Stanford Site Visit

York University/Stanford University Visit


1. What version of Sirsi is being used? Is Workflows installed?

2.Conversion process

– who did the conversion

– did you convert from Kardex to Sirsi, or from another library system?

– what was the process – in alpha order by title? by frequency? as issues received?

– how long did it take

– set up of predictions

– set up of order records, fund information, payments etc

– how many subscriptions?

– categories of materials – Gov Docs? Annuals? Monographic sets/series; anything excluded?

– how are multiple copy subscriptions handled?

3. Holdings records

-conversion issues

-amalgamation of holdings – checked in issues/summary holdings

4. Training

-training from Sirsi? who was included?

-local training? who was involved?

5. Workflow – We would like to sit and watch staff at work checking in issues, setting up predictions, paying invoices etc as appropriate

-describe workflow – who does what




-title changes, cessations

-interaction with Cataloguing, and other depts.

-spine labels – how produced? where?

-how are accompanying materials handled?

6. Organizational structure

-levels of staffing/ reporting structure

-where there changes to the structure as a result of moving to online checkin?

-did this change the staffing levels?

7. Did you do any local programming to support checkin? Is there a local systems dept to help with ongoing maintenance and support?

8. Electronic journals

-do you have separate database?

-do you list holdings, and where? what is the mechanism to update them?

-do you check in issues? where?

9. Reports

-lists of titles by fund

-expenditures by fund/title


10. Vendors

-what serials vendors do you use?

– did any of them assist with the conversion?

-do you do electronic submission of orders? claims?

-do you do electronic invoices with any vendors?

11.Workstations for staff

-what level? NT?

12. Manuals

-did you write manuals?

Report on the Site Visit to Stanford University re Serials Checkin

June 2000

Karen Cassel, Heather Fraser

Background Notes

-previously a Notis user – in Notis they had created order records for all of their serials and posted invoice payments to these records (we did this for Steacie only); they were able to convert these orders together with the payments, to Sirsi

-their Kardex consists of 3×5 cards in a shelf list cabinet

-current periodicals are shelved by title although they have LC classifications – no call numbers are recorded on the checked in issues, only a branch code

-before converting to online checkin, serials were checked in on Kardex at the main library, and checked in again at the branches; this double check in has stopped, but the branches link the journals and create item records in Sirsi (staff in main library were not sure why this is done)

-they use SwetsBlackwell as their main vendor; no assistance was received from the vendor for conversion, but they will be getting a barcoded list from SB of all their titles, so that they can scan in the vendor id to their control records

-they do not do electronic orders or claims; the only electronic invoice they receive is from Harrassowitz

-their organizational structure is such that all invoices for monographs and serials are paid in a separate dept, Payments

-they have Sirsi Release 99.2.4 and use Workflows for serials only

-Stanford (Christa) worked directly with Sirsi to develop Workflows for serials

-serials was in test for 16 months before they started conversion

-they use the character based client for reports, not the GUI


-they strongly suggest that we upgrade to 233 megahertz even though the minimum requirement recommended by Sirsi is 133

-they also recommend the use of Keyboard Express – for programming keys for repetitive text

Conversion Process

-conversion began in the Fall of 1999 and as of June 2000, they have converted 15,000 titles

-conversion is being done by fulltime staff (11) as well as 3.5 additional contract positions (after conversion staff was enhanced by .5 position)

-all categories of materials are being converted – including Gov Docs, mono series, memberships etc.

they asked each branch to recommend 400-500 of the most important titles to be converted first, otherwise conversion is being done as issues come in, although more complex titles were postponed until later

-the Kardex card is pulled and put with the issue; they convert with card and issue in hand

-for the first 4 months, staff looked up titles on Kardex first, now they go to Sirsi first to see if the title is already converted

-in the manual environment, they sorted the incoming mail into 95 boxes in order to alphabetize them; this was pretty much one person's fulltime job; now they sort into broader alpha piles, so that each staff member still handles the same section of the alphabet

-in the manual environment, they used students to check in the straightforward serials, and staff checked in the more complex titles as well as doing claims and problem solving; now fulltime staff do all the checkin and students are no longer used

Types of orders

-mono series – these are checked in on the order record, ie no control records are created

-supplements – these have their own field and display in the bib record as supplements

-accompanying materials – if there is a consistent pattern, control records are created, otherwise each is handled on its own with a note

-parts – titles with regular parts/sections have separate control records for each part

eg- Biophysica et Biochimica Acta (use 852|z subtitle)

-multiple copies – they use separate control records for each location/copy (Sirsi has other options but this one is recommended)

-memberships – they create a dummy bib record which is shadowed, with a linked order record for the payments; each title received on the membership has it's own control record which is linked to the vendor record

-limited retension – they only display the current issue received and don't update MARC holdings


-they did all of their own training


-job descriptions were rewritten

-some positions were changed


-they are not using the claim process in Sirsi because they do not trust it

-they generate a daily report of issues that have not been received, based on the predicted date of receipt; staff check the list against Sirsi to see if a claim is needed

-reports are run at the end of the day because they are picked up based on dates of today

claims done prior to conversion were keyed in

Control records

-can choose to link them to the order record or to the vendor record – there is an issue with fiscal rollover when attached to the order record

-in check in, records are retrieved by full title, and the system allows you to retrieve and view the full bibliographic record first; staff verify that they have the correct record for the item in hand and view the holdings to see if the issue number is what is expected (at this point they would also be able to identify if the issue is from a back order or a claim), so that they have all the information they need before they go to the checkin screen

-if the issue in hand is the one expected, a keystroke receives it; if the issue is other than expected, an edit is easily done with a couple of steps

-predictions are only done for about a full volume or year at a time, so more need to be created as check in is done for the last predicted issue (this is system prompted)

-they recommend that in the conversion process, we check in all previously received issues of the volume in hand, so that checked in issues start with no.1 of each volume (this eliminates confusion for the users – if the first checked in issue is mid volume, users think the earlier issues in the volume were not received)

-in the control record, they have made the subscription id a combination of the order number and the control number

-there is no compression of holdings between checked in issues and the summary holdings; only checked in issues compress


-they use the routing feature as a notification tool – eg – to alert Reference staff to retrieve an earlier volume of a title that is a LEO

No Entries

-they call these "evals"

-in the manual environment they made 3×5 cards for these and interfiled them with their Kardex files, with a note identifying the bibliographer who reviewed the issue, and what is to be done with it (discard, etc).

-in Sirsi they are creating dummy, shadowed records with the same information in the 910 and 940 fields

Cancels, title changes, cessations

-they put in a prediction for the last issue expected to alert staff re the cancellation, title change or cessation


-all invoices are processed in the Payments Dept.

-4 FTE handle invoices, renewals and statements

-all invoices are converted into US dollars; their Acctg Dept does not handle foreign currency so invoices are paid in US dollars, or handed over to Thomas Cook to handle; therefore there is no reconciliation of books with the Acctg Dept.

-they recommend that we link control records to vendors to avoid complications with fiscal rollover

-order record should be type "recurring" and must have multiple order lines; the first order line is for the order line itself; the subsequent lines are for transactions (payments); this is system controlled; these are critical in fiscal rollover and separate reports must be run for line 1, and for line 2 and upwards

-they use the line number in the invoice record to record the line number of the invoice, and the period covered by the invoice – this is a work around solution that will allow a display of the payment period for each invoice, otherwise there is nowhere in Sirsi to record this information

(eg 1:1999; 2:2000, 3:v.5-6)

Fiscal Rollover

-there are separate rollover reports run for each order type, and separate reports for recurring orders for lines 1 and lines 2 upward

-for monograph orders (type firm), they did not purge the rolled over orders as part of the rollover process, they purged them later as a separate step – therefore the fact that purging orders is no longer available in the rollover report in Release 99.2.4 was not an issue for them

Electronic journals

-they are in the process of developing a database

-they do not check in issues of electronic journals and will only consider it a possibility if the print is cancelled

-electronic journals are catalogued

-their web pages are manually updated