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Key Notes Blog

Bringing you weekly posts on conference planning, happenings at Keystone, or how better to put KLAS to work for you!

KLAS Training: Continuing the Conversation

Word cloud about training
Training your new staff on KLAS and / or getting refresher training for staff who have been using KLAS awhile is a topic that comes up in conversations with our customers on a regular basis. Back in May of 2018, Katy posted "Training Support", a Key Notes blog post asking for input on ideas for how Keystone can support your staff training goals. Please take a few minutes to go back and review this post again and share your feedback about the proposed Keystone training ideas on the linked "Training: How do you do it and how can we help?" forum post.

But, also please take a few minutes to look at the questions she asked for your input on including:

  1. How do you train your staff?
  2. What materials do you already use or what materials would you like to have?
  3. What are your needs or wants in terms of evaluation, continuing education, certification?

In addition, I would like to continue the conversation with these questions:

  1. What are your favorite KLAS training resources and methods?
  2. What have you found to be the most effective resource to train new staff? What challenges have you had?
  3. How do you keep established employees up to date on new features and functionality in KLAS? What keeps you from doing continuing KLAS training?

Please take some time to share your thoughts and ideas on the "Training: How do you do it and how can we help?" forum post. I'd love for this thread to turn into a valuable place other KLAS Users' looking for KLAS training hints and resources can turn to.

 

 

The Stars of Keystone's Staff - Mark

Our "Stars of Keystone's Staff" series includes some basic info and insight into one of our staff members. We hope these posts will provide you a look into who makes up our diverse, supportive, and knowledgeable staff.

With the upcoming release of KLAS 7.7, we thought it is good time to bring you our latest "Stars of Keystone Staff" so we can highlight our staff member who has helped to coordinate, support, and install many versions of KLAS in his time at Keystone. He is also the person our staff calls when we can't get on the VPN, we need our email account unlocked, or need to be reminded of how to log onto a customer's database after a change in IP address.

Basic Stats:

Name: Mark Gardner

Year Hired: 1985

Current Job Title: Manager of Systems and Networking

 Mark stands besides a large red M&M at M&Ms World.

Read more: The Stars of Keystone's Staff - Mark

KLAS 7.7 Installation and Upgrades

There are a lot of exciting new features included in the KLAS 7.7 release, and they begin with a simplified installation process.

As part of the simplification, there will no longer be any external programs to install. Everything has been put into one installer so there are no longer separate steps to install a web client, support files, or XPrint. If you are currently using KLAS with Open VPN, this will be going away too. KLAS no longer needs a VPN connection to run, it instead will use https to establish a secure connection.

The new installer lets you choose how KLAS should be installed: For everyone who uses a computer – a process that would require admin access, or install for the current user only – which can typically be done without admin access even in secured environments.

Read more: KLAS 7.7 Installation and Upgrades

Let's Talk Reporting

Hello, KLASusers! This week I thought I'd try something just a little different... let's talk about reporting, and specifically, what do you need to know?

KLAS has a lot of powerful options for finding information, from reports (there are some great ones featured in the Snapshot Reports blog post) to queries (and there are some good query tips on the Forum... check out the KLAS Core section of the Best of the Forum 2018 page). You can even combine queries and excel to search for information that isn't there.

But sometimes it's hard to know just where to look, and sometimes a piece of data you need can remain tantalizingly just out of reach. 

A directional sign points to "lost," "found," and "searching" in a dramatic desert landscape.

So I'd like you to tell us what reporting information you're searching for!

Drop into the Forum Q&A: Let's Talk Reporting thread and see if you can stump us on:

  • "Where do I find how many..."
  • or "Is there a report that shows..."
  • or even "Can I tell who..."

Bring all your reporting and data-finding questions and we'll do our best to bring you an answer!

Notes From The Scribe - we go Live, Live, Live!!!

Here’s the latest Notes from The Scribe for February 2019.

Where we're Live, Live, Live (on version 7.7)!!!

screenshot of the KLAS client updating itself to 7.7

What we've noticed so far, after some initial stability issues on day of launch, is that the connections are much faster now.

This last month we transitioned from playing around with many more cartridge runs, thanks to having all 25 staff on the service now and our 12 pilot patrons are in full service mode now. Feedback, so far, has been mostly positive. We look to start all new patron on Books On Demand Service some time in March.

Staff have test driven the release notes for Version 7.7 and issues have been addressed and corrected. We're in a pretty good place right now.

With the latest update (Version 7.7.2), no more cross assignment of copies, which was an issue we initially had with the system assigning individual books available on the shelves even though someone was setup for duplication service. This doesn't happen anymore.

The service queue and orders tabs work well. They are a good team. One thing we've been able to use them for is some testing to make sure things like the Book announcement file is added and to make sure that the correct number of books are added to the cartridge in the order specified. We are thankful that this is here because prior to this we had to go in by a more back door method to see what's happening.

A recent article by Katy talked about series assignment and duplication service. I will tell you that, since having Nightly now being able to do series assignments as part of the duplication service, there are a couple of things to watch when you initially launch Version 7.7. First off, this way of assigning series books is new and was adapted from another type of Nightly process. We did discover something that will probably be addressed, but something to still check at first. Make sure that in your Nightly Setup you have the check box for Has Hads checked off. Otherwise, as we found out with our pilot patrons, they will probably be issued books they've had in a series before. Check the box and this goes away.

Secondly, tuning the number of books per turn per series takes some time to get adjusted just right. We currently have chosen to make 2 turns per run on Series. This allows for 2 books per series to be run per service queue. We do have one or two patrons that will be binge people. For these you can go in to Nightly and adjust on a per patron basis just this rule. Which is pretty cool when you put it into practice.

On a final note, I will say that you want to make sure you put good processes in place before you start using this system on a wider scale. Seeing how things will fit together and such is a good chance to update and take a closer look at how you serve patrons across your service. In our case we have a nice set of processes that we can look at for reference. The library's books on demand committee will be meeting again soon to talk about our steps of putting all new patrons on the service and moving forward with adding existing patrons. One area that looks good for this is our ILL patrons. I'm actually going through a list right now.

That's all for this edition of Notes From The Scribe. The next edition will come out with the next round of major updates and new features.