Thursday, February 26, 2009

What is the Catalog?

Part I in a series on basic searching...

Knowing what the catalog is will help you search that catalog. In simple terms, the catalog is a collection of records that describe all of the material we have in the library. Each record has numerous fields which house certain types of information. What are the three main types of information libraries collect? Anyone?

Answer: Author, Title, and Subject.

There are other fields which store information such as call number, publisher, etc. Another useful field is the Contents field which stores information such as song titles on CDs or music scores, short story titles in short story collections, and such. Some records even have a Summary field which provides a brief description of the contents of the material.

When searching in WorkFlows, these fields can be viewed by selecting the Description tab that appears once you have your results. On the online catalog, these fields can be seen by clicking on a title in a results list. Then, click on Catalog Record which appears in a column on the right side of the page.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Where Am I? Or, The Importance of the USER ID When Logging into WorkFlows

The process of logging into WorkFlows is trickier than you might expect. You should always make sure that you log in with the User ID and PIN of the location that you are currently located. Many of us work in multiple locations and almost all of us help out at Central on Sundays. And, for example, if you log in using the Randolph User ID and PIN when you are actually at Highland, then WorkFlows thinks you are at Randolph.

What are the implications of this? If you check out any books, then stats are assigned to Randolph and not Highland. If you place a book on hold to be picked up at Highland, the item is placed intransit to Highland from Randolph even though the book is already at Highland. If you discharge books that belong to Highland and reshelve, the items are still intransit from Randolph to Highland. Basically, all sorts of chaos ensues.

And you thought remembering the cryptic 4 digit PIN was the hard part!

For more information on logging into WorkFlows, visit the WorkFlows wiki and click on Logging In.