LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library System

Type of Library: Public
LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library
Project Coordinators:
Cay Hohmeister, Library Director
Christopher Gorsuch, Library Services Manager for Collection Management
Paul Clark, Application Systems Analyst II

Address: LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library, 200 W. Park Avenue, Tallahassee, FL  32301-7716

Telephone Number: 850-606-2665

E-Mail: HohmeisterC@leoncountyfl.gov
GorsuchC@leoncountyfl.gov
ClarkP@leoncountyfl.gov

Problems To Be Solved:

  1. Make the Enterprise SirsiDynix Symphony catalog more unified and easier for patrons to search
  2. Provide an easy way for parents to find suitable materials for reading incentive programs
  3. Implement RDA conversion

MARCIVE Solutions:

  1. Authorities processing with RDA Conversion
  2. Reading Notes Enhancement with Lexile, and Accelerated Reader data

The Story

In 2013 the coming of RDA (Resource Description and Access) to the general library community forced our library to address how we were dealing with name and subject authorities, as well as how we would render a display of our bibliographic records. There was little incentive to deal with a long, labor-intensive project involving the conversion of AACR2 to RDA standards, especially since some of our records represented missing or withdrawn materials.

Needs identified, and MARCIVE selected

In the time leading up to our conversion, we conducted a selection of a vendor to perform the conversion of name and subject headings, as well as the conversion of bibliographic records to RDA standards.   MARCIVE was eventually selected through the usual competitive bid process for outside contractual services for Leon County, Florida. As a result, MARCIVE was awarded the contract for the following reasons:

  1. MARCIVE could do what we needed them to do, according to the RFP (Request for Proposal)
  2. MARCIVE was the most cost-effective
  3. MARCIVE had many years of experience performing similar projects with similar-sized systems
  4. MARCIVE could also provide additional AR/Lexile rankings in our bibliographic records

The last point regarding reading rankings was not originally part of the charge. However, when it was realized that such a long-desired enhancement could be effected without major alteration to the original mission (and without any additional cost), it became one more reason to select MARCIVE.

Funding obtained

The funds for this project were acquired through our county Management of Information Services process for FY 14/15. The funds were included in the capital projects for FY 14/15.In March 2014, a detailed request for $17,500 was submitted to update the catalog database, establish authority control, adopt RDA cataloging standards and provide AR/Lexile rankings. The initial run was estimated to be 350,000 bibliographic records. The funds were included in the capital projects.

Funding was approved by the Leon County Board of County Commissioners for FY 14/15. Capital funds may be carried forward in case the project extended into the following fiscal year.

The Process

All of this required some planning for our downtime, both internally and externally. This meant dealing with the bibliographic records for which items had been missing an extraordinary amount of time or items which had been lost, and otherwise paid for or reconciled. Throughout this process, MARCIVE was available to help walk us through the process and were able to schedule the actual freezing of the catalog and the ultimate flip to adding the new bibliographic and authority records at a time convenient to the library and our patrons.

Leading up to the project itself was the preparation work necessary for both our catalog and our staff. This meant implementation of the latter:

  1. Establish realistic missing and searching protocols for library materials. In some cases, items had been “missing” or “lost-assumed” for ten or more years. The time now is 18 months, and then it is deleted from the system.
  2. A one-time deletion of titles and items which had been in such status for over 18 months (this was after circulation information had been transferred to a separate file). This resulted in the elimination of almost 60,000 titles and almost 150,000 items.
  3. This resulted in not only a more accurate catalog with which we provided MARCIVE but a reduced, per bibliographic charge for the whole initial project.
  4. From the initial deletion onward, the staff has been diligent in searching for and/or resolving items in the various lost categories. The lists from which they operate are now of realistic size, and they can be processed in the time allowed.

Feedback from reference desk, Technical Services staff, and Patrons

After the actual changeover to our new records on 27 August 2015, we were anxious to hear any feedback on how the searching and retrieval of the records from the staff and the public users. In our case, “No news is good news.”  After about two weeks, after hearing nothing one way or the other, I asked managers and branch heads if they had any feedback at all after the first day of usage. The unanimous response was that no one had said anything, including the staff, which had made the transition from display of GMDs to display of 33X tags without any anticipated problems.

To a great extent, MARCIVE provided the support that resulted in a seamless, virtually invisible transition. Also, the addition of AR and Lexile scores and points has become relied on heavily by parents and schoolchildren in Leon County, thus creating a bonus win for our system. A special page was created for this purpose.

One of the factors in the success of this project was keeping the staff apprised of the progress of the project, and getting their buy-in for its success. There was some concern over losing the display of the GMDs from the index screens, but because we were offering equivalent displays using 33x tags, this concern was met. A day or so before we went live with the new bibliographic and authority records, the Director and the Head of Collection Management met with every branch manager and the department head in the main library, as well as with staff members, to show exactly what the new records would like, where their information had (or had not) moved, and to answer any questions regarding this. This proved to be effective, especially having it so shortly before going live.

Additional orientations were provided the Library Management team, as well as the Library Advisory board. The process and results of this project became the basis for a presentation RDA Bibliographic and Authority Records: Preparing the Way!” given at the May 2016 COSUGI (Customers Of SirsiDynix Users Group, Inc.) by Chris Gorsuch and Paul Clark.

Continuity—Keeping the catalog up to date

Since the establishment of RDA bibliographic and authority records, the work continues. Routines have been refined around the new cataloging records sent for processing through Overnight Authorities Service and the monthly Notification Service files. If authorities have not been resolved during the cataloging process, they are caught each month and forwarded to the head of Collection Management for disposition or resolution. This results in fewer conflicts being noted because the authority records are already established in our local system. Also, blind references are removed when the last item is discarded/withdrawn from the catalog. This results in less patron frustration, and a more accurate picture of what is available through our system. We are very pleased to offer an up-to-date, accurate and attractive online catalog for library users.