JENNIFER SUSAN LITZ: November 2008 Archives

Friday, November 21

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Cell Phones
Excessive cell phone noise seems to be on the increase.  We'll discuss how to handle it at the next training session.  Judy has made some very nice signs for each of the carrels, reminding patrons to use their cell phones and have social conversations in the elevator corridor.  Hopefully, this will help.  We'll at least have something to point to when we're dealing with noisy individuals or groups.

Thursday, November 20

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Holiday Hours Schedules

I put the holiday schedule in Oracle and have put a printed copy of those 3 weeks (next week, Christmas week, and the week after Christmas in the mailboxes of those working.  Take a look at it and let me know if you have any questions or I got something wrong.  At our scheduling meeting in December, we'll discuss the schedule for intersession.

Wednesday, November 19

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Praxis Schedule
Remember, the schedule for Praxis exams is posted on the wooden information kiosk.

Books on Order and Books Being Cataloged
 If The CAT says an item is being cataloged and a patron wants it, they can request it using the "I Want It Button".  If The CAT says it's on order, fill out the bright green slip and send it by library mail to "ordering 126 Paterno".

Tuesday, November 18

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In-Service Day

Registration is now open for the programs
that will be available during the Libraries' In-Service Day
2009. Registration will be available through December 12th,
but feel free to start registering now.

The schedule can viewed online at:

There is also a link on the schedule where you can register
for the programs online. To view more information about the
program, and to learn who the presenter will be, either
click on the program within the schedule, or scroll down the
page to see the full list of programs.

If you can't register online, print out the schedule and mark the sessions you want to attend.  Then put it in my mailbox and I'll send it on.

Info About Workflows and The CAT

(sorry about weird font changes - I copied and pasted this from e-mail.)

Please read the following carefully for details on service interruptions and changes to The CAT and WorkFlows in the coming weeks.

  • Power Outage: Nov. 22-23
  • Unicorn Upgrade to Symphony: Nov. 26-30
  • WorkFlows Java Client Update
  • Changes to The CAT

Power Outage: Nov. 22 - 23

There will be an electrical shutdown in Paterno library from Saturday, November 22 at 9:00 p.m. until Sunday, November 23 at 7:00 a.m. During this time period, The CAT and WorkFlows will not be available. Note that The CAT will NOT be in read-only mode during this time. A notice alerting users to this downtime will be inserted in The CAT on Friday, Nov. 22.

Unicorn Upgrade to Symphony: Nov. 26 - 30

As announced in the the Nov. 17 issue of Interview, the University Libraries will upgrade from Unicorn GL3.1 to Symphony 3.2.1 during the Thanksgiving break.  Although the name of the software has changed from Unicorn to Symphony, users will notice very little change in the look and feel of The CAT and WorkFlows. In other words, this is a normal upgrade, albeit with a new name. As part of the upgrade, we will also do our annual re-indexing so that we do not need to take the system down during the Christmas break.

The upgrade and re-indexing will begin at 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, November 26, and based on data from the Test and Development servers, should finish by noon on Sunday, Nov. 30.  The CAT will be in read-only mode and WorkFlows will not be available during the entire upgrade process, i.e., from Wed. Nov. 26, 5:15 p.m. until Sunday, Nov. 30, 12:00 p.m. While The CAT is in read-only mode, users will not be able to perform any circ related functions on the web (renewals, My Library Account, I Want It) nor will they be able to use the My Favorites/Tell Me When features of The CAT. The upgrade and rebuild of indexes will not impact any other databases. Please note that all times are estimates, and if things take longer than planned, the downtime may extend into Sunday night or Monday morning. As part of the upgrade, the WorkFlows Java client will also be updated.

Detailed timeline: 

Mon., Nov. 24
A notice will be inserted in The CAT alerting users that system maintenance will be done Nov. 26-30.
Wed., Nov. 26 a.m.
All Unicorn/WorkFlows reports will be suspended after the morning run.
Wed., Nov. 26, 5:15 p.m. --  Sun. Nov. 30, 12:00 p.m.
The CAT will be in read-only mode. You can search & retrieve records but not place holds, check your library account, or renew books online. In addition, you will not be able to use My Favorites to display a list of your favorite subjects/authors and you will not be able to use the Tell Me When links to add subjects and authors to your My Favorites list. Other web resources (library pages, E-Resource List, etc) should be available during this period.
WorkFlows will  NOT be available for cataloging, serials, acquisitions, circulation and any other activities during the upgrade and re-indexing.
In addition, the Test server will not be available during this time.
Sun., Nov. 30, 12:00 p.m. 
If the upgrade and re-indexing are completed by this time,Unicorn will be back in production - The CAT will go live, circulation functions in The CAT will be turned on, and WorkFlows will be available to all staff.
If the upgrade and re-indexing are not completed by this time,The CAT will remain read-only and WorkFlows will remain unavailable until re-indexing is done.
Mon., Dec.1
Regularly scheduled Unicorn/WorkFlows reports will be turned back on during the course of the day.

WorkFlows Java Client Update

The Symphony 3.2.1 upgrade includes a WorkFlows Java Client update. The client update will be managed follows:

Libraries-owned workstations:
In order to facilitate the installation of Java Client updates on all workstations, including circulation and other shared pcs, DLT will "push" the new client to all Libraries-owned workstations after the upgrade to Symphony is finished. You will then need to re-boot your workstation to pull-down the new client. For most of us, this will mean doing a re-boot first thing Monday, Dec. 1.  When you re-boot, you will get the following message: "Installing managed software WorkFlows." The install may take approximately 3-5 minutes, and will occur before you get to the Windows login prompt. Be patient and wait for the install to complete. After you log in to Windows and the network, you can log into Java Client WorkFlows  It should be on the new version and no further update will be necessary. To verify that you are using the new client, check the build number (Click Help and About. The new build date and number will be 2008-04-30 If you experience any problems with the Java Client after the re-boot, please submit a Helpdesk ticket.

Note: Do not shut down your workstation when you leave for the Thanksgiving holiday; workstations must be on to get the message to install the software on next reboot.

Changes to The CAT

Two changes will take place in the CAT after the upgrade to Symphony. First, we will now be able to locally define the default "operator" for Keyword searching. The current default operator for Keyword searching is "same", i.e., the words entered must be in the same field. This has always been the case in iLink, and there has been no way to modify that. However, with the upgrade to Symphony, we will be able to set the default operator ourselves. The Next Generation Public Interface team has recommended that the default Keyword search operator be changed to "and", i.e., the words entered are searched across fields.

Second, the Libraries will take advantage of the downtime period to implement the Google Book API which will change the look of The CAT significantly by adding thumbnails of book covers and Google previews when available. These features will appear in search results and item details.

You can preview both changes to The CAT now by going to

Please direct any questions about the changes to The CAT to the Next Generation Public Interface team at
Please direct other questions to the Sirsi Steering Committee (

Monday, November 17

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Don't forget tomorrow's training session at 3:00.

Also, there's some nasty flu going around.  Take care and get extra rest!

Friday, November 14

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Announcement from the Access Services Council

Effective immediately, Penn State Graduate students will be granted unlimited renewals on regular loans of books from University Libraries' collections. 

The profiles affected by this change are the following:

This service enhancement will eliminate the need for graduate students to carry books, which have reached the two-renewal limit, back to the library in order to check them out once more.   By taking this user-centered approach University Libraries will eliminate a small measure of stress for a core group of almost 12,000 users during a very hectic time of year. 

Faculty and Staff have enjoyed unlimited renewals since 2003. 
Undergraduate students, alumni and visitors will remain at two renewals.

For more information about loans and renewals, please refer to the Libraries' Lending Code .

Wednesday, November 12

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Training Next Tuesday

Don't forget about our training session next Tuesday, November 18, from 3:00 - 4:30.  We'll go over some general business, then review databases. 

Tuesday, November 11

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DLT has developed a web site called the Help Desk HUB.  It contains a lot of information, updates, and places to make comments and ask questions.  You can find it here.  We'll review it at a later training session, but in the meantime, check it out and explore it.  And open it each time you're on desk, just as you used to do with Meeting Maker. 

Monday, November 10

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Collections Use Statistics
Don't forget, this week we're taking collections use statistics.  Just count the things that we shelve. 

The help desk URL will be changing effective 7a.m. Tuesday, 11/11/08.   The new URL will be and users browsing with the old URL will be redirected to the new site.

Vacation Schedules

I sent an e-mail last week with the Thanksgiving and Christmas vacation hours.  Please respond to me ASAP about when you are going to be working.  I need to get the desk schedule finalized.

Friday, November 7

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Braille Collection

We have a new collection of braille books at the service desk by the TOEFL books.  Unlike anything else at the desk, these DO circulate. 

Have a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, November 6

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For Front Pages of Yesterday's Newspapers: Use PressDisplay Database

From Debora Cheney:

To all: Do you have students and faculty looking for yesterday's newspapers for class discussion or examples?  Want to compare coverage by region, country or even in ethnic newspapers? 

Who, around the world considered yesterday's news front page news? 

We are all aware that yesterday's front pages of election coverage are of particular interest.  Even our copies in the News and Microforms Library are "disappearing."

Let me recommend a theft-proof and electronic source for over 700 US and International newspapers--the database PressDisplay provides the entire PDF issue of over 700 newspapers for the last 90 days.

US newspapers included:
USA Today, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Boston Herald, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Chicago Tribune and many more.  A number of ethnic newspapers (hispanic, particularly) are also included in the U.S. titles.Unfortunately the New York Times is not distributing its paper this way. 

International newspapers from every country of the world are also included. 

It is an excellent source to use in the classroom to compare newspaper content and front pages.  If you have a classroom podium with a computer you can link to the database and demonstrate/project pages for class discussion. 
Access to PressDisplay is best from the Newspaper Link on the Libraries home page:

I only have to caution:  at this time we have 5 simultaneous users only.  So an entire class cannot use it at the same time.  However, pages can be printed out as handouts and students can be referred and assigned use of this database.  We have only very modest numbers of turnaways at this time, but this could be a situation that will test that 5 user limit.

Let me know if you have further questions, comments, or suggestions.  I would appreciate any feedback you have about how you observe or assist users in using PressDisplay. 

A guide for how to print from PressDisplay is available at:


Wednesday, November 5

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From Elyssa Cahoy:

Penn State Webmail users have reported problems emailing
multiple articles from ProQuest to their Webmail accounts.
Specifically, users have reported receiving the full-text of
only one article (of several emailed as a group) in their
Webmail in-box.  The full-text of the additional articles
sent is not included in the resulting email message.

Becky Albitz and I have worked on this issue with ProQuest
and PSU Webmail administrators, and have identified a
working solution.

*When students are emailing multiple articles from ProQuest
to their PSU Webmail account, they should select the
following option in ProQuest:* *
On the Email documents page, select: Send email as: Plain
text (compatible with all email programs)

*Becky and I have tested this solution with Penn State
Webmail administrators, and have confirmed that emailing
articles as plain text ensures that all documents sent will
be received in Webmail.  While it would be optimal to
identify this format as the default email type for our
ProQuest users, ProQuest indicated that this individualized
setting for Penn State users in not available.

Any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or

Many thanks,

--Ellysa Cahoy*

Tuesday, November 4

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Training Sessions

Karla and I have set up two training sessions for the fall semester - both on Tuesdays 3:00 - 4:30.  The first will be held on November 18 and the topic will be databases.  The second will be on December 16 and will be a scheduling session as well as using the phone and the new scanner.  Attendance is critical, so mark your calendars now.

Monday, November 3

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Tomorrow is Election Day, so don't forget to get out and vote.  Then, finally, no more election commercials, at least for awhile.  Hooray!


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