REPORTS CRITERIA WORK GROUP CHARGE

1 June 2000 (MMG, ver. 2.0)

THE CONTEXT

Because the new Library Management System will employ a modern commercial database, it offers the promise of increased reporting flexibility. From within a relational database, more information at a greatly increased level of granularity will become available. Delivery methods will include printed output, as well as electronic delivery of formatted reports and/or data prepared for import to workstation applications such as Excel and Access. Staff should be able to meet some of their own reporting needs independent of the Library Systems Office.

THE CHARGE

The Reports Work Group is charged to:

  1. Describe in general terms the known and anticipated needs of staff for creating reports from data recorded in the new LMS. "Reports" are defined broadly – they are not limited to printed output but include views of query results and the transfer of query results into applications programs such as spreadsheets. The Work Group should address the needs of staff to manage a wide assortment of data across all library functions including: technical services (acquisitions, cataloging, authority control, serials control, preservation, preparations, catalog management); research services, collection development, access services (circulation, reserves, interlibrary loan, document delivery); system administration; special collections, financial, statistical and administrative. The Work Group should consult widely with staff throughout the library.
  2. Develop a checklist of specific key features of our reporting needs. This list should include features describing how reports are generated, report content, and how the report will be used.

EXAMPLES TO INCLUDE

The Work Group should consider:

EXAMPLES TO EXCLUDE / AREA OF OVERLAP WITH OTHER WORK GROUPS

The Work Group need not attempt to define detailed report specifications.

The Readers Work Group will address readers’ needs for report-like output (e.g., citation lists, email for search results, etc.).

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

The Migration Management Group establishes the Business, Readers, Records, Reports and Systems Criteria Work Groups and charges them to develop:

  1. A general description of the environment in which we want to work,
  2. A checklist of specific system requirements that are weighted on a needs scale (essential, important, desirable)

Both elements in the charge are equally important, giving the library two distinctive but critically important perspectives for evaluating vendor systems.

The general description of the environment will be sent to the system vendors as a Request for Solution. This description should describe an ideal working environment within the focus of the charge (i.e., business relationship, reader interaction with the system, report generation, etc.). Invite the vendors to tell us how their systems will help us achieve this model environment.

The checklist of specific system requirements will also be sent to the vendors. It will be used to compare systems and evaluate the products relative to our needs. These lists will form the basis for the evaluation documents we will develop later in the fall for our intensive system demos. Do not attempt to include every command and action that might occur within an automation system. Concentrate on features that are beyond operations that can be verified quickly during a system demo and basic commands. Checklist requirements should be defined as positive, desirable attributes (rather than as attributes to be avoided). They may also be worded as questions to the vendor especially when the attribute is cutting-edge and may not exist in current LMS products.

The Criteria Work Groups should, wherever appropriate, consider issues as they have an impact across all traditional library functional units, e.g., access services, collection development, research services, special collections, technical services, etc.

Work Groups should take the Migration Management Group’s statement of Threshold Requirements (http://www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/public/activity/thresholdrequirements2.html) as a common, minimal point of departure although they may wish to elaborate on the threshold requirements and define detailed characteristics that are important or desirable features of the new LMS.

The four educational demonstrations by LMS vendors are designed to give staff a general overview of next generation systems as well as to introduce the vendors’ development efforts. Work Group members should try to attend all four demos. Vendor, library and RFP websites may provide additional inspiration for the Criteria Work Groups, (see BACKGROUND at www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/public/orbis2.htm). Work Groups should also evaluate suggestions submitted to them from the Yale community through the webforms.

First draft documents should be completed by 3 July 2000 and sent to the Migration Project Manager, audrey.novak@yale.edu. Please submit the general description as a MSWord document. Submit the checklist of requirements as an Excel spreadsheet with three columns, 1) Requirement name, 2) Requirement Description, and 3) Rating (essential, important, desirable). These drafts will be used by Yale staff at ALA in their discussions with vendors and colleagues from other institutions.

Criteria Work Groups will remain active through 14 Aug 2000. They will revise draft documents throughout July. Work Group members attending ALA are encouraged to use the conference to research system criteria by visiting vendor exhibits and conferring with colleagues at other libraries about their experience with vendor products. Please submit final documents to Audrey Novak by 14 Aug 2000. Final documents will be sent to vendors for their reply.

Work Group meeting schedules and notes should be posted regularly to the Orbis2 website. (To post to the website, send MSWord or HTML documents to Julia.Norcross@yale.edu.)

Please address questions about your charge and work group to audrey.novak@yale.edu (2-2365).