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OCLC Union List Users Group Minutes Gene Dickerson 11 Dec 1993 01:34 UTC

Minutes of the OCLC Union List Users Group meeting ALA Annual Meeting, New
Orleans, June 1993

Collette Mak, product manager for PRISM ILL, was invited to speak to Union List
participants about the expectations and/or needs of ILL users of Union Lists.
She spoke of the need to synthesize information about problems with ILL use of
Union Lists.  Understanding how Union List information is used by ILL can be
helpful to serials librarians.  PRISM ILL was built to include an invisible
bridge between ILL and First system so that OCLC ILL users could continue to
access union list information.  How important is Union List information to
ILL?  As a borrower on ILL, libraries have a nearly 90% fill rate.  As lenders,
the fill rate is 40-50%.  This is partially attributable to users not checking
union list information and sending requests to libraries who do not own the

Ms. Mak then described ILL workflow for creating ILL requests:
   o Search for bibliographic record
   o Check holdings
   o Select a Union List (nepu is largest union list)
   o Page through holdings to find symbols of preferred partners
   o Create ILL workform

A productivity barrier with current workflow is that preferred partners
(sometimes part of reciprocal agreements) often require searching multiple

What are the improvements wanted by ILL folk?
    o    display symbols in upper and lower case in union lists
         (supplier/non supplier status for ILL)
         o    improve access to holdings of preferred partners
         o    symbols arranged by state, not straight alphabetical
         o    include preferred partner symbols in UL display even if there is
              no LDR provided the library's holding is attached to the
              bibliographic record
    o    ability to qualify searches by volume and see only the holdings of
         libraries who own the needed volume
    o    current and accurate Union List information

Although most Union Lists have been in existence for many years, a few new ones
are starting.  Suggestions for new union lists:  try to have at least one or
two members of the union list advisory group be people with an ILL background.

Report from OCLC - Linda Arnold, Manager, Resource Sharing Section

Linda described the project to re-implement the Union List Subsystem from First
System to PRISM.  The project is being approached at OCLC by a small tight-knit
team.  This experienced team also worked on PRISM ILL.  Currently they are at
the stage of preliminary coding for PRISM commands.  The goal is to move
existing system smoothly into PRISM with little or no change in current
workflows for users.  The biggest issues are related to the need to provide
training for 12,000 UL agents and full members.  Serials Union List Offline
Products (SULOP) are not part of this project and will remain unchanged.
Enhancements to SULOP will be a separate project.

PRISM UL will implement Z39.44-1986 Level 3 (summary level) which has some
variations in terminology and in the application of enumeration.  Captions are
used for volume reporting if they are on the item.  Gaps are reported only is
the library has nothing of the volume, previously the 50% rule operated.
OCLC's goal is for users to be able to move easily from Cataloging to Union
Listing to ILL to the Name-Address Directory.

Suggestions from Union Listers at the end of the meeting included:
 o  want a UL function key file
 o  SULOP enhancements are critical for original creators of Union Lists
 o  want to be able to suppress newspaper holdings from USNP projects in
    offline products

Johanna Bowen resigned as chair of the group effective with this meeting.  She
served as chair for over six years.  Eugene Dickerson will be the chair
immediately following this meeting.

Submitted by Johanna Bowen 11/93

Next Meeting:   ALA Los Angeles, Monday February 7, 1994
                         11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
                Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 404B