Thursday, May 31, 2007

More Differences Between Old and New (Due Date; Where an Item is Going)

Go Live 2Here is an example of how the holds process can alter the way we have done things in the past (besides the obvious changes of actually doing holds...).

When we are searching the catalog with WorkFlows, you will see that some items are INTRANSIT. This is the new word for "Route". However, you do not see where the item is being sent. In IG or Circle, you could see where the item was going.

This comes in handy when a customer wants an item and there are no available items except for one or more items that say Route (in Circle) or INTRANSIT (in WorkFlows).

Currently, if an item is in "route" or "intransit" back to its owning location, then we could safely assume that the item would be available soon. We could tell the customer to check back in the next day or so.

Also currently, if an item is in "route" towards another location besides the owning location, we could safely assume that the item was NOT going to be available for a while as it was being sent to another location for a customer to check out.

WorkFlows does NOT say where the book is going. It only says INTRANSIT. So are we losing some functionality????

No. We have to back up a bit and realize that our new holds service has a greater impact on our procedures.

If an item is INTRANSIT, then check to see if there are any holds on the book. If the item has a hold placed, then we can assume that the item is intransit to the pickup location. The item will not be available until the customer who has placed the hold on the book has checked it out and then returned it.

If an item is INTRANSIT, and it does NOT have any holds on the book, then you can safely assume that the book is being sent back to its home location.

On top of all of this, you can offer to place a hold on the book for the customer and as soon as that book becomes available (one way or another), they will be notified.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please let me know (email, phone, comments, wiki discussion page, etc.). All questions and answers will end up on the Holds Discussion page.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Some Differences Between Old and New

Go Live 2With the new ILS comes a new lingo. This lingo will be solidified over the next year, but let me run over some differences between the old and the new systems.

In the old system, you routed items in and out. This was used to move books to other locations to be picked up by customers. This was also used to send items to Tech Services.

You do not route items in or out with the new system. You "put items in transit" or "receive items in transit". Receiving items in transit is easy. You click on...this is a hard one..."Receive Items in Transit" and scan the item ID (barcode). Putting items in transit is a little different. You don't click on "Put Items in Transit". Items are automatically placed in transit as a RESULT of another action.

For example, you place a hold on a book in hand for a customer to be picked up at another location. You then trap that hold. That item is now in transit to the pick up location.

Also, we used to route items to tech services. With the new system, we will basically check out an item to a tech services department. Each department has a "user account" that you check the item out to.

For example, if you work at the Raleigh branch and you are sending a book to Material Services, you would basically check the book out to the RALMATSVS account (don't worry, these accounts names are all listed on the screen).

When Material Services is done with the book, they used to route it back to its home location. In the new system, all they need to do is Discharge the book. Since the book was "checked out" to them, as soon as they discharge the book, it is automatically placed in transit back to the home location.

Someone in Raleigh would then use the Receive Items in Transit tool as soon as that book made it back.

In the old system, we used to withdraw items. With the new system, we will discard. Much like sending the book to tech services, you would "check the book out" to your agencies discard account. For example, if you worked at Levi and you discarded a book, you would use the check out tool to check the book out to LEVDISCARD. The book will then show DISCARD in the catalog and will be shadowed from customers.

Why individual agency accounts? This allows you to easily view all the items that your agency has sent to cataloging, or what items your agency has discarded.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please let me know (email, phone, comments, wiki discussion page, etc.).

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Use Alt-F4 to Close Your WorkFlows Windows

Go Live 2As we have progressed with training, more and more of you are going back to your agency and practicing your WorkFlows skills. You may also realize that when you try to close WorkFlows, it states that a message appears saying their are open wizards that require your attention.

Basically you have to close all the various screens that you have opened throughout your session. And depending on what all you have done, this could take a while.

Not necessarily. Use this keyboard shortcut that I mentioned in a previous post. Press and hold the Alt key on your keyboard. Then repeatedly press the F4 key until all windows are closed. Alt-F4 closes this current window. Pressing it repeatedly closes windows rapidly.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please let me know (email, phone, comments, wiki discussion page, etc.). All questions and answers will end up on the Holds Discussion page.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Summer/Fall Technical Training Dates Announced

I have added the dates for the late summer/fall technical trainings. Some new classes will be added to the rotation:

  • Wiki Reading and Editing
  • Typing Parts 1,2,3
  • Excel: How to Create Lists
  • Files!
  • Brochures and Pictures (once one class) is split into two separate classes.
I will explain more about these classes in the near future.

Here is the list:

Wiki Reading and Editing

Wednesday, July 18, 9-10:30am

Word: How Do I Format My Document?
Tuesday, July 24, 2-3:30pm

Typing Part 1 of 3
Tuesday, July 31, 9-10:30am

Word: What's Wrong with My Document?
Tuesday, August 7, 9-10:30am

Thursday, August 23, 2-3:30pm

Typing Part 2 of 3
Wednesday, August 29, 9-10:30am

Word: What's Up With Bullets, Numbers, and Tabs?
Thursday, September 13, 2-3:30pm

Wiki Reading and Editing
Thursday, September 27, 2-3:30pm

Typing Part 3 of 3
Tuesday, October 2, 9-10:30am

Files!: How to Open 'Em, Save 'Em, Attach 'Em, Upload 'Em
Wednesday, October 10, 9-10:30am

Word: How Do I Customize a Resume Template?
Thursday, October 18, 2-3:30pm

Excel: How Do I Create Lists?
Thursday, October 25, 9-10:30am

How Do I Make a Brochure (Word and Web)
Thursday, November 8, 9-10:30am
(better if participant has taken Files! or is familiar with working with files)

How Do I Find, Add, Customize Pictures (Word and Web)
Thursday, November 15, 2-3:30pm
(better if participant has taken Files! or is familiar with working with files)

How Do I Create Charts (Excel and Web)
Wednesday, November 28, 9-10:30am
(must have taken Excel Lists or be familiar with Excel)

Wiki Reading/Editing
Wednesday, December 5, 9-10:30am

IM on the Tech Train

UPDATE: Service discontinued. Test failed.

OK, so I'm investigating something here. Bear with me. I don't instant message but I couldn't resist trying something out that may make it easier for some folks to ask questions.

On the sidebar, you see a window that allows you to type whatever. If you have a question (or if you have an answer), then add it here.

You should be able to just click and type. We'll see how this works. If you are getting this through a reader, you have to actually visit this blog to see what I am talking about.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Somebody Call St. Louis. We Need More Rams!

Go Live 2As we have just discovered, some of our computers need more RAM. The size of RAM (and everything else in the computer world) is measured in bytes. The more bytes you have, the better:

1024 bytes equals a kilobyte (KB)
1024 kilobytes equals a megabyte (MB)
1024 megabytes equals a gigabyte (GB)

RAM comes in any number of sizes. Generally around 96 MB, 128 MB, 256 MB, 512 MB, 1024 MB (or 1 GB).

Now that we know about size, let's discuss RAM. What is RAM? RAM is Random Access Memory. OK, so what does that mean? It is called "random" because the memory can be accessed in any order (unlike a tape or CD which requires the computer to physically move some sort of reading device to locate the desired memory).

ILS RAM Kitchen CounterTo paraphrase lifehacker, if your CPU is the cook, and your refrigerator is the hard drive, then RAM would be the kitchen counters. As the cook (CPU) gets stuff out of the fridge (hard drive) in order to cook, he has to place the stuff on the counter (RAM). If you run out of counter space, then you can't get anything else out of the fridge.

And WorkFlows is a big huge piece of pig that takes up a lot of counter space (and takes a while to get out of the fridge).

And some of our counters are smaller than others. So how do you find out how much RAM you have?

ILS RAMWhen looking at the desktop, you can right-click on My Computer (a couple staff computers could right-click. Others I tested could not). Then click on Properties. Towards the bottom-right of your window, you will see the amount of RAM (measured in KB). The picture hear shows my computer which has about 256 MB RAM.

So how do you get more RAM?

You can see the instructions from the same lifehacker post I linked to before. You open the computer and slap on a RAM stick. Getting those sticks is the first, crucial next step.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please let me know (email, phone, comments, wiki discussion page, etc.).

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Go Live Reference Wiki Additions

Go Live 2The Go Live Reference Training wiki has a couple of new additions. First, I have added some practice questions that Philip in Cordova created. This is a great way to reinforce the contents of the training.

Next, I have added a page that lists all of the questions that come up during training that we are not able to answer. When the answer is found, we will post it there.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please let me know (email, phone, comments, wiki discussion page, etc.).