CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: June 22, 2000
Libraries ask OASIS users to test new online catalog system
IOWA CITY, Iowa --
The University of Iowa Libraries is asking its patrons in the UI community
to help test its new online catalog system, Aleph, for glitches and user-friendliness
before it is made a permanent replacement to OASIS Aug. 3.
Comments may be submitted online at the site's Contact
Library Staff button or persons may complete survey forms available by the
workstations near the Main Library south reference desk area. Forms may also
be dropped-off at the Libraries' Information Desk. Testing can be done at
Aleph, so-named by its software developer, soon will
be given a new name that will be unique to the UI.
Those involved with implementing the Libraries' switch
from OASIS say that among other things, they are looking for responses that
give them insight on the site's ease of use, instructions, system glitches,
and new Windows format. The Libraries has roughly 3 million titles in its
current system; however, only 50,000 records are contained in the test site.
The new system will allow users to search information
by format, language, and by particular branch libraries, features that aren't
available through text-based OASIS. With the new online system, users will
be able to go directly to a Web site by clicking on a site's hotlink or URL
directly from the system's new Windows environment without having to separately
launch a Web browser.
The new system also has auxiliary functions such as
e-mail and print features, as well as a feature that allows users to see titles
they currently have checked out.
Becky Johnson, co-chair of the OPAC Implementation
Team, says the new catalog system is in constant flux, and what users see
today, they might not tomorrow. She is also hoping a substantial number of
undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and the public will test the
Donna Hirst, co-project manager, says the Libraries
expect to cease updating information on OASIS July 22, when the new system
is being put online. Patrons will, however, still be able to use the older
system with the knowledge that their searches might yield slightly incomplete
Patrons might experience some temporary delays during
and shortly after the new system is implemented, as some automated circulation
procedures might have to be done by hand.
Testing of the site can be done at http://ocean.lib.uiowa.edu:4545/ALEPH