NExpress Training for 2012

Welcome to NExpress

Welcome, Introduction and ‘What is NExpress?’

Public Catalog Tour

An Introduction to the NExpress Patron Catalog (.pdf, Updated 4/18/11)

About Your Account (.pdf w/ older illustrations)

Homework – Explore Additional Patron Training Tutorial Videos

Notes and Discussion

Questions and Answers so far…

Staff Client Tour

Landmarks of the Home Page and Circulation Page

Basic Circulation – Checking items in:

Basic Circulation – Checking items out:

Patrons

Holds

Homework / Extra Credit – Searching

  • Overview of the keyword and advanced search features of the Staff Client
  • Keyword searching hints –
    • add “richmond” to improve results
    • Look for and use UNIQUE terms.  Is the author’s last name unusual, like “Evanovich”? Is there a term like “playaway” that will improve results?
    • As in Google, use a combination of keywords from the title, series and author name, including dates
    • Keyword searching looks at All fields of All attached items, even mis-cataloged ones
  • Advanced searching hints
    • Non-keyword searches are EXACT, so spelling counts but you get faster results
    • Look for unique or unusual subject headings to help narrow your search – “cookery for two”
    • Koha can’t find what is NOT in the record.  If a series title isn’t in the record, no amount of searching will find the book.
  • Use specialized external sites to find ISBNs and other unique identifiers AND correct spelling:

Workflows, Troubleshooting and Questions

DONE!
Welcome and enjoy access to 850,000 items, including books, movies, videogames, audiobooks and cake pans.

Advanced Training and Homework Posts:

NExpress Training for 2011

This weekend, we will welcome Library District #1, Doniphan County into the NExpress Shared Catalog and in December, Burlingame Community Library will join as our 39th library!  In preparation for their entry, we are updating our online agenda.

Welcome to NExpress

Welcome, Introduction and ‘What is NExpress?’

The Public Catalog Tour

Part I – An Introduction to the NExpress Patron Catalog (.pdf)

Part II – About Your Account (.pdf w/ older illustrations)

Part III – Explore Additional Patron Training Tutorial Videos

Notes and Discussion

Questions and Answers so far…

Staff Client Tour

Part 1 – Checking items in:

Part 2 – Checking items out:

Part 3 – Issuing new cards and editing patron records:

Part 4 – Managing Holds

Part 5 – Searching

  • Overview of the keyword and advanced search features of the Staff Client
  • Keyword searching hints –
    • add “donitroy” or “doniwath” or “wathena” to improve results
    • Look for and use UNIQUE terms.  Is the author’s last name unusual, like “Evanovich”? Is there a term like “playaway” that will improve results?
    • As in Google, use a combination of keywords from the title, series and author name, including dates
    • Keyword searching looks at All fields of All attached items, even mis-cataloged ones
  • Advanced searching hints
    • Non-keyword searches are EXACT, so spelling counts but you get faster results
    • Look for unique or unusual subject headings to help narrow your search – “cookery for two”
    • Koha can’t find what is NOT in the record.  If a series title isn’t in the record, no amount of searching will find the book.
  • Use specialized external sites to find ISBNs and other unique identifiers AND correct spelling:

Part 6 – Placing  a Hold:

Workflows, Troubleshooting and Questions

DONE!
Welcome and enjoy access to 850,000 items, including books, movies, videogames, audiobooks and cake pans.

Advanced Training and Homework Posts:

  • Training Materials from September 2010 and May 2010
  • Managing Suggestions for Purchase - overview video 9/10
    • Must be logged in as TECH or DIRECTOR
    • Step-by-step instructions post, with a video from Royce Kitts, formerly at Tonganoxie Public Library
    • Patrons are alerted the next time they log into their account of your decision
    • Currently 225 Pending Suggestions!!!

October Upgrade Overview

We want to upgrade Koha from 3.05.00.010 to 3.05.00.011 this weekend.  To make sure we don’t have any bugs fall down on us from the ceiling…we are testing and YOU are free to test your routines and favorite modules in our Test catalog, as well.

A reminder – we have the LIVE catalog (staff.nexpresslibrary.org) and a TEST catalog at staff-test.nexpresslibrary.org.  TEST is our play ground…you can’t hurt anything…it’s old data.  You can create new patrons, place holds, pretend to route holds, mark books lost – basically all of the things you do in the LIVE catalog…only for “does this still work right?” purposes.

If you could help us test circulation, label making, fine paying, hold placing, hold reordering (the arrows should work again) and book cataloging (including Fast Add that should work again)…we would be mighty grateful.  I would be, at least.  Feel free to use our fancy testing protocols.

Exciting new features and some much-anticipated bug fixes (in no particular order):

 

Bug 6871Reports – Link to a fancy new Database Schema page within the Reports module.  For those of you brave enough to write your own SQL reports, the table and field names are now readily available.  There is a link to this and the Reports Library also on the Reports front page under “Other.”  Contact me (Sharon) if you want assistance with reports or help building your own.

Bug 6801Patrons - Patrons with many checkouts was SLOW to load.  Well, this is what I call an “efficiency fix.” The developers worked with us to look at the code and identify where the slow down came from with some of our power-user patrons.  According to Chris on a “borrower with 286 checkouts the load time dropped from 108858ms to 4075ms.”  I’m guess that means microseconds, but still…from 108 to 4 seems good to me.  Note: The TEST server is on a slower machine than LIVE – so results will be even better on our live catalog.

Bug 6869 – Cataloging – Items with diacritics and special characters in the title can now be Batch Edited.  Had any of you who batch edit noticed this?

Bug 4298Holds – You will notice new wording in the Holdings Table for item-level holds.  This is another one of our ‘pet bugs.’

Bug 6901OPAC and Staff Client – We (Liz) can now customize how the Details page displays information in both the OPAC and the Staff Client.  As an example, for eBooks from Project Gutenberg in the OPAC we increased the font size and changed the the color to red to highlight the hyperlink.
What else would you like changed or improved? We can add bulleted lists (I think), change font sizes, font color, etc.

Bug 6870Patrons – This enhancement improves how Koha manages emailed messages, according to what we wrote in the original post…  Rather than using the Admin email address (nexpresshelp), the emails appear to come ‘from’ the patron.  Liz says, “This way, the library can respond directly to the patron’s information update, as an example, letting them know that the update has been completed.”

Acquisitions – Suggestions for Purchase work great!  You can sort, you can click on a title and Accept/Reject each individual record OR you can use the check boxes and accept/reject or delete many suggestions at once.

Bug 2534Cataloging – An old bug that finally has a partial-fix.  The sometimes unruly Items Table on the Edit Items page has been expanded and the scrolling from right to left has been improved.  Hard to explain, so here’s a Silent Video demonstration.  Interesting discussion about how to really fix this right (which I think would involve being able to hide empty columns…).  I just learned that our friends at Ottawa Library helped with this re-design! Go NExpress…

Bug 6360Circulation – New Sound Cues for transfers!  Again, I think this is one we asked for specifically.

Bug 6887Circulation/Patrons – New “Checked out from” column added on both the Patron Check out screen and the patron details screen showing WHERE an item was checked out…so those patrons who use multiple branches can be clearly identified and assisted.

Bug 3498 – Circulation/Fines – Enhancement pulled from ‘that other ILS’ allowing for payment of Partial Fines!  Woot.  Check out the [?] help file on the Pay Fines tab of a patron’s record for detailed instructions.  Well during this Silent Video demonstration, I found a bug…when you reverse payment on a partial fine it doesn’t work quite as expected!  I reported it.

Bug 6861 – Cataloging – Fast Add from Circulation spits you back into Circulation when you’re done with the Fast Add BUT if you are Fast Adding from Cataloging, you STAY in cataloging.  This is good, I think.  Associated bug 6853 is marked as Critica and is still being worked on (default to SET library from Cataloging Fast Add).

Bug 6687Holds - Fixes Arrows and Delete buttons on the Holds Priority List!  If you click an arrow, you can move someone up or down one place OR to the top or bottom of the holds priority list, you can also “toggle lowest priority” or delete a hold.  The help file for this page needs to be updated…badly.  Play around with this in TEST, but use with extreme caution once it’s in the LIVE environment.

OPAC – OPAC Note versus Message.  During testing, we played with OPAC Notes (from the Patron Edit page) and compared that to the “Add a Message” feature on the Patron’s Circulation tab.  Both options create messages – either on the OPAC for the patron or on the Circulation tab for other librarians.   The nice thing about the Add a Message feature is that it puts a time stamp and Library tag on each message.

Persistent Bugs (that I keep re-discovering and Liz has to remind me that we already knew that…):

Bug Alert From April Upgrade Post:  Bug 6226 – Misrouted Holds.  Scenario:
Library A transferred a book to Library B, but accidentally sent it to Library C on the Courier (you “O” libraries know what we’re talking about…).
What happens when Library C checks in the item?  They get a reminder that there is a HOLD and to send the item to Library B.  That’s good.
However, if Library C happens to check in that item a second time the transfer Goes Away.  That’s bad.  Also, if Library C goofs up and sends the book to Library D, when they check it in the transfer Goes Away.  That’s bad, too.

  • To Check the Status of an Item, use “Search the Catalog” not “Check In” to.  Look at the Status information in the Holdings Table.  
  • If you accidentally make a Transfer Go Away, you can useCirculation > Transfer to re-add that transfer information!  Select the destination library and scan in the barcode to re-trigger the transfer.