Wednesday, April 15, 2015

ILLiad International Conference

March 18 and 19, I attended the ILLiad International Conference in Virginia Beach.  ILLiad is the software we use to manage Interlibrary Loan functions.  The conference is sponsored by Atlas Systems.

The key note speaker was Eric Miller of Zepheria. Zepheria and Atlas Systems are partners, with several other organizations, on the Libhub initiative which seeks to use BIBFRAME and the Linked Data in Libraries Movement to make library data integratable with the web in a way that makes it easy for search engines to find it.  An example used was an attempt to expose materials related to the Unsinkable Molly Brown owned by the public library in her home town.  Presently, the library’s holdings have no presence in the Google search results for Molly Brown.  Eric showed us the results of a test that used Libhub which put their holdings close to the top of the results and scattered them throughout.

Genie Powell, Chief Customer Service Officer for Atlas Systems, gave an ILLiad update.  Version 8.6 of ILLiad is due for release on May 26.  Version 8.4 support ends on 7/1. Fortunately, we are on 8.5. New features in 8.6 include the ability to customize the request statuses on the patron ILLiad accounts. For example, when we have requested that a book be sent to us by another library the patron account now says “Request Sent”; we could make it say “On Order” or something else that is more commonly understood.  In ILLiad, however, it would still say “Request Sent”.  Also in 8.6 patrons wanting notifications by text message will have to re-enter their mobile phone number into a newly provided mobile phone field in the Personal Information section of their ILLiad accounts.

One of more fun and interesting session each year is the OCLC Update given by Katie Birch.  Each year Katie presents the list of the top 10 requested ILL books from the previous year.  Of course, the audience tries to guess what’s number 1 on the list before it’s revealed…”Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades of Gray, Fifty Shades of Gray” has been the usual audience response for the past couple of years.  This year, Divergent was also a popular response.  We were wrong.  The most requested book was Dead Doctors Don’t Lie, which is about maximizing genetic potential for health and longevity.  Divergent made the list at number 8 with Allegiant and Insurgent at numbers 4 and 9 respectively. None of the Grey books were on the list…but everyone surmised that they will be back next year with the recent release of the movie!

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