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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Haringey Libraries The Library Consortium update: use of online services 2nd -7th December

Haringey Libraries will be officially joining The Library Consortium (TLC) next month (December). The systems will be upgraded from 2 to 7 December 2022 to make essential improvements.

During this period, it will not be possible to make library account queries, renewals and payments online (and via our app), by telephone or in person at our libraries.
Arrangements have been made during this period. See poster below for more details or 
find out more at  www.haringey.gov.uk/librarynews

Tags for Forum Posts: libraries, stroud green and harringay library

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Replying to my post - I do indeed  see a Dewey Decimal System after all - it is accessed by this kind of search in the browser - see circled very small shelf mark.


What comes up is pictured to the left under the "copies available" down arrow in the UI.

However it doesn't take Decimals - so to get the book pictured here you'd have to put in '761' only after the equals sign "=" - not the more precise 761.2 as in Dewey "Decimal". So you get a lot of extraneous stuff you don't want. I'll not go into the boolean searches you could perform by text only without the big search button and the pretty options. But I like my software stripped down to be faster. 

The other problem is once it is reserved you cannot see the details of the shelf mark. I suspect this is the result of developers i.e. coders splicing two databases together. The database is very, very slow at pulling up details at times and for best results you will have to wait until all the UI (User Interface - pretty pictures) have loaded. I'd like a system where there are no pics to be loaded and I can have a text only results search with boolean options - I'll just have to look under the hood a bit more ;) - maybe I'm old-fashioned.

Maybe there is a way to make a more precise search but I haven't found it yet! Could you also make these "shelf mark" number details larger and still available on having reserved the book.

So I have spent a couple more hours on the system and have worked out a combo search for the Dewey System and the AI it then throws up but it is patchy.

Here is an example - say I wanted books on relief printing - I can put in a high level Dewey search which is "ART 761" helps knowing the Dewey System. 

You then have to apply the filters to refine the search to home in on what you want. This is where the AI's suggestions come in I think?!

But the combo in the search can give you nothing or everything and this is where it falls down. I ticked Art & Design but I also ticked "Relief Printing". It'll take "Relief Printing" on its own but not "Art and Design AND Relief Printing" which gives me a blank. It'll take "Art and Design" on its own too so go figure as the Americans say... 

So some success but you need to play around with it and it can become very slow - all those pretty pictures loading in. Also if you then search for newest date publication within your search results and press refresh you get a blank. 

Please please can we have a simple text and boolean operator search (e.g. AND / OR etc) for those of us who don't want all the bells and whistles. And can we have the ability to save searches?

I appreciate this is all very ambitious and the system is meant to be all things to all people but it helps to get into the weeds to iron out the bits that could work better. 

I hope you have shared this set of analyses with Haringey Libraries - if so, do please share any feedback from them.

Yes - I've shared with the consortium.

I hope this helps people generally too. 



As a final update to all this - I performed a search and found where the books should be in the stacks but they weren’t physically there - the librarian found them in the archive. So beware - the books may not be physically where you might think they are under the dewey system in the actual shelves - there are many more books in reserve stocks in the bigger libraries not necessarily put out on the shelves. 

Also another big problem for people when I was in the library were people who were running into the fact that they hadn’t signed the new terms and conditions for this service and had to do so and be issued a new number. 

So all in all the system is still up and running with a few teething problems and I should imagine they will have ironed it all out by the time the library joins the consortium by february. Fingers crossed.

People not having signed the new terms and conditions - I predicted that was going to be a problem, particularly as it wasn't that clearly displayed with a short timescale and a lot of library users don't attempt to log in to library catalogues most days the way I do.

On books not being there - Friends of MGL has been questioning the substantial reduction in shelf space since the library reopened in 2016 - actually, we were worrying about the reduction in shelf space and the dismantling of the special collection before that. (The current Friends Group at MGL was set up in 2015 before the library closed for refurbishment, to discuss and raise our concerns about proposed changes.

My understanding is that borrowing books from other consortium partners will be free but I think they'll see if they can deal with requests from the borough's own stock first. I've heard that the existing arrangement gives a library's own users first priority.

I'm not sure that it will be possible to transfer much of St Ann's stock to the new system while the branch is closed, but I'm going to go up to MGL on Tuesday or Wednesday and see if I can get some more of my current loans reissued by library staff. I have a few books to return and collect too. I just hope I get one of the more reasonable staff members when I go in!

I feel rather sorry for our library staff.

Yes very sorry - I saw they were having to cope with a stream of people to deal with problems and their own lack of understanding of the system (minimal training?}

They'll have even more problems today 20/12/2022 - because the database has fallen over already. I kind of predicted this. Maybe they should have tried stress testing the whole system first. Well I guess they are doing that now...

Yes, the new catalogue page isn't working properly on my PC - it says that I've got 14 books out including two Borrowbox ebooks - the main library catalogue has shown ebooks and audio available on Borrowbox but not those available via Libby for a while, and then that I have none and have no borrowing history. I can't log in to Libby/Overdrive.

However, there is a new phone app. I'm not keen - prefer managing my account on the laptop but it shows what I have out and that I have two books to collect from Marcus Garvey Library - one before New Year, so I'm probably going to go there tomorrow.

I'd be happy with less cover pictures, but they must be quite a drain on data and power for people who like to use the phone app too. Thinking about it, that must be why using the library ebooks app on my cranky old iphone uses up power so quickly (actually reading one is ok, it's everything else about using the app that drains my phone out nearly as fast as an online meeting).



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