Thursday, May 17, 2007

IUG 2007 – Holdings Conversion using Global Update

Steve Shadle and Sion Romaine of the University of Washington Libraries made this presentation.

Their project involved taking their free text holdings statements and converting them to MARC21 For Holdings formats in the 853 and 863 fields in order to make them transmittable to OCLC. They anticipate that this will streamline ILL processing and improve user finding journals. In the first phase of the project they converted approximately 169,000 records. They added 007 and 008 fields, converted call number tags, and converted holdings statements tags.

They presented planning and preparation steps. Preparations included normalizing and correcting existing data by identifying errors and typos, deleting extra spaces, etc. and identifying how holdings are expressed currently and whether they need to be standardized. Using regular expressions in the matches function in Create Lists would be useful for accomplishing this.

There are number of things you can do and cannot do with Global Update, specifically, you cannot make changes using regular expressions.

Using the example of converting the call number fields, Steve provided tips for practice. The key is to find the pattern in the existing data and then using that pattern, create an algorithm that will achieve the desired change. In their local project, they converted call number fields (947 in the c group), holdings statements (947 in the h group),

Oooh, adding a 947 field to the OCLC record before downloading will create a check-in record upon download according to Steve, I’ll have to check that out!

Steve talked about how to use regular expressions in the matches function of Create Lists. In doing this he provided a screen shot from Millennium Create Lists search box in which the matches function is used with regular expressions. He also provided a screen shot from Global Update that displayed the five-step algorithm they used to convert a set of holdings statements.

I think this is they way we can, first, update our periodicals holdings to MFH and then consider creating holdings statements for monographs and other materials.

An audience member asked about the feasibility of exporting the data to other applications like OCLC. Steve replied that once the data is in MFH, it’s very easily exported. I got lost when he started talking about he gory details of exporting but he did mention an ‘export table’ and I wondered whether that has anything to do with the import tables that my colleague Abel has been learning about this week.

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