Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cosugi 2011: The Conclusion

Cosugi 2011 is the most exciting conference for me so far. The topics were more relevant to me as a systems administrator. It was also exciting to meet SirsiDynix staffs. I see their names on listserves and phone conferences all the time but this is the firt time that I had a chance to see how they look like. I am very thankful to Rochester Public Library for this conference. After this conference, I feel much more confident in SirsiDynix and its products as well because it shows me that this company is much more of an innovator than others. It puts money and resources into development and is constantly releasing updates.
While at the conference, I was also surprised to find out that our director, Audrey Betcher was a classmate or colleague of Sirsi's Anne Arthur at St. Louis? What a small world.

Cosugi 2011 Day 3-Session 5-Discover User Search Characteristics with Weblogs

Presenter: Tao You, Vanderbilt University
She analyzed SirsiDynix weblogs and system access logs and developed a tool to help provide reports and statistics about library visitor's search activities. She discussed where Symphony saves search queries, and how to read and transfer search logs to a database, which becomes the source data for future visual display and further statistical analyzis.

I did something similar to what the presenter did a while ago for RPL. I wrote a program to parse thru the Sirsi transaction logs and transfer these statistics to our SQL server and save it there for analysis. An advantage to doing this is that once transfered to SQL, it stays there long term. Staffs can go back to it years after the transaction happened.

Cosugi 2011 Day 3: Session 4-Web Services : a light of tradition

Product Manager, Nathan Quinn discussed about Web Services: what they are, real life applications, current capabilities and what's up next. More like an advertisement for web services so I didn't pick up much information from this session. Nathan did give me his card just in case I have problems with web services though.

Cosugi 2011 Day 3: Session 3-Mapping your library with web services and google maps

Presenter: John Wohlers, Waubonsee Community College
The presenter uses the new web services API in combination with Google Maps to create an interactive library floor map that displays the locations of items directly in the OPAC

Technology Used:
*SirsiDynix Web Services API
*SirsiDynix E-Library
*Google Maps API V3
*Google Earth
*QR Codes
*Adobe Photoshop / Fireworks

I think this is a very nice feature for patrons. Currently, a new patron would have no clue where in the library an item is located based on the call number that we provide. With this program, it would point to the shelf and patrons can just walk there to get it. As a programmer, I would love to implement this at RPL someday.

Cosugi 2011 Day 3:Session 2-Got SaaS? Take Full Advantage of It!

What is SaaS?
It is a software development where an application is hosted as a service and provided to customers across the internet.
Advantages to using SaaS:
1. replace end of life hardware
2. maintain expensive maintenance contracts
3. Staff 24x7 monitoring of system
4. Focus employees on staff and patrons
5. Experience reduced implementation time

Library Still Controls:
1. Policies, gateways, etc
2. Circulation and collection management
3. Cataloging and technical services
4. Reports
5. Scheduling application upgrades with SaaS Solutions

Personally, I think it is an option that we should take into consideration in the future. Of course we would have to look at it's disadvantages too. For example,
* This is over the internet so it may not be as safe or reliable.
* Only 10 Sirsi staffs are currently running about 400+ Saas customers worldwide. If something happens at once there is no way they can help to get back quickly.
* It is costly to do this option. Ask for a quote. You will find out. We did!
* We have limited access to the production server.

Cosugi 2011 Day 3:Session 1-Symphony Now and the Future:3.4, 3.4.1 and Beyond

Symphony 3.4 has been released and libraries already know what features were added already so I am going to jump to 3.4.1 and 3.5

3.4.1 Updates
1. Bug fixes and minor enhancements
2. Usability enhancements for Workflows staff client:Tabbed windows for wizards, expandable boxes,etc.
3. Performance Improvements for Collection Exchange
4. Support for local requirements: danMARC2, Chinese call numbers, multilingual MARC holding records,...
5. Updated language files for Spanish, French, Chinese, and Arabic
6. Other fixes submitted by Client Care

3.5 Updates
1.Updates for RDA
2. Symphony Anywhere: Bookmobile and small library support
3. Enhancements to StaffWeb client: Reserve room support, K12 updates

Cosugi 2011 Day 2:After the Sessions-Sirsi Organized a Party

After many long sessions on Wednesday, we attended a party organized by Sirsi. It was a buffet style. The steak was good if you are willing to wait for one hour. The drink line was much shorter. Maybe that's their intent? Get people to drink so they would dance? Even Anne Arthur and Berit Nelson danced! Too bad I was too busy dancing with them otherwise I would have taken a picture to post here.