Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Staff Comments

For the most part, I received positive comments from the library staff on our training last week. They appreciated the additional functionality of the OPAC... including patron comments, tags, creating lists, and the ability to rss a search for new items as acquired by the Library. Many other staff functions will reduce time and effort.
  • There were some comments that need addressing. Not everyone received OPAC training. I had left this up to each supervisor to decide what training was needed by each staff member. Now I'm finding out that they all could have really used this training.

  • There is concern on how certain staffers will transition to Koha. The learning curve for some will be bigger than for others.

  • Learning that how we currently do tasks in Symphony will be very different in Koha. And this is still a big question. Staff is eager to explore the system and want our own patron database available for practice...not just creating new patrons to play with.

  • Searching the catalog has brought unexpected results for staff. At this point I don't know if it's that we are missing the authorites or if the system isn't set up for a more sophisticated searches. For instance, a librarian typed in: ti,phr=the end thinking that she would be searching by title phrase, but she got 250 results, and it is clear that the search was not what she had expected. Another librarian wanted a "browse" feature for searching, this would be helpful if you only know a couple of words of a title and then you can select from a list. Also, it would be helpful to sort the search results when logged on as staff.

  • Reports. Staff is concerned about running the reports that they need. (Brendan from ByWater Solutions promised to set up some reports if we get stuck, so I'm not too concerned about this.) I think with practice, we will get the hang of it. Since we don't have our patron database yet, it is difficult to explore reports that will help us with statistics.

  • My big complaint is that the "due date" is shown right in the detail record on the OPAC. I would "prefer" that the system just say it was "checked out" and leave it at that so patrons aren't confused when it still isn't available to check out on that date because of existing holds that aren't accounted for in the "due date". However, the Reference and Children's Librarians were fine with the date showing. So, I'm going to let this one go.

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