September 27, 2007

ILL staff and patrons running with Relais

Alloway Library’s patrons have generated helpful feedback and questions stemming from recent changes to the way our Interlibrary Loan system works. Relais, the ILL interface, will continue to be a work-in-progress as we test out the various forms and its communication abilities with Horizon, the library’s integrated operating system.

Library staff have been working with Relais staff to reduce the number of clicks needed to get to the login page and make the login pages easier to use. We are also updating the content on the Interlibrary Loan Information page.

Here is an update for a few known issues with Alloway Library's Relais ILL system.

New/Renewed Borrowers. There is usually a one working-day delay in getting active borrowers from Horizon into Relais because the data is transferred between the two systems once per day. This means, for example, that patrons who are set up as ‘new’ or ‘renewed’ borrowers in Horizon at 11:00 a.m. today will show up in Relais tomorrow. They will not be able to submit a request for ILL the same day that they register as a borrower. The one working-day delay stretches to 3 days if new borrower is signed up on a Friday.

Mandatory Fields in Request Forms for Books and Journals. Patrons will notice that the Relais request forms for books and journal articles are exactly the same, with the same bibliographic fields. This has created confusion for patrons because a mandatory field (e.g. “Author of Publication”) in one form is also mandatory for the other. Having a mandatory “Author of Publication” for a book makes sense, but not for a journal. To resolve this, we’ve made the title field the only mandatory field for both book and journals. However, ILL requestors should provide as much, accurate information as possible on their requests to ensure the best chance of getting the correct item. The library has submitted requests to Relais to make these forms independent of each other.

Submit Button for a Request – Why can’t I submit? If you are wondering why you can’t submit a request even though you’ve completed all the fields in the request form, make sure you’ve checked off the box at the bottom of the form where it says:

"Please acknowledge that you accept the institution's conditions for placing a request"

“Edit Profile” – Patron information is not always retained. Relais allows users to update their profile in the Relais system. Some of the profile fields, however, are overwritten each time Relais receives patron information from Horizon. This means that although patrons can update their address in the Relais profile form, information in the yellow fields will revert to whatever is entered in the library's Horizon database. We are working on making the address field in Relais un-editable.

Patron information that goes in the white fields of the profile form ARE retained, and are NOT overwritten daily. This includes the patron’s “department” . The default department is currently “Biology” since that is the first to appear in the drop down list. Choose your department when using these forms for the first time and it will be retained.

ILL Librarian Shirley Lee and her ILL coworkers welcome patron feedback and questions and promise to do their best to explain and/or resolve them.

Submitted by Shirley Lee

A visual feast for Library Lovers

Curious Expeditions is a blog "devoted to unearthing the wondrous, the macabre, the obscure from around the world..." A recent posting entitled Librophiliac Love Letter: A Compendium of Beautiful Libraries created an album of more than 70 photographs of what they call "the world's most beautiful libraries."

Abbey Library St. Gallen, Switzerland

Take a look and be inspired!

Thanks to Duncan Dixon

September 26, 2007

Instant Messaging at Alloway Library's Info Desk

Earlier this month, Alloway Library launched instant messaging information services. Now, users of AIM, GTalk, MSN, and Yahoo can get immediate answers to reference questions right on their desktop.

The service is available during regular Information Desk hours. It complements the more traditional ways of contacting reference librarians -- telephone, e-mail, and in person as well as AskAway.

To add the TWU Information Desk to your IM buddies list, add the appropriate contact information.

Meebo (Google Talk)

AIM TWUInfodesk

Yahoo twu_chat_librarian


Submitted by Duncan Dixon

September 25, 2007

Alloway Library Book Sale Clearance

In order to reclaim study space, from now until October 3 all books from Alloway Library's book sale shelf and tables are priced at just 5 cents each! Hundreds of titles to choose from. Check it out before they're all gone!

Alloway Library Staff Ken Pearson hunting for a book bargain.

September 24, 2007

"Nature" online

Alloway Library has switched its subscription from print to online format for the journal Nature. We will continue to receive print copies until the end of 2007 at which point our access will be online only. In our TWU Journal List the entry now looks like this:

Nature 0302-2889,0028-0836

Academic Search Premier - EBSCO: fulltext 1997-06-05 -

Biomedical Reference Collection: Comprehensive - EBSCO: fulltext 1997-06-05 -

MAS Ultra: School Edition - EBSCO: fulltext 1997-06-05 -

NPG Journals - Nature Publishing Group: fulltext 1997-01-01 -

TWU Library Holdings: Library has: bound, v. 327 (1987) - present.

Now here's the tricky part. The holdings from Academic Search Premier, Biomedical Reference Collection and MAS Ultra all come with a 12-month embargo from the vendor. This means that when using these databases the most recent issue available is from last year. However, NPG Journals which is our new online subscription has current issues as well as well as back issues. The NPG Journals listing states that backfiles go back to 1997 but, in fact, they only go back to 2003. The library is negotiating with the vendor to gain access to the 1997 - 2002 backfiles.

Submitted by Ted Goshulak

September 19, 2007

IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) Now Available

Last week Alloway Library added another e-resource for business and accounting researchers . The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) infobase and the CICA Handbook. This searchable collection provides the complete set of International Financial Reporting Standards incorporating International Accounting Standards and Interpretations – for both pre- and post-2005. It is updated monthly

Additionally, it includes all current IASB Exposure Drafts, Draft Interpretations, and a Glossary of Terms. For more information or, to start using this resource visit the info page

Contributed by Shirley Lee

September 18, 2007

On September 10th Alloway Library switched to a new Interlibrary Loan interface called Relais which will result in improved service to our patrons. The switchover went with minimal disruptions for patrons since most of the changes affected behind-the-scenes internal processing and external communication with other lending libraries.

There are a few differences, however, that patrons will see. The first is a new ILL Request Form login page. Now, Alloway Library users will only have to login once using their valid library barcode; they can make multiple requests without having to re-enter their personal information with each new request, as long as they don’t log off. This was not possible with the former interface and was a major annoyance for users.

Another great feature allows users to log in and easily check on the status of their active requests or view all requests including filled ones. This will really help with researchers who want a complete bibliographic list of items requested for a particular project. Note that users will only be able to check on requests that were submitted on or after the conversion date (Sept. 10). If you wish to check on a specific request that was submitted prior to Sept 10, please email the particulars to; ILL staff will be happy to assist you.

The Relais interface also allows users to update their own profile and provide current address, telephone and other delivery information. Users should note that this information cannot be uploaded back into Alloway Library's circulation system; it is accessed only for ILL transactions.

The new interface doesn't change everything. Alloway Library is keeping the Godot interface to conduct broadcast searches for any journal titles not in the library. That means the “Where can I get this?” links from within databases will still take users into a search of other libraries’ catalogues. The “Request an Interlibrary Loan” link from such a search connects to Alloway Library's ILL Request login page.

A more detailed user guide will be ready in the next couple of weeks.

We will be in a ‘testing’ phase for the first little while until we can identify and iron out any wrinkles that will show up with any system conversion. Once the transition from the old system to the new one is complete, we think you will enjoy the new features of the new system. If you encounter any further problems, please do not hesitate to email ILL staff .

Contributed by Shirley Lee

September 05, 2007

Not Your Parents' Library video debuts on YouTube

Academic libraries are changing rapidly. To illustrate some of the changes that have occurred and are occurring at Alloway Library, librarians Duncan Dixon and Sylvia Stopforth put together a presentation that takes a slightly irreverent look at libraries (and the TWU campus) in the 1970s compared to today.

The video premiered at Backstage at T-Dub where Duncan and Sylvia gave new students and their parents an overview of library services. A drawing for Alloway Librarian Bill Badke's book Research Strategies was held and Mike Melnychenko, Karen Klein and Nathan Baugh each won a copy.