New This Fall
Minerva 2000: The New Integrated Library System
An exciting change is happening in the University Libraries that will affect all patrons and staff: the implementation of Voyager (Endeavor*s integrated library system) which we have named Minerva 2000. Many staff are asking, “Why are we doing this?” The primary answer is to keep in line with the Libraries* Vision Statement (http://www.louisville.edu/library/guide/vision.html) to become more user-focused. With more new patrons using the libraries each year, the demand for a user-friendly online public access catalog (OPAC) became apparent. Based on comments and surveys, we know that patrons find the NOTIS system difficult to learn and use.
Minerva 2000 is a dynamic Web-based system, with easy-to-understand search capabilities allowing for refined searches. It also has a detailed HELP program. Using this system, patrons can easily request that an item be recalled or put on hold as well as mark records within searches and save them to view later. Patrons can even check their patron status.
There are three ways to access Minerva 2000:
The new OPAC will be available to the public in September. At this time, all the information formerly available through Minerva Plus will be available through Minerva 2000. During the next year, research and planning will continue. Additional bells and whistles the system has to offer such as the Image Server will be added. The Image Server will enhance the Libraries* Reserve function and make scanned images viewable through the OPAC.
The installation of this system is proceeding at breakneck speed. While the Libraries* Voyager Implementation Team guided the planning and training for this massive “endeavor,” many library employees pitched in to make it a success.
Want to know more about the technical side of Voyager? Join the Voyager-l listserv.
E-mail: Athena and GroupWise
As of August 20, 1999, the e-mail system known as Office Vision will be shut down for good. Since University Libraries has been off the system for over a year now, this will not affect us as much as it will the rest of the university. However, the choice for a successor to Office Vision does have ramifications for us, and probably will continue to affect us for a while.
A Two Client System: Instead of naming just one system to replace Office Vision, IT has decided to go with a two client approach. Units that have groupware needs can use GroupWise, while everyone else can use the mail server on Athena, one of IT*s UNIX servers.
For most people in University Libraries, GroupWise needs no introduction. More than just an e-mail program, GroupWise is actually a suite of programs that gives its users the capability to collaborate with each other (through calendaring, document sharing, etc.).
For departments who do not want or need groupware capability, IT is continuing to make its UNIX-based e-mail server available, but only on Athena instead of on Homer. Also, GroupWise will not be available for students, so when their Mailbook accounts expire this September, they will be forced to start using Athena. Exceptions include students in the Medical and Business schools. The Deans there have successfully lobbied for GroupWise accounts for their students, although it remains t be seen how these accounts will be activated.
Problems: While the choice of two e-mail systems benefits those who are strongly in favor of (or are opposed to) one system or another, conflicts have arisen since the systems are not 100% compatible.
File attachments sent from a GroupWise user to an Athena user using Eudora Lite will not be received as a separate file. Instead, they will appear as a long string of gibberish inside the message, which will then have to be translated back into a separate file using a special program.
While individual GroupWise users can include non-GroupWise addresses in their private distribution lists, the same capability is not available for public distribution lists. IT*s suggested solution to groups and committees suffering from this problem is for them to create listservs for those groups. For example, the GroupWise public distribution list for the Law Library is actually a listserv: liblaw @listserv.louisville.edu.
Another address problem is the confusion surrounding just what system a particular user happens to use. When everyone around you is using the same e-mail system, it is hard to remember that someone on the other side of campus may be using something else. Since both systems use the same userids, it is easy for messages to get mis-directed or lost.
For example, if an Athena user forgets to put the “@gwise.louisville.edu” at the end of the GroupWise userid he is sending a message to, then the message will go to the user*s Athena account, which he has probably never even logged in to. Likewise, if a GroupWise user makes a similar mistake when sending a message to an Athena user, then the message will end up in the Athena user*s OfficeVision account, which may or may not forward the message to the user*s Athena account, depending on whether the user has automatic forwarding in place.
The Future: Despite rumors to the contrary, both e-mail systems will be with us for a while. According to Sande Johnson-Byers, the Project Team Leader for the GroupWise/Athena migrations, “It was never IT*s intention to make everyone use GroupWise.” Although the University has purchased a site license for GroupWise, the costs involved in getting everyone on GroupWise is prohibitive. Since the GroupWise software only allows so many users per GroupWise server, getting everyone on campus their own account would necessitate the purchase of many more servers, an expense that nobody wants to foot.
On the other hand, representatives of the Provost*s Office have publicly complained about the confusion caused by the use of two systems, and they have stated that they would like to see a return to just one system. However, since each of the systems has its own partisans who would not give up their system without a fight, and because of the high cost associated with GroupWise, it is unlikely that either GroupWise or Athena will be eliminated.