• May Update: 7.7 release timeline

    I have some great news, and I couldn’t wait until next Tuesday to post it! Our hard-working development team has gotten fixes in place, wrangled the new server, and generally addressed the various issues discussed in the last update.

    This means that 7.7 Preview Databases are now available by request to all Keystone-hosted and all Linux-based self-hosted customers!

    (Deployment for Windows-based self-hosted customers is still being ironed out; we hope to be able to offer Preview Databases to you soon.)

    These demo databases will allow you to spot-check your data and settings to ensure that everything migrated correctly to the new version, train staff, and practice using the new features and duplication workflows. It will also allow us to do some load-testing of the new server to make sure that connection issues don’t crop back up, and that nothing new decides to go sideways on us.

    Having a demo database in place also puts you on the fast-track to getting a live version. We will be bringing customers up live one every week or two, starting right away after the KLAS Users’ Conference (and maybe even sooner, if the demo roll-out goes well).

    For more information on version 7.7, check out the New Release Webinar! (Note: you must be logged in to KLASusers.com to access that link.)

    Future Updates

    The wait for 7.7 has been longer than anyone had expected, but once you're upgraded to 7.7, future updates will come along much quicker! Instead of needing a large bundle of updates to be ready all at once, incremental updates will be applied to 7.7 about every two weeks. Fixes and improvements will go out steadily over time, rather than in a large batch after a long wait.

    Even better, these updates will occur smoothly and easily, without any need to download and apply an update through your browser. For more information on how updates will work in version 7.7, see the Installation and Upgrades Post.

    Duplication on Demand

    Our new Duplication on Demand workflows are included in version 7.7, including full Gutenberg integration. NLS is in their final testing phases of this integration, but it is in place, and will continue to be refined and improved.

    The Gutenberg device itself will of course come from NLS, and does require custom set-up per customer. We will work with them to fast-track our customers as much as possible, but there is a high demand, and only so many people at NLS who are able to do the set-up and testing needed. At the NLS Western / Southern Regional Conference, they indicated that they expect a pace of about 2 Gutenberg set-ups per month. Who gets one of these devices, and when, is entirely their decision; we can only work with them to get each device’s connection to KLAS in place ASAP.

    For those who are considering a Scribe instead, we are pleased to announce that it now supports both the Patron-Centric Cartridge model and the Cartridge Recycling model! We were able to get this in place because the Cartridge Recycling workflow had already been developed to support Gutenberg—we just did a little tweaking and testing to make sure that it worked with the other hardware as well.

    Final Thoughts

    Thank you all so much for your patience!

    We have heard loud and clear that Duplication (and particularly Gutenberg integration) is the priority that the Users’ Group has set for us, and have been hard at work on it since last year. We believe that the results are robust, flexible, reliable, and efficient; everything that we hope you can expect from a Keystone Systems product.

    We know that the process has taken much longer than we initially announced, but we think that the final product will be worth the wait. We will continue to do everything we can to get those of you under a time crunch (or who are just eager to get started) up and running on a Duplication on Demand workflow of your choice as soon as possible.

    For those libraries not racing to transition to a Duplication workflow, you haven’t been forgotten! With the bulk of the work finished for Duplication, we will be able to integrate improvements that will benefit you as well back into our development cycle.

  • New Feature: Add / Remove Headings

    New Feature: Add / Remove Headings

    The move to a Duplication on Demand service model opens up the full collection of download-only titles to your patrons... but patrons who receive books by Subject will only get them if the titles have local subject cataloguing.

    If you haven’t been keeping up cataloguing those download-only titles, if you are considering adding a brand-new subject heading, or if you’re just interested in some sprucing up... We have a new tool to help!

    Added in KLAS Version 7.7 build 11, the Change Headings tool allows you to batch apply a subject heading to (or remove it from) a query set of titles.

    Step One – Define a Query

    Start the process by building a query to find the titles to apply the heading to. For example, you could search for adult, fiction books that have “Amish” in the Annotation, or for books with an author in a given list (you may want to add Codes to author headings you want to use for this, or the list will quickly get unwieldy).

    In the query results, you may notice a new tab! In this view, the new tab is inactive—it will appear greyed out, and cannot be selected.

    Double-click (or select and Enter) any title in the results to enter the query set. We highly recommend clicking through at least a representative sample of the query set to make sure it is working as you intended.

    Already have a list of titles you want to work on, such as a list of locally produced books that all need your local interest subject heading, or a list of sexually explicit titles from the Rating Unrated Books project? You can Import a Query Set from a notepad .txt file of KLAS IDs!

    Step Two – Confirm Query Set

    Once you have reviewed the query set and are confident that it is correct, or only needs minor tweaks, launch the “Change Headings – Query Set” tool.

    Note: Many libraries restrict the Tools Menu to administrators. This is an easy way to ensure that tools like this, which can quickly make a lot of changes to your data, are only used as intended. If you need help tweaking your permissions to control who can access these tools, contact Keystone Customer Support!

    If you are not already in a Query Set, the tool will open a Define Query window. Otherwise, it will take you straight to your query results, now with the Add/Remove Headings tab activated. Before switching to the new tab, take another look through your search results!

    If there is an odd title here or there that you want to remove from the query set, select the title and use the Delete button (or Ctrl+D).

    Even a well-made query may turn up something here or there that doesn’t belong—use the delete button to clear them out so that your Query Set includes only the titles on which you want to change headings.

    Step Three – Add / Remove Headings

    On the Add/Remove Headings tab, Add a New Line using the button in the lower left, or the functions menu.

    Find the heading to apply using either the Code or Full Description. This tool was primarily intended to work with Subject headings, but it can apply Author or Series headings as well if the need arises.

    Use the Action combo-box to select whether the heading should be added or removed. If you Add a heading to a title that already has it, or Remove a heading from a title that does NOT have it, no change will occur to that title. The rest of the query set will still be updated as needed.

    Save the line. If you want to make additional changes to the same set (such as adding "contains violence" PLUS removing "unrated"), just add more lines.

    When you are ready, use the Apply Headings Changes button to batch update the entire query set.

    Final Thoughts

    We hope this tool makes it easier for you to do catalog maintenance and get ready for Duplication!

    However, as with many administrator tools, it is possible for this to go awry if it isn’t used with care. Please always double check that you are applying the correct heading to the correct titles before clicking Apply.

    If you do find that an error has been made, please contact Customer Support as soon as possible for assistance with backing it out.

    (Not on 7.7 yet? Don't worry, you haven't been forgotten! We have been fixing bugs as the first previewers find them, and will continue rolling out preview databases to the rest of the libraries on our list. If you missed our July Progress Update, make sure to check it out to learn more about what's involved!)

  • New Feature: Merge Queries

    New Feature: Merge Queries

    This brand-new feature for KLAS version 7.7 was debuted at the uc2019 pre-conference as part of the hands-on Effective Search Strategies session.

    Queries in KLAS make it easy to find records that meet certain criteria. Unfortunately, it can be harder to search by what isn't there. Computer logic is just not very good at that kind of thinking... but now, there is a way to combine two queries in KLAS, allowing you to:

    • Combine the lists of records that meet two different sets of criteria (i.e. match X and/or Y)
    • Find records that are included in two different query sets (i.e. match X and Y)
    • Subtract one Query from another (i.e. match X but do not match Y)

    This feature is available in the Patron module in the version 7.7.8 preview databases, and will be available in the Catalog module later this week when the preview databases are updated to build 7.7.9

    So... what's this about "subtracting" a query?

    Queries have the option to search for fields that “do not equal” a certain value. However, this will only function correctly if that field can only occur once in the record, otherwise, it will find any occurrence where the field does not equal that value.

    For example, you can query for Patrons whose “Main Status does not equal Active,” because patron records can only have one Main Status. On the other hand, if you query for “Patron Medium does not equal DB,” it will return all records that have another medium in addition to DB, because that medium does not equal DB. Furthermore, it will not return records without any Patron Mediums, because there is nothing for it to compare to the search value.

    This is a matter of computer logic not working quite like human logic. To get the computer to understand what you’re looking for, break it down a little further to “find Active Patrons, then subtract all patrons with an Active DB Medium.”

    Merge Queries A Not B

    Other times you may wish to use this tool include:

    • Checking for Patron records with an Active Cassette medium but no Active DB medium.
    • Checking for Catalog records by a certain narrator that do not have the “Foreign Accent” subject heading.

    Ready to learn more?

    Download this How-to document for step-by-step instructions, more information, and more examples. As always, if you have questions or need additional help, just let us know.

    (And remember, this feature is available in version 7.7 only, so if you have not yet requested a preview database, be sure to get in touch! If you have requested a preview, you should be receiving a welcome packet and activation key shortly--we are quickly moving through the list of requests.)

  • Order up!

    Order up!

    I have another 7.7 preview for you today!

    As part of our continuing efforts to support the high-volume duplication service model, we have been working on another new tab for the Patron Module: the Orders tab.

    Right now, both the cartridge itself and each of the titles loaded on it are listed individually on the Items tab, and it can be difficult to tell which titles were on which cartridge, or to tell which were pre-existing cartridges vs which were duplicated for the patron. Well, in KLAS version 7.7 and onwards, they will continue to be listed there, allowing you to continue using the tab you are already familiar with to quickly check whether a patron has had a certain title, what was the last thing sent, and so on.

    However, when you need more detailed information or to see which titles were on which cartridge... now, you'll have the Orders tab.

    For right now, this is a Read-Only tab, meaning that nothing can be changed or modified from this screen. However, you will be able to browse each duplication order sent to that patron in the top browse, and view all of the Titles from a specific order (and only the Titles from that order) in the bottom browse.

    Using this tab, you'll be able to easily answer patron questions like "I accidentally sent the wrong one back! What was on the last cartridge you sent me?" or "Oh, what was that book I read right after the new Nora Roberts? It was the last one on the cartridge and I forgot to write the name down..." and even "Why did you send me that awful book?"

    Here's a preview of what it looks like right now:


    And there's more! While we think this will be a useful starting point, we have more development planned for the Orders tab, including:

    More filtering options - such as Circ Status (Assigned, Out, Returned), date sent, and date returned

    Functions - such as resend order (great for those "I didn't mean to send that one back!" patrons)

    So what do you think? Is there something you'd like to find on this tab that isn't there yet? Any functions you want us to build in? Let us know!

  • Shuffle the Deck – Feature Preview

    Shuffle the Deck – Feature Preview

    One of the new features in the 7.7.36 update is the ability to Shuffle a Service Queue.

    This feature was suggested by Arizona Talking Book Library staff, and I think a lot of you who are have transitioned to a Duplication service model will definitely be interested in it

    From the Release List:

    A function has been added to shuffle a Patron's Service Queue. This will place all titles currently in the Queue into a new, random sequence order, then rearrange titles that are in an Ordered Series to ensure that they are in order relative to each other.

    This update is scheduled to be released at the end of the week, so let’s take a look!

    The idea behind this feature is knowing that when patrons submit Talking Book Topic requests they come in with everything grouped by genre Duplication means that all these titles are available to everyone and patrons will get all of those requests in order (i.e. all of their Mysteries in a row, then all of their Romances, and so on).

    Additionally, adding a long request list straight to the queue using Quick Request will add the list to the top and push down any outstanding requests still waiting to be duplicated. A patron may want some of the new titles right away, but they also might be looking forward to the other titles.

    The Shuffle function allows you to mix things up without the need to manually rearrange all the titles. After you use Quick Request to add a patron’s TBT requests to their queue, use the Functions menu, and select Service Queue > Shuffle Queue. The new requests will get mixed into any previous requests that were still waiting in the queue, and everything will be randomly ordered without regard for genre. You're essentially doing an automated card shuffle of their queue.

    For example:

    2020 08 26 14 43 27 

    If they have any book from an ordered series in their queue when you shuffle it, KLAS will add an extra step to the process.

    After the whole queue is put into random order, it will then re-arrange just those series titles to put them in sequence with each other, while leaving them scattered through the other results. The patron won’t necessarily get them all in a row but will get the books in the right order.

     2020 08 26 14 47 02

     This will also work if a patron has multiple series—the different series can get interspersed with each other. For instance, “Series A Book 1” will come before “Series A Book 2,” and “Series B Book 1” will come before “Series B Book 2.”

    Finally, you can still use the arrow buttons in the toolbar (Or Ctrl plus the Up or Down keys) to make manual adjustments. So, if one or two requests are starred, circled, and / or have a great big “Send this first!!!” written next to them, you can easily bump them up to the top once the rest have been shuffled.

    I hope this helps you understand how the new feature works and when you might find it helpful!

    Keep an eye out for the full 7.7.36 Release List later this week. Finally, be sure to let us know if you have any questions about this or the other new features, improvements, and bug fixes.

  • WebOPAC Preview

    creenshot of the prototype updated WebOPAC, showing the new My Account menu. There are seven menu items listed under My Account, which are Account Summary, Contact Info, Reading Preferences, Currently Checked Out, Upcoming Shipments, Reading History, and Book Requests.

    We are working on making improvements to the WebOPAC to ultimately make it a more user friendly experience for Patrons. A part of this will be revising the "My Account" menu, so it will be easier to use.

    The new version of the menu will more clearly present the options for a particular topic or area by giving the patron dedicated menu options for viewing currently checked out books, books they will receive next, and a searchable reading history.

    In addition, we want to offer Patrons more control over certain areas of their account. This will include things like adding subject likes and dislikes, and adding, removing, or Rushing Requests and Reserves. Duplication Patrons will also have an opportunity to interact with their account and be able to re-order their Service Queue to decide what books they want to receive next.

    I’m going to go through each section of the My Account menu and talk a little about some of the changes we are working on. Please understand that the changes discussed in this post are still in development and subject to change.

    Screenshot of the prototype updated WebOPAC, showing the new My Account menu. There are seven menu items listed under My Account, which are Account Summary, Contact Info, Reading Preferences, Currently Checked Out, Upcoming Shipments, Reading History, and Book Requests.

    Account Summary:

    Starting with the Account Summary page, there isn’t much going on here yet. Ultimately we are looking at letting the patron change their password on this page.

    Contact Information:

    The Contact Information section will list the Patron’s current mailing address. There will be a way for the Patron to submit an address change to be sent to library staff for review. The formatting of an address in an online form can get out of hand and trying to translate that back to KLAS can be problematic, so this is a safe approach to take.

    Reading Preferences:

    The breakdown of the Reading Preference page will change. It will be broken out by each category (Subjects, Authors, Series, Narrators, Languages) with a “Likes” section and a “Dislikes” section in each category. Patrons will have the ability to select “Remove” and remove a preference. We are working on implementing a simple interface for a patron to be able to add a preference. This is challenging given the similarity in some preference codes, but we may be able to work out something that is user friendly and will make the appropriate addition in KLAS.

    A prototype screenshot of the Reading Preferences page, showing a heading for Authors, followed by a section for Likes and Dislikes. In the likes section, it reads

    Currently Checked Out:

    The Currently Checked Out page will show Patrons the books currently checked out to their account. There will be a quick summary sentence letting the patron know how many books they have out in each different format. For DoD cartridges, the display is broken out by Duplication Order so the Patron can view the titles on a particular cartridge in a group and the titles on the cartridge will be listed in the same order they played.

    The prototype Currently Checked Out page has a summary at the top, followed by details. Shown is

    The page continues with details for the Braille item, including the checkout date, copy and volume information, problem link, title, author, and book number. Finally, the Large Print item shows the same details.

    A link to report a problem with the order will give Patrons the option to let library staff know if there was a problem. We are working on what this will do – either send an email to a staff member or to send an alert in KLAS.

    The "Is there a problem with this order?" link has expanded a section below it to display four options: The item is lost, this item doesn't play properly, this item doesn't have the right books, and I no longer want to receive the automatic titles.

    Upcoming Shipments:

    The Upcoming Shipments page will show a Patron what is about to be sent to them, in some cases what is assigned (Scribe) or what has just been checked out (Gutenberg). 

    The upcoming shipment page is similar to the checked out page, with a summary (2 digital book cartridge items, 1 braille item, and 1 large print item) and details. For the book cartridge, those details include the count of titles, the order number, a link to report a problem with the order, and a numbered list with the titles, authors, and book numbers.

    We are going to include the Service Queue somewhere in this menu. For now it is placed in the Upcoming Shipments page, but that could change. Patrons will be able to select titles and move them to the top or bottom of the queue, or remove them.

    The DB Service queue section, showing the numbered list of books in the queue, each with a checkbox beside it. Details for each line include the book number, the origin (such as Subject: Westerns or Reserve with the date added), and the date added to queue.

    Reading History:

    The Reading History page will become a searchable page. Patrons will be able to perform a search (just like a regular OPAC Catalog search) in the Reading History page, and any results returned are books the patron has read – both Has Had and Has Now books will display.

    The Reading History search bar, with a dropdown to change All Indexes to a more specific search, a text entry field with the prompt

    From the search results, Patrons will be able to apply some filters to further limit their results, for example they can choose to show or remove a particular subject or book format.

    The Reading History search results. The updated search results page has a more modern look, with the results on the left and the Filters on the right. The results each have the title, which is a link that can expand to show more information, and the author. The filters are divided into categories such as format and availability, and each shows the number of hits and an X to exclude to the filter, but spaced out more than in the current version of the opac and aligned almost like a table.

    Book Requests:

    The Book Requests page will show Patrons any requests or reserves they currently have and allow them to filter on some criteria to help limit results. They will be able to filter by book number, title, author, and a date range that they requested the book. The Patron will be able to select books and have some options. There will also be an option to add the book to the Service Queue. This option will be used if the patron has interest in reading that book soon, but not necessarily wanting to receive it next.

    For patrons on physical book service, the Rush option will continue to either assign an available copy of a book or place a reserve on it and send that book to the patron as quickly as possible. For Duplication patrons, the Rush option will move the request to the top of the queue and place a high priority on the book, ensuring the patron receives it on their next duplication cartridge. There is also an option to remove a request.

    The requests page has filters as described, arranged in a row above along the top of the page in place of a search bar, with a button to Filter and a button to Reset. Each result includes the title, date added, author, and book number, and a checkbox allowing requests to be selected.

    We hope you enjoyed this peek at what we’re working on! If you have feedback you’d like to share about the OPAC and possible future enhancements, please let us know in the comments or via email so we can make sure the new version of the OPAC meets your patrons’ needs as much as possible.

  • What do you do about Withdrawn Titles?

    The Duplication Service model opens up a ton of new possibilities for serving patrons, and with that comes a whole host of new edge-cases, problems, opportunities, and workflow questions. Today, let’s look into one of those new workflow questions: what do you do when a Title is Withdrawn?

    First up, what exactly do I mean by “Withdrawn? For this post, I’m referring to Titles NLS has recalled due to Quality Control or other concerns as well as Titles with a status of “W / Withdrawn” in the KLAS Catalog. Most points will be the same or pretty close for NLS recalls, Locally Produced titles you have withdrawn for quality or timeliness (such as a corrupted file or a voting guide from a previous election), or for NLS titles you have decided to no longer offer (such as computer “how-to” guides from the early 90s).

    What happens in KLAS?

    For Gutenberg libraries, when NLS recalls a title the file is pulled from the Gutenberg hardware. Overnight the e-Doc sync in KLAS will spot the missing file and report the e-Doc as “stale” in the PCC Load Summary. (If you want to keep an eye on your e-Doc sync and do not yet get a daily PCC Load Summary email, let us know!) The title can still be added to patron Service Queues or included in a Duplication Order—however, it cannot be duplicated, because Gutenberg no longer has the file! So when NLS notifies you that a title is being recalled, it’s important to go into your KLAS Catalog and either make the title status Withdrawn or delete the e-Doc. That will prevent KLAS from letting the title onto any Dup Orders.

    For titles you chose to withdraw on your own, you can proceed as below.

    For Scribe libraries (or Gutenberg libraries doing a voluntary recall), you have more choice about how to proceed. The file is not automatically pulled so, as long as you leave the record in an active status, you can continue to duplicate the title as you decide how to proceed. When you are ready to stop all duplication, you should update the catalog record to make the title status W / Withdrawn. At that point the title may still be on some patron’s Service Queues, but it can no longer be added to any new ones or included in a Duplication Order. The Sanitize Queue function then removes the title from patron Service Queues during its next routine sweep.

    So, what are your options?

    You can always immediately shut down duplication of a title by changing the title status to W / Withdrawn. However, if you want a little wiggle room, you do have other options.

    For a voluntary recall (or if using Scribe) you may leave a sub-par but functional title active, add the No Autoselect (NAS) subject heading to the record, and include a cautionary note in the title field. This is a good option for reissued titles you want to provide to patrons with a strong Narrator preference, but don’t otherwise want to send. This won’t fully withdraw the title, but will keep it from being sent by Subject preference, and guide Reader Advisors to which version of the title they should send.

    You may also use the NAS option as a stop-gap for titles in the process of being re-recorded. For example, NLS recently pulled ADB 100980, Time for Mercyby John Grisham, in favor of replacing it with the unabridged version. If you want to offer your patrons the option of getting the Abridged version instead of waiting for the replacement (and if you have a Scribe, since the file was pulled from Gutenbergs automatically), you can add NAS to the Local Subjects, and add “Abridged version” to the title.

    However, you probably also want to either pull it from patron’s Service Queues where it’s been auto-selected, and/or contact patrons to see if they want to wait for the Unabridged version.

    Patrons with Queued Title Report

    This is where a brand-new report comes in: Patrons with Queued Title. This report (which will be included in KLAS v7.7.47, our next update), will fetch a list of every patron with a particular title on their Service Queue and/or in a Duplication Order.

    Use this report to remove the withdrawn title from queues where it was automatically selected, then reach out to patrons who requested it ask if they want the current version, or want to wait for a re-record.

    Or, when browsing the report results, you might find few to no patrons actually requested the title, and decide to update the title status to fully Withdraw it right away.

    Always feel free to ask!

    Whew... this was a long one. I hope it helps you understand how Withdrawn titles affect Duplication Service, what happens automatically in KLAS, and your options for handling them. However, feel free to ask us any time a situation like this comes up, and you aren’t quite sure what will happen or how to proceed. After all, this is still a relatively new approach to patron service! We’re here to share the technical details and help you determine your best course of action.

    And, of course, we hope the new report comes in handy!

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