Records Environment 9-13-00


Yale University Library's databases are large, rich, complex and very active. When our major retrospective conversion effort is finished in a little over a year we will have about 8 million bibliographic records and 1.5 million authority records. Our rapidly growing e-resources include 300 databases and 7,300 journals. We have large African, East Asian, Judaica, Near Eastern, Southeast Asian, Slavic and Eastern European holdings. Rare book, manuscript, archive, video, map, and visual resources collections further enhance our databases and add to their complexity as we establish access to these materials through a variety of non-MARC metadata schema such as Dublin Core, VRA Core and EAD. Our materials are spread across campus in 22 libraries representing about 700 internal locations. In our current LMS, use of these resources is controlled by over 1500 encoded circulation situations.

Every month we routinely complete over twenty MARC record loads from six different sources averaging a total of 100,000 records. Each month we also run a suite of database programs that modify an additional 70,000 records. Our weekly export programs to RLIN, OCLC and our authority control vendor regularly process 5,000 records. 20,000 backlog records are sent out and re-loaded each quarter. Annually, staff manually enter about 130,000 records from RLIN, OCLC, our LC resource file or through direct keying. We import, export or update over 2.5 million MARC bibliographic, holdings and authority records every year.

In our non-MARC databases we execute weekly transfers of patron financial obligations to the bursar and nightly exports of invoices to University financial system and imports of vendor information. Several time a day we transfer requests for materials from our LMS to our Library Shelving Facility locator software. Quarterly patron record loads and reserve material programs along with annual loads of serials subscription charges add to the volume of record activity.

To better manage these activities, we want an LMS that incorporates sophisticated graphical clients and/or web-based staff interfaces, an adherence to records standards, and increased interoperability with systems in the library, on campus and external to Yale University. The new Library Management System should create a working environment characterized by increased productivity due to the easy movement of records of all kinds in and out of the system. We want to see the end of "re-keying" and the automatic creation of preliminary or full records such as authority records, patron records, serials publication patterns, requests for ILL materials, course reserve records and requests for materials at our Library Shelving Facility. Staff productivity should be further enhanced by a workspace that seamlessly integrates all modules and by the ability to tailor graphical clients to the specific task at hand through customized workflows and macros, powerful editing tools and context-sensitive help.

We expect the number, size and diversity of our databases to grow exponentially in upcoming years. In response our record processing and management needs will become increasingly more demanding and complex. Our new Library Management System must meet this challenge by making records creation, exchange, maintenance and management easier, more efficient and fast.