials between the three systems. He will also charge the group to address the standardization of in-transit information on transit slips and tubs.

Bibliographic Authority Control Committee
Chair: Linda Gambrill (MCMLS)
Members: Kathleen Whitsitt, Carol Steinmetz, (NHMCCD) Bill Jarvis (HCPL)
Meetings: As needed
Purpose: Discuss authority control and cataloging issues and make recommendations for change in policies or procedures.
Linda will notify this group.

Reference Committee
Members: Reference librarian from each college, Luke Rosenberger, two MCMLS librarians, Adrienne Stapleton, Mike Ledinski, Nancy Agafitei (HCPL)
Purpose: Discuss public service issues, HIP issues, electronic resources

5. NHMCCD and MCMLS now check out videos and DVD's for two week periods. HCPL is reviewing a policy change for audiovisual checkouts. HCPL limit is 10 per patron. MCMLS is five. Linda Gambrill noted that Horizon allows a patron to check out the limit from each system.

6. Greg Tramel indicated that the creation of an E-branch for Montgomery County was a priority. Mark is working on a script to collapse the number of item records for college netLibrary books. He can designate one of these item records to be used for MCMLS netlibrary holdings. Gene will create the Montgomery County e-branch in Horizon. MCMLS will have to add their holdings to this branch.

7. Montgomery County would also like to implement the Spanish HIP. This is an add-on available through Horizon administration. Mark will get this set up as a test. MCMLS can review it to make sure that it is working and translating properly.

8. The Kid’s Catalog is also an add-on available in Horizon. Montgomery is interested in implementing this. Implementation was tabled.

9. HCPL would like to begin self-registration of patrons. Problem is with the alternate ID field. NHMCCD uses this field as a match point for student ID numbers. This is a problem.

10. HCPL is dropping Web Feet because of lack of use. Library of Texas is developing a similar tool.

11. HCPL now has a policy saying that patrons who want to change to the TOM, CyFair or FB locations will have to make this request in person.

12. Intra-consortium lending statistics for October were reviewed. Statistics verify that MCMLS materials are not going to HCPL branches other than CyFair, Tomball and Fairbanks Branch. Statistics indicate that healthy resource sharing is happening between the three systems. There is still concern for the length of time it takes for books from a different system to reach a patron. It was suggested that wording be added to the request form in Horizon alerting patrons that it may take 5 business days to receive the item requested. Patron education would also help to give patrons a realistic expectation of the time required to get something from another system.

13. Return of damaged items was discussed. Even though policies concerning this issue differ, the policy of the lending location is what should be followed at the time of return. If a damaged book is paid for and returned to the patron, an email should be sent to the owning library that the book needs to be withdrawn.

14. All three systems are planning to purchase e-reference titles from Gale this year. Students should be able to access county electronic books because all students are residents of either Montgomery or Harris counties. Greg will charge the Reference committee to explore this issue.

15. Gene reported that #1 position holds dropping out of the queue is still a problem. HCPL is considering printing pull lists each day and faxing them to the branches.

16. Mark will send an email to the group to arrange a time to celebrate the Harmonic Consortium.

Harmonic Meeting 10/2005

Decided: Greg Tramel is Chair and Maryann Readal the Recorder. Agenda items for future meetings should be sent to Greg. Meetings will be the Monday after 3rd Thursday at 1:00 – Next Meeting – NHMCCD – The Woodlands, Nov. 21.

High Demand Items
New criteria is being applied to books, DVD’s, videos with 8 or more requests, itype will be changed to HD (High Demand) itype. This will make these items circulate only within their own system ensuring a more efficient delivery time.

Delivery System
Texpress – Greg Tramel investigated using Texpress to deliver items between systems. Route information was not available. It would cost approximately $2,500/year to add an additional delivery site. Greg reported that it was taking one week to eight days to get items from HCPL using a Tomball card. This needs further monitoring and discussion.

Mark reported that a little over 400 items went to MCMLS and under 400 went to HCPL in the last 10 days of September. This report may not be completely accurate. Mark will generate this report each month and send to the group.

Gene distributed a report that showed the percentage of patrons outside of service zipcodes having cards at Cyfair, Tomball, Fairbanks Branch. This report will be generated monthly and will help to monitor any trend of our-of service-area patrons requesting cards at the “golden circle” locations. It was suggested to include only the public patrons for this report. So far, the number of out-of-service area patrons at these locations seems to be consistent with other HCPL branches. HCPL may consider a policy revision allowing location changes but not patron type changes. Location change request would have to be made in person.

Request Queue:
It does not work well in HIP. HCPL has turned it off, therefore, patrons cannot see what their position is in the request queue. Staff can see the queue position in Horizon. It would require special programming to make this work better. HCPL has requested pricing. It is not scheduled to be corrected in future Horizon upgrades. NHMCCD & MCMLS will discuss turning the queue off.

Pull List:
Sometimes items do not show up on the pull list. Pull list must be “pulled” before day end. If it isn’t, items may disappear from the list.
Sometimes copy specific holds do not come through. A problem seems to be with someone who is at the top of the list. Ty can run a special report, “ 90-day call list,” can be generated to identify these “lost” holds.
HCPL has talked about scheduling pull lists, but the number of branches makes this difficult.

Fairbanks Branch
Items are not getting to the correct branch because of confusion between Fairbanks Branch (HCPL) and Fairbanks Center (NHMCCD). It was suggested that separate slips be created for books going to each of these locations. Slips should say Fairbanks (NHMCCD) or Fairbanks (HCPL).

Number Searches:
Maryann requested that the U.S. Government Call Number (SuDoc) search be reinstated in Horizon and that it pull only the SuDoc number from the item record. She stated a concern that an accessible shelf list of government documents, as required by the Depository program is not possible, as it was before. This index will be reinstated.

The need to use “occ” and “ocm” prefixes to search OCLC numbers in Horizon was eliminated. There are 7,000 non oclc number records that are numeric in Horizon. These will be given a suffix of “x” or “p” to identify them.

Linda Gambrill noted that the genealogy call number browse has disappeared with the merged catalog. Further investigation will be done to see if it should be reinstated.

There are approximately 132 indexes in Horizon.

Linda noted that the “o” (other changes) is no longer available in ACQ. “p” code (processing fee) is there instead. Question as to what long term effects will there be if the “p” code is used. This issue needs to be investigated.

It was noted that the “newly acquired” status might be confusing to patrons. Alternative phrasing was discussed but nothing decided. This will be discussed at later time.

Negative Barcodes
These are system assigned barcodes used by the colleges for government documents and serials. This usage conflicts with HCPL prelinked barcodes used for paperbacks. This issue needs to be addressed.

Email notification:
MCMLS is setting up to do this.
Adds time to the run time of day end and end of the month.
Each location can decide whether to use email for hold notices. However, when placing holds, it indicates patron will be notified by mail.

MCMLS noted a decrease in the number of overdues reported in the past few days. Will watch this.

Web Reporter:
NHMCCD & MCMLS are looking at it.
Adrian at HCPL is trying to get it working. If it can work, information will be shared.
Running adhoc reports really slows down the system.

MCMLS wants to set up an e-branch for electronic books. There was discussion of joint purchases of electronic books. Greg reported that Gale has an offer that MCMLS is looking at.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Dynix is on schedule with the data loading process. I also wanted to alert everyone currently looking at the new system in the test environment about some changes you are/will be seeing in the catalog data and catalog interfaces.

Holdings Displays In both Horizon stafpac and HIP (shorthand for "Horizon Information Portal" and formerly called "Ipac") item level holdings displays will present your own library's items first, followed by a list in alphabetical order by location code of everyone else's holdings. For catalog users coming in from the Internet, they will see a regular alphabetical list of holdings in branch code order.

This Location / Other Locations buttons These simply go away in HIP. In Horizon stafpac the "This Location / Other Locations button " is still there. Under "This Location" you will see exactly the same locations and sort order that your patron in your branch will see. Clicking "Other Locations" will let a staff member see holdings at all consortium member libraries. However, the ability to see this information does not mean that one can simply request it. ILL must still be used among consortium members unless there is a prior reciprocal borrowing agreement in effect.

Author Browse, Series Browse, Subject Browse These indexes are now under authority control. Variant forms of name and subject have been pulled together under the correct, authorized form. This means that searching can be done with more precision. It also means there are lots of helpful cross-references. This was a big project and it is not entirely finished yet. For this reason when searching the plain old "staff" versions of these indexes in Horizon stafpac you will see lots of subject headings, author names, etc. with zero bibliographic records linked to them. These blind authority records will go away in a few weeks. In the meantime, use the "public" versions of these indexes to avoid seeing blind references. You can easily spot the public version of the index because it will be followed by the word "public" in parenthesis -- for example, "Series Browse (public)" -- NOTE: this is not an issue in the HIP public catalog.

Author Keyword, Series Keyword, Subject Keyword These are also under authority control and Horizon stafpac will return lots of matches with zero bibliographic records linked until the authority project is completed in a few weeks. This does not affect the keyword indexes in HIP at all. Unfortunately, since the General Keyword index has the same stuff as these keyword indexes have (plus a whole lot more) it will have the same problem. Bottom line: in stafpac for the next few weeks the (public) browse indexes are definitely our friends.

Keywords Anywhere In HIP the Harris County "General Keyword" index has been renamed "Keywords Anywhere" because North Harris and Montgomery County have called it that for a long, long time and we think it is really a more accurate description of the General Keyword index anyway.

Location Codes In the HIP holdings displays you will be seeing some changes in how the libraries are described. For example, for Aldine branch instead of the current "ald Aldine" you will see "HCPL Aldine," etc. Other consortium members have a similar format: "MCML Mitchell" for Montgomery County Library System's Mitchell branch (location code = wwo), "NHMC Carver Center" for North Harris Montgomery College's Carver Learning Center (location code = car), etc. This has been done so that holdings can "clump" together at the joint libraries, North Harris colleges, Harris, and Montgomery locations. Tomball and Cy-Fair are exceptions to this rule. Since they are each part of more than one system the holdings display will just show "Tomball Library" or "Cy-Fair Library." The full names on these joint libraries are so long that it makes the displays run on f-o-r-e-v-e-r. It has been suggested that we list these holdings with the codes, such as "HCPL ald Aldine" but we are waiting for staff and public reaction before making further changes. In the training sessions, staff were largely favorable to the way HIP looks now in test.

Placing Requests In HIP the joint libraries can see everything and everyplace is a pickup location. For other libraries, the locations one sees and the pickup locations available depend upon where that library is in the Venn diagram. Basically, in HIP the opportunity for inappropriate requests will not occur. In Horizon stafpac, all staff can see everything. In Horizon, staff must be careful not to place requests, especially item level requests, for items for the "wrong" library for the patron they are helping. At Tomball and Cy-Fair item-level requests will be available to he public through HIP because of the many cataloged series available through the college collections. Item-level >requests will not be available at other HCPL branches or through the HCPL web catalog.

Spanish language Catalog (HCPL only now, MCMLS/NHMCCD will have this in the near future) This will be available soon after the new Harmonic server is "live" sometime after August 10th.

Kids Catalog (HCPL only now, MCMLS will have this in the near future) There will be a functioning Kids Catalog on August 10. However, it will not have all of the features or be the "final" version until about the end of August.

My List This will be available at Tomball and Cy-Fair and all MCMLS/NHMCCD locations. It will not be available through the web catalog or the other HCPL branches.

Search Limits The limit for "Only items that are checked in" is now available in HIP as well as Horizon stafpac. In addition, the limits for "text only" has been fixed. Work is still being done to try to make the search limits (also called search restrictions) work properly for all consortium members. At the joint libraries, if a search limit returns zero hits or only HCPL items, it will be best to re-execute the search a different way. Here's why: if the limit is, for example, collection_code = "X" for "widgets in Urdu" and Montgomery County uses collection_code "W" for widgets written in Urdu then the limit will only return HCPL stuff until the limit gets fixed.

Cataloged Electronic Resources Cataloged e-resources will be available to all locations everywhere by clicking the URL in the record regardless of "owning" institution. Note: this does not apply to databases. There are still some databases that are licensed by the District based on FTE students that are simply unaffordable by the public library members. However, all cataloged websites, ebooks, etc. are available.

U.S. Governmwnt Documnets North Harris College is a GPO Depository Library. A growing number of GPO documents are available electronically, and these documents are cataloged and will be available through the catalog at all locations. Please note that in the "test" version of HIP you are going to see some records for GPO documents with no copy/holding data and no URL either. These will go away and for the final version of the public HIP catalog seen at HCPL locations (including over the web), you will see a URL to click in every GPO document.

Stafpac Searches Each consortium member will be able to list the searches in Horizon stafpac in the order preferred by staff at that institution. At HCPL, a committee is working on this. The sequence of Horizon stafpac searches will be fixed as soon as we receive the recommendation from the committee.

Web Catalog at Joint Libraries The HIP catalog that will be launched from the HCPL website will be the generic catalog. The catalog launched from the catalog links on the Tomball and Cy-Fair branch pages will be their special catalog profile and will include all the locations in the Venn diagram. Tomball and Cy-Fair will be able to include this information in publicity for their users to ensure that their users have access to all the resources they should have.

Gene Rollins
Assistant Director,
Technology & Technical Services
Harris County Public Library

Friday, July 29, 2005

Harmonic update for reference staff

a slight change from the first "train the trainer" sessions, please pass this info on to your Branch/Campus trainer and staff:

(1) when you click on the show copies button you will see the complete list of locations which you can request materials from

so, for MCMLS/NHMCCD locations the other libs and public libs/college libs setup will essentially go away, you will see the complete list with all MCMLS/NHMCCD items in the same initial list when you
click on show copies (of course Tomball and CyFair will see all MCMLS, NHMCCD & HCPL items in the same list when they click on show copies since they are in the golden egg)

(check your Willy Wonka Candy for a golden ticket :))))))

this will be carried over to HIP wherein the College Library Copies and Public Library Copies buttons will go away and customers will see the complete list of all MCMLS/NHMCCD items in the same list

(2) Horizon will be down all day 8/8 & 8/9, HIP will be working in the sense it will point to a canned version of the catalog

this means you will be able to search the catalog with HIP but CAN'T place requests or login and use my account

at MCMLS CENTRAL we are going to have them fill out an ILL/Request form and when Horizon comes up 8/10 we will place requests in Horizon if it is something MCMLS/NHMCCD owns

(3) I am doing Harmonic reference training in the MCMLS Central Library Computer Lab for Central reference staff on 8/2, 8/4, 8/5 9am-11, other MCMLS, NHMCCD & HCPL staff are welcome to attend also

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Harmonic Training

Harmonic “Go Live” Date ---- August 10

The Harmonic Steering Committee has scheduled training sessions for HCPL, MCMLS and NHMCCD library staff in order to introduce the new merged catalog and circulation system before the Harmonic GO LIVE date on August 10.

Circulation and Reference sessions will be Train-the-Trainer sessions. These sessions should be attended by one person from each library who will then train others in their library.

Acquisitions and Cataloging sessions should be attended by staff who work in these modules.

Between busy summer programs and vacations, there may be some staff who will not be able to attend any of the sessions scheduled. Be assured, that we will make every effort to see that everyone receives the training they need.

Reference Train-the- Trainer:

July 12 9 –12
Parkway Center Room 306

July 14 9-12
HCPL Admin. Building Meeting Room

July 28 1 - 4
Parkway Center Room 306

Circulation Train-the-Trainer:

July 19 9-12
Parkway Center Room 305

July 21 9-12
HCPL Admin. Building Meeting Room

July 26 1 – 4
Parkway Center Room 306

Cataloging Training:

July 26 9 – 12
Parkway Center Room 306

Acquisitions Training:

July 28 9 – 12
Parkway Center Room 306

Each session can accommodate 25 attendees. Please register for a session via email to reserve your spot. Include in your email:

Your name
Full name of your library
Which session you will attend
Your email address

Register for Circulation Train-the-Trainer, email: Sandra Dies at sdies@hcpl.net
Register for Reference Train-the-Trainer, email: Maryann Readal at mreadal@nhmccd.edu
Register for Acquisitions Training, email: Bill Jarvis at bjarvis@hcpl.net

Catalogers do not need to register for Cataloging Training

Training Locations:
HCPL Administration Building Parkway Center
8080 El Rio 250 N. Sam Houston Parkway East
Houston, TX 77054 Houston, TX 77060

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Harmonic Update

The Harris Montgomery Information Consortium (Harmonic) is moving along toward the merging of the catalogs of the Montgomery County Memorial Library System (MCMLS), North Harris Montgomery Community College District (NHMCCD), and the Harris County Public Library (HCPL), Tomball and CyFair joint libraries into the Harmonic Consortium Catalog. The merge date is scheduled for the middle of August. The Harmonic Consortium is a project of the three library systems to effectively share the cost of the Horizon Integrated Library System and to provide seamless access to the NHMCCD collections for the students and community patrons at Tomball and Cy-Fair College.

There are several subcommittees working on the numerous details that will ensure a smooth transition to a joint Harmonic Consortium catalog. The subcommittees working on the transition details are Circulation, System Administration, Cataloging, Public Access and Acquisitions.

Harris County Public Library has purchased a new, “lightning-fast” server that will house the merged catalog in August. Currently, the server is being used to test database functions as parameters are being changed for the merged catalog. Testing is being done so that there are no surprises on the “Go-Live” date in August.

A team of Dynix experts have now been assembled and assigned to manage the merge project. A schedule of action has been developed to systematically integrate and merge the records of the three systems.

Staff training and information sessions are planned for the late spring months so that everyone will be familiar with the functions of the merged catalog when we “Go Live” in August.