Between the Lines

Making searching easier and smarter

Over the summer of 2018 our entire library online catalog including records for each book, magazine, DVD, rare book, piece of sheet music, rare object, archive and so much more was moved to a new integrated library system. If you will, envision a house with many additions and repairs done over the years, with additional outbuildings that had repairs to carry them past their prime, until they were leaning so badly from the contents a rebuild was required. This was the case for our library system. The new system chosen carefully by many stakeholders meets the greatest number of our needs. Library staff worked tirelessly for more then sixteen months readying 24 years of data prior to migration day, to guarantee success – and it was hugely successful! But, when old multipart systems migrate tons of data to new shiny systems, inevitably some of the round cogs hit square holes, and in our case mis-coded records occurred. That’s where The Enumeration Project comes in.

The project addressed the biggest of the migration data problems: journal issues and multi-volume book sets could not be found in the new catalog.  Not just a few records – more than a half-million of them.

Fast forward to March 2020. Leveraging the optimal availability of staff working remotely during COVID-19, this project got off the ground. Nearly 40 staff members from all areas of the library quickly learned an application tool to assist in correcting records.

Cataloging librarians supported those front line staff, problem-solving when the tool fell short. The workflow was smooth and the project progressed quickly. In only four months, close to half a million records were fixed by the project team and those journal issues and book volumes are now visible in the library catalog.

Looking to the future, with still 200,000 records to resolve, we are developing a strategy and workflow for the next phase and plan to utilize cataloging and non-cataloging staff working onsite and remotely to complete the project.