Trip Report: Aleph SMUG DACH Meeting 2007

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Participants: Erik Altmann, Anke Bruns, Robert Forkel (partly), Inga Overkamp

Date: 22/23 November 2007

Summary: Aleph-D.A.CH and SMUG-D-A-CH-Li-Lux are the User Groups in the German speaking countries. This combined meeting of both user groups is the first of its kind.

After the official meeting it was decided to organize another collaborative meeting in June 2008 as a pre-conference to the 97. Bibliothekartag at the University of Mannheim.

Links and Resources[edit]


Session 1: Aleph 500[edit]

Ronald Schmidt gave a summary of the IGeLU meeting in Brno in September 2007.

Herr Matalla (D.A.CH) invited the D.A.CH members to contribute their requests for future developments in Aleph.

Herr Koring (Ex Libris), leader of the Ex Libris customer support team about Aleph upgrades and support: Ex Libris Germany aims at supporting less Aleph versions at a time, so at the moment they are trying to bring most of their customers to upgrade to V18.

Customers should use the most recent version of the Upgrade Express (to be found on the server in Israel) unless they have already successfully tested an older version.

The future release policy is to bring out a version or major release every two years plus a minor release every six months containing new functionalities within a version, completed by monthly service packs containing bug fixes.

Inter Library Loan will be available in the old and the new "Web ILL" version within V18. From V19 on (for us, V20) only the new ILL will be available. It is recommended to upgrade the ILL functions to the new Web ILL already while in production with V18 in order not to have to do it in the upgrade process to V20.

V20 will be released for German speaking customers from 2009 on. In the future the German version will be part of the general release instead of being prepared after the general release of the version.

Dr. Torsten Schulz presented the structure and modules of the Aleph standard package (containing one BIB, one ADM and three AUT libraries) as well as the add-ons available, e.g. ARC, OAI interface, X Server and ADAM.

Additional notes:

  • pre-release testing of Aleph 19 possible after 25.11.07
  • Voyager is presently being developed along with Aleph

Session 2: ALEPH 500 - Aktuelle Entwicklungen[edit]

Frau Bernhardt (BVB) showed how the Normdateien (PND, GKD, SWD) of the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek can be accessed online from an Aleph client. My impression, however, was that the workflow is as yet a bit difficult and some issues about it have yet to be solved.

Herr Hupfer presented cataloging conventions developed by HBZ to furnish catalogue records with entries in original CJK writing as well as the transcription. CJK entries can also be included in the search and browse indices. See also the page on Katalogisierung in Originalschrift on the HBZ website.

Frau Dilber (BVB) talked about how RVK (Regensburger Verbund-Klassifikation) is used in BVB catalogue. Catalogue data in RVK are delivered approx. twice a year to BVB and imported into BVB Aleph System. In RVK there are about 800.000 Records of which the BVB uses about 250.000.

Talks about ADAM and the HBZ interface to Non Aleph Local System were postponed until after lunch.

Session 3: ALEPH 500 / DigiTool – Implementierungen in NRW[edit]

Status regarding catalog enrichment in hbz: 344.000 table of contents

Session 4: SFX / MetaLib: Berichte und Anforderungen[edit]

Andreas Sabisch, SFX-Knowledgebase - Questions/Problems

  • no Nationallizenz packages in KB (solution may be regional dataloader lists)
  • eBooks: problem with targets containing too many entries (e.g. NetLibrary, 130.000)
  • Ex Libris CRM:
    • support incidents are not prioritized in any transparent way
    • there are no known processing guidelines
    • processing takes very long
  • SFX - Verde: data required at different points of time (Verde: acquisition, SFX: availability)
  • KB update frequency (is once per month enough?) - KB updates include considerable manual work
  • how about KB update on demand (without fixed cycles)? - problem: consortial systems
  • Herr Heiming: SI backwork until middle of year - no regional KB support teams, Ex Libris Deutschland may re-consider the topic

Stefan Lohrum gave an overview on the results of a user survey carried out for the KOBV portal. Results: results:

  • frequent comment: unstructured, not intuitive (especially federated search)
  • (only) 17% registered users
  • profile of library portal not defined clearly

measures taken:

  • number of resources and quick sets reduced
  • help texts on page
  • otherwise less text
  • direct access, fewer clicks
  • hotline phone number


  • good checking of duplicates
  • good ranking

Mario Kowalak presented the measurements taken and planned by the FU Berlin to promote their portal, e.g. by developing some strong metaphors to stress out the specific strengths (desktop, swiss army knife). The scope of the FU portal: high quality databases which the user showed an interest in. MetaLib is not

  • an archive
  • a resource management system for electronic resources
  • only a metasearch engine, but also a resource discovery tool, personalization features, etc.

Another trend is to bring the portal services to the working environment of the end-users and to make the services harvestable via search engines (e.g. by generating static resources pages from the metalib ckb records). Further web 2.0 services (rss feeds, coins support) are envisioned.

Session 6: Wechsel von MAB2 zu MARC21[edit]

Frau Scholz (hbz) / Herr Wilhelm (UBA): Anforderungen aus bibliothekarischer Sicht

  • Deutsche Nationalbibliothek plans to provide norm data in Marc21 from mid/end 2008 onwards. There will be a transition phase while both exchange formats gonna be delivered
  • Prior to this meeting, on Wednesday, a meeting of the Aleph consortias discussed the upcoming change of format and cataloging rules from MAB/RAK to MARC/AACR. They agreed to move for MARC21 as their internal data format as well.
  • benefit: internationalization
  • requirements:
    • continue current workflows and functionalities
    • preserve title links via IDNR number

Frau Straub: Erfahrungen: Informationsverbund Deutsch-Schweiz

  • Switzerland changed to MARC21, they even find various appropriate manner to handle multivolume bundles
  • KIDS has been developed to implement the AACR2 cataloging rules[1].

Frau Thede (ExLibris):

  • integration of system providers not before 09.2007 (DNB workshop)
  • MAB - MARC synopsis not completed
  • MARC21 already available in Aleph, MAB2 will be continued
  • grant compatibility of union catalogs/local opacs at system level
  • link related titles using LKR (= Aleph-specific) field
  • MARC21 field usage depends on local cataloguing conventions

Session 5: SFX / MetaLib / Verde: Aktuelle Entwicklungen[edit]

Robert Forkel presented the MLResWatch Project, presentation

Stefan Lohrum (KOBV): z39.50-Monitoring für MetaLib - cancelled

Konrad Heiming (ExLibris): MetaLib/SFX/Verde Update

  • MetaLib 3 will be supported until June 2008
  • SFX
    • March 2008: Delivery of an enhanced Aleph PlugIn which checks for the holdings (instead of the journal only)
    • Q3 2008: Release of new SFX admin tool with an workflow based and more intuitive interface (wizards) - as well as more sophisticated import options (e.g. Elsevier import, sms?) and online management of multi-language support
    • Further development: Deeper integration of SFX with Primo in Java/JBOSS with Oracle as database system. SFX alone will stay on an mySQL instance synchronized from the central Oracle knowledgebase.
  • Release Verde 3 planned for 2008, e.g. with revision history of resource activation.

Session 7: Interoperability[edit]

Matthias Groß und Mathias Kratzer (BVB): Interoperabilität zwischen ALEPH 500 und DigiTool

  • link to digitool in Aleph z403 expand
  • synchronization of data to both directions, via external database instance (one for each system) for harvesting
  • frequency of exports and harvesting has been optimized

Konrad Heiming (ExLibris): Synchronisation der Bestände: EZB/ZDB/VERDE

  • EZB - SFX: SMS (Smart Mapping Service)
    • must be licensed as a service (recommended: once every 2 months)
    • currently not available as a tool, but will be integrated in the SFX admin interface (announced for Q3.2008)
    • estimated efficiency: 95 - 98%
    • problems pointed out by users
      • a great deal of manual work is caused by wrong assignments (journal package - provider)
      • check file suggests only one type of mapping (alternative: suggest all possibilities, remember selection)
      • lack of documentation, "black box"
  • Verde - EZB: under construction
    • use of ISSN and provider URLs to identify items in EZB
    • batch, not online interface
    • based on Onix protocol
    • identification by Bibliothekssigel
    • export file per Verde instance
    • available by end of Q1/2008

Session 8: Corporate Update & Primo[edit]

Marc Daubach (Ex Libris): Ex Libris Corporate Update

  • positive buzzwords
    • interoperability, open interfaces
    • flexibility, scalability
    • differenciation, collaboration
    • eScience, eLearning
  • negative buzzwords
    • "silos" (dead end systems)

Dr. Torsten Schulz: Die Bibliothek kommt zum Nutzer

  • libraries have lost exclusiveness in the field of information services
  • users rely on web services
  • users still trust in high quality content and data quality as provided by libraries
  • consequence: separation of user experience and backend systems

Links and References[edit]