Type of Library: Consortium of Public Libraries
Address: 3355-J N. Arlington Heights Rd., Arlington Heights, IL 60004-1535
Project Coordinator: Virginia Seward, Authorities Librarian
Telephone: 847-342-5300 x102
Problems To Be Solved:
- Need to establish and maintain authority control for a large database.
- Need to provide reading notes for teachers, parents, and students.
- Authorities Processing (Backfile, Ongoing, and Notification)
- Enrichment with Accelerated Reader, Lexile® Measures, and Reading Counts
Cooperative Computers Services (CCS) is a public library consortium in the north and northwest suburbs of Chicago. There are 23 libraries in CCS, with three libraries having branches. CCS currently runs SirsiDynix Symphony 3.2.1, using Oracle and Unicode. Each library has its own separate cataloging staff, and some libraries use the Symphony Acquisitions module and some do not.
CCS was trying to find a way for authority records and their authority files to be updated routinely and not only when a cataloger would apprise the Authorities Librarian of a change or when the Authorities Librarian would stumble upon a change. Before using MARCIVE, CCS would work on a report of unauthorized headings weekly, but with a database of close to a million records, it was difficult for one person to keep up with the changes needed.
CCS looked at MARCIVE and other vendors that provided the processing needed. MARCIVE was chosen because of their reputation, speed, and cost.
In April 2006, CCS sent approximately 950,000 bibliographic records to MARCIVE for back file authorities processing. In May 2006, CCS received 515,000 authority records and 888,000 bibliographic records. These records were loaded into our SirsiDynix system in June. Because CCS was in the midst of migrating another library into our consortium, SirsiDynix was contracted to reload our records into our system. The records were loaded over a period of two days during times that would not stress the server. All bibliographic files were loaded and overlaid at one time. The entire old authority file was deleted, except for some local authority records, and the new one that MARCIVE provided was reloaded in its place. The re-indexing was done just once, over a Saturday night, so there would not be much downtime.
CCS continues to use MARCIVE’s services. Every two months, CCS sends bibliographic records to MARCIVE for their Overnight Authorities Processing. Like clockwork, updated records are returned within twelve hours of sending them. We were happily surprised once that they were returned within two hours of sending them. CCS also uses their Monthly Notification Service. Each month, a new file of updated authority records is sent to CCS.
In 2010, CCS contracted with MARCIVE to add Lexile® Measures and other reading level numbers to our bibliographic records. Once again, after sending MARCIVE a group of files containing our bibliographic records, they were returned promptly to CCS. In order to lessen downtime, only the new reading enrichment data was merged to our bibliographical records that were already in our database. The re-indexing was done in conjunction with rebuilds needed during CCS’ migration to Oracle.
MARCIVE helped to solve the consortium’s problems by providing first, an up to date authority file, and then by continually updating it monthly or whenever new bibliographic records are sent for Overnight Authorities Processing. The monthly file of updated authority records is quite helpful because less time is needed for both staff and the Authorities Librarian to notice and upload changes, which were done piecemeal before. It’s especially helpful since 2006, when death dates were added to personal name authority records. There’s no need to scour resources for death dates ever.
The staff has been very pleased. I remember one cataloging librarian mentioned that her staff were pleased that they didn’t have to download authority records from OCLC any longer. They knew those records would be provided by MARCIVE.
At the end of the initial authorities project (or sweep as it was known here in CCS), Richard Shurman, CCS’s administrator emailed “but I want to commend … Marcive for timely and quality work on this project; the way it's gone thus far is truly exemplary.”
Also during the initial authority project, I was happy to email a patron from one of our libraries, who questioned why Carl Sagan’s heading wasn’t up to date that CCS was in the midst of a project and that all would be taken care of.
The best thing to remember when starting a project of this magnitude is to plan, and to plan well. Have achievable deadlines, and follow through with them. Keep others (as in our case, the other CCS catalogers) apprised of the situation, tell them in detail what can be done and what cannot, and provide them with updates on how the project is coming along.