Orbis2 Activity Report

August and September 2001


Database cleanup, Sysadmin, Voyager training, SFX, and location, location, location were the Orbis2 terms-of-the-month in Aug and Sept for the Implementation teams: http://www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/implementation/workinggroup_implementation.html . Development specifications and hardware options occupied much of the time of the Orbis2 Project Manager and the Migration Management Group.

Data Cleanup

Kalee Sprague is leading the Orbis2 data cleanup and data migration effort. To ensure the most successful migration of data from our NOTIS based system to Voyager, problem records in the current Orbis database are being corrected through a series of cleanup programs. This cleanup effort will continue throughout the calendar year, but several projects are already completed. These include:

One project, the correction of non-filing indicators in the MARC tag 245 (title) was extensively explored and dropped. The correction programs uncovered coding in some of our older MARC records that make it impossible to correctly identify records that need their title non-filing indicators updated.

For a complete list of data cleanup projects see: http://www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/implementation/DataMigration.htm

SYSADMIN and Voyager Training

Every library management system has an underlying set of tables and parameters that allow the system to be customized for the library. We refer to these tables in NOTIS as "lsys." In Voyager they are called Sysadmin. In preparation for the complicated work of defining the Yale Libraries to Voyager through Sysadmin, the Implementation team members participated in four days of Voyager training in early August. These sessions focused on the online catalog (WebVoyage), the acquisitions, cataloging and circulation clients, and how Sysadmin decisions affect these modules. At the end of August, Endeavor staff spent two additional planning days here at Yale with Implementation team chairs. Since that training each group has been analyzing how we use our current system, determining what is possible within Voyager, and then defining the libraryís policies and procedures within Sysadmin. See each teamís meeting notes for details at http://www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/implementation/index.html.


Within the first two weeks of September the SFX server was installed, two days of onsite training were completed and then the software license was signed. The SFX vendor, Ex Libris, was especially flexible and worked with us to ensure this early training. Since then the SFX implementation group (http://www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/implementation/SFX%20Implementation%20Work%20Group.htm) has been configuring a pilot implementation of this linking product for Ebscohost. Plans are in place to unveil SFX for staff in early December and for the public at the start of next semester.

Location, Location, Location

Because NOTIS and Voyager use location codes differently in the management of circulation policies, we need to map our Orbis location codes plus loan code combinations to different Orbis2 location codes plus item type combinations.

This mapping does not mean that we have to change ALL of our location codes. Instead, it means that:

The Location subgroup of the Orbis2 Implementation Team is made up of members from each of the Orbis2 workgroups. This subgroup used their own libraries' location codes to explore how best to map Orbis location values to Orbis2 location values. The group identified reasons why a location code should be defined. They also identified all location codes defined within the NOTIS/Orbis system and the number of times each has been used in different fields (copy statement location, item location, temp location, dept code). For details see http://www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/implementation/index.html .

Members of the Location subgroup will begin meeting with each library to review the existing list of Orbis location codes to determine how best to convert these codes to Orbis2.

Development Specifications

Our contract with Endeavor includes several development projects. During August and September, draft specifications for two of these efforts were exchanged with the vendor. Audrey Novak, Sue Crockford-Peters, Judy Parker, Roy Lechich and Suzanna Lengyel worked together to define our course reserve requirements. Jeffrey Barnett led the Systems Office's work in defining our patron authentication needs. These documents are available at:


Also in August the Orbis2 Project Manager participated in a two-day Unicode task force meeting at Endeavor's offices in Chicago. Task Force members identified "next-steps" in the project to convert the database to UTF-8.


ITS staff, in particular Wesley Most and Gail Barnett, implemented a test Voyager system. To see the online catalog for this test system point your browser to epreservation.library.yale.edu and select "Local Catalog." Note that this training database is constantly undergoing changes so don't be surprised if you do not get consistent results as you use it from day to day. Wes and Gail also brought up a development server for use by the Systems Office Programming Group.

David Gewirtz at ITS is managing our investigation and analysis of production hardware configurations. In August he joined Endeavor staff at a SUN benchmarking center to conduct several certification tests. These included tests of the T3 disk drives, the new SunFire servers, and software programs that could greatly enhance our ability to replicate databases. These tests were very successful -- both Endeavor and Yale are satisfied that this equipment will serve the library well.