Thursday, 9 April 2015

Musings from Edinburgh University Library

Beautiful weather here this week – definitely not weather to be stuck inside.  What has been happening here?

Edinburgh will be going live with Alma on 29th June, and I’m sure many of you will appreciate the major operations involved in configuring everything for migration from Voyager.  Similarly “Subject matter experts” or SMEs can routinely be seen sitting under headphones watching or listening to online training videos which are hopefully relevant to their own functional area.  Our email boxes are bombarded with Alma-related messages;  we’ve been to meetings, seminars, more meetings and “Learning to train” training courses, and each now have to give a short presentation on a functional area of Alma or Primo.

All this is highly organised and will put the library in good stead for the launch.  However, for ILL staff it’s rather a surreal experience, because in the short term at least, we won’t be directly using Alma for Interlibrary Loans; instead we plan to continue with ILLiad until we find a way of integrating the 2 systems.

I’m still doing all the training on general aspects of Alma, but I almost feel as if I’m looking at all the mad activity through a blurred lens, not quite sure where we fit in.

As far as ILL is concerned, it’s pretty well business as usual – a fairly humdrum existence at the moment, were it not for some crazy requests

Miracle workers?

Case 1

Day 1:  Student submits request for microfilms from an art library in the USA

Day 6:  (Note the day!)  Student phones up informing us that he had contacted said art library who had informed him that they normally process items in 7 days……

Question from student:  “Why have my microfilms not arrived yet?”       


Case 2

Day 1 - 11.15 am:  Request submitted by student for an article.

Day 1 – 11.18 am:  Student phones in, wondering why he hasn’t heard anything about his request……

We do like to think we’re quite efficient, but……….


Lost item returned to the nest

This week a book was returned to us by a US library.  It had been handed into them by some random person.  We checked our catalogue to discover that it had been recorded as missing in our catalogue in 2001, having been issued to one of our non-American students and apparently never returned.  If only books could talk – where has it journeyed meantime??


OK, I can’t put off that training video any longer….   Have a good weekend everyone when it comes.

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