Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What to expect on Thursday morning

To all MPLIC staff:

Tonight, many of us will hit control-z, choose "Exit Circulation," type QUIT, and say goodbye to DRA Classic for the last time. (Not all of us, as Acquisitions will continue to use the DRA system alongside Unicorn until all orders placed for the current fiscal year have been received and paid for.) What should staff expect when they arrive at work on June 14?

New logins specific to their agencies have been communicated to the managers, circulation, and reference staff in each public service agency. Staff will verify that they are logged into Workflows on the production (i.e., the "real," as opposed to training) system when they see the familiar MPLIC logo in the upper right hand corner of the screen, where they've been seeing a red TEST SYSTEM badge.

DRA Classic Bridge circulation information collected for the last week will have been loaded into the Unicorn system overnight. Each agency should log in as staff arrives, and can immediately begin updating TEMP accounts with customer information for accounts signed up during Classic Bridge. However, staff should not begin begin discharging, checking out or receiving items In Transit until Paul Gahn sends the "all clear" e-mail message, expected between 8:00 and 9:00 AM on Thursday. (At that point, staff can begin processing materials that were held in Route status during the week of Classic Bridge. New materials will not be sent prior to Monday, June 18, to allow staff time to work through this backlog.)

All circulation PCs and some reference desk, manager, and workroom PCs have received memory upgrades; those who haven't received upgrades yet may experience slower than optimal performance, and should bear in mind the advice shared earlier about maximizing performance by closing other programs before starting Workflows, and so on. (Memory upgrades for the remaining staff PCs will resume next week.)

The public web site will still be at, though the familiar "stack o' books" will have been replaced by a new design. Virtually all of the current library web pages will continue to exist and reside at the same URLs, just with a different look. Catalog links will take customers to the new OPAC at; in addition, a search box at the top of every web page will give access to the catalog as well. Every web page will also feature a login dialog box to give customers quick access to their library accounts, with familiar services like online renewals -- and new services like Holds. The new Holds service will be available from the time we go live, but it's expected that it will take most customers a few days to discover it and start using it (though no one can know for sure, of course). The first hold pick list report will be generated and emailed at approximately 2pm on the day of Go Live.

On public machines, the PCs that have been designated as Catalog or Catalog/Express PCs will open on the Rooms/EPS home page. Printing of catalog pages (which may also include Rooms web pages or listings of database or web citations) will remain free. However, until we become more familiar with the new OPAC configurations, these PCs will not be technically blocked from accessing other sites on the Internet. Managers at each location will have the discretion to decide whether or not to enforce the "catalog use only" policy for these PCs until the technical solution can be put in place.

PCs designated for other special uses besides the catalog will continue to be designated for that use, and should come up to the appropriate "start" page. On general-use public PCs, Internet Explorer will open to the new home page at the same old URL. On staff PCs, the browser will continue to open to the Intranet home page, which is not changing at all. Links to catalog records in blog postings and BookLetters are being changed today or tonight; some remaining web catalog links, such as those for the Teen Book Lists, will not be available for a few days.

Throughout Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, lead circulation trainer Becky Graham will be available at OPX 2747 to assist circulation staff who aren't sure how to perform a function in Workflows. Also on Thursday and Friday, Damone Virgilio and Kevin Dixon will be on the road visiting locations around the system to offer in-person Workflows assistance to reference staff, and will also be available by phone via their cell numbers (e-mailed previously). Paul Gahn, joined onsite by our SirsiDynix SureStart Consultant Pam Tejes, will be available at OPX 2805 to troubleshoot problems when staff are confident they are performing a task just how they were trained, but it’s still not working (password doesn’t work, receipts aren’t printing, etc.).
For questions about the public catalog or web site, please contact yours truly at OPX 2801.

At this time, all our staff have received the essential training they need to do their jobs. We have the knowledge and the skills we need. Mistakes will almost certainly be made -- but they won't be fatal ones. We will all learn from each others' mistakes and improve our understanding, and our service to customers, as we proceed on this journey together. On behalf of the entire Sirsi Implementation Management Team, I would like to thank all of you for your positive attitude and team spirit throughout this 18-month implementation process.

Have a great Go Live!

-- Alan

1 comment:

Miss Mary said...

Beautifully said, Alan! You and your team have (almost) made the process a pleasure! :)