Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What's popular?

I thought it might be interesting to see what books and subjects have been popular with our students recently, so I pulled some statistics from our database and LS2 PAC and Kids. Below you'll find a few top 10 lists for the whole district. Do they match up with your sense of what your students like?

Top 10 Searches in LS2 PAC 
[These are district-wide, and cover the last 1-1/2 years or so]

*Dogs may be high because that's my favorite practice search term!

Top 10 LS2 Kids Categories
[Again, district-wide and covers 1-1/2 years. The "number of clicks" means the number of times that category was selected from the Category Wheel in LS2 Kids.]

Top 10 LS2 Kids Series
[District-wide over the last 1-1/2 years. Number of clicks indicates number of times a series was selected from the Series Bar in LS2 Kids]

Top 10 checked-out titles that aren't part of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series
The DoWK series holds the top 5 check-out spots hands-down, so here are the next 10 titles that top the circulation charts for last Fall (August-December 2011). Number of checkouts is for the whole district.

Diary of Wimpy Kid series ranking, Fall 2011
And in case you want to know how the DoWK series stacks up, here it is:

If you want to see the top circulated titles in your collection, you can run the report Shortcut to Activity of Most Circulated Titles in Hcode and Date Range in Reports under Public Folders > JeffCo > Circulation Activity. Select "Owning" for holdings code type, then the holdings code you are interested in, then the date range. If you're interested in your library's search statistics, let me (Kathy) know in Jeffcat and I'll pull them for you.

Friday, February 10, 2012

IE, Firefox, and Chrome... oh my!

The days of a one size fits all browser are coming to an end. With the push of Google Chrome to all Jeffco computers for use with Google Apps, we're all getting used to having multiple browsers open and using different browsers for different tasks. So I wanted to update you on browser issues around TLC.

  • IE: All computers should now be running IE8. If you have any computers still on IE7, you can submit a help desk ticket to get it upgraded to IE8. To see which version of IE is on a computer, open the browser, click on the Help menu and click About Internet Explorer. A small window with the version number will display. IE7 tends to run slower than IE8, and as we look to new developments within TLC we'll all need to be on IE8, as they are discontinuing development with the older browsers. So it's important to get upgraded now.
  • Firefox: Both LS2 Circ and PAC tend to run a bit faster in Firefox. Some schools have noticed a slowness when adding items to TLC when using IE - if you run into this, you might try using Firefox or Chrome instead. We have also adjusted the Reports tab so you can now login to report using Firefox. The Self Service Mode in LS2 Circ also works better in Firefox - students don't have to click the "Scan Your Items" button. Just remember that Firefox is not a Jeffco supported browser, so if you run into problems when using it, try what you're doing in IE first, and if you still run into problems, contact the help desk.
  • Chrome: The new icon for Chrome on your computers is labeled Jeffco Google Apps, because it is primarily intended for use with Google Apps. That said, LS2 Circ does work in Chrome (and is somewhat faster than IE). However, Reports may be problematic because of the way Chrome handles (or doesn't) PDF files. Chrome is not a supported browser for LS2 PAC, so you will get a message indicating that when you open your PAC (the book river one).
The upshot of this is that we all need to learn to try web-based programs in different browsers when we run into problems. Browsers handle programming code in different ways, so you will see differences in display and minor functionality between browsers. Being flexible is the name of the game!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Help your local cataloger

You may or may not have noticed, but we library cataloging-types are really anal. Yes, it’s an affliction, but we’re learning to cope with it, and you can help. Here’s how:

Are you entering on-the-fly (OTF) records into TLC for library books? Those are the records you enter when you click Add New Title*. Please don’t, especially for fiction and non-fiction books and audiobooks for your kids (including reference), or professional materials for your teachers.  It causes us undue stress, and with rising health care costs we all want to remain as healthy as possible.

These harmless-looking little records are in fact rather insidious. When anal cataloging-types see them, we think, “oh my gosh, how are our students ever going to find this book? There’s no author or date, the ISBN has a typo in it, there’s no subject headings or other indication of what the book’s about, there’s no paging to show how big it is, and there's no series information.” Or we think (often at 3am), “What about reports? With no date in the record, our collection statistics will be totally off! How can I help a librarian five years from now understand what the item is, when I don’t know because there’s no date, no ISBN, no edition statement, no indication of whether it's a book, CD, or DVD? What happens when they want a list to weed from?” You see how we obsess over the details and become stressed out. It’s all part of the affliction (not sure whether it’s listed in the DSM-IV yet or not).

Monday, February 6, 2012

Duplicate borrower records

You may have run across a borrower record with a comment on it that says "Duplicate record - use 123456 instead" -- like this:
This is part of our effort to clear out duplicate borrower records. With the implementation of Jeffco Connect last fall, a lot of duplicate records were entered into Campus. Because TLC gets its borrower records from Campus, we are seeing a lot of them in TLC as well.

The folks who manage Campus decide which of the duplicates is the "official" student record and which is the duplicate. They then send a message out to everyone whose system uses these student records (like Food Service, Transportation, and us!) so we can clean them up in our databases. In Jeffcat, we look up these records in TLC and delete the duplicates.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Mackin collection analysis coming

We sent our database to Mackin for collection analysis a couple of weeks ago, so you should be getting access to a new analysis for your library soon. Since we all share one library database, there's nothing you need to do in terms of pulling records - we (Jeffcat, that is) have already taken care of it! All you'll need to do is login to your Mackin account to view your analysis. I believe Mackin sends everyone an e-mail when their analysis is ready.

We are currently on a twice-a-year schedule for sending our database for collection analysis - once in January and once over the summer (June/July).