For: Digital talking book distribution analysis. Task 3 - Statement of work (Final report : June 29, 2006)
Section 2 - Enhancements to Network Library Automation Systems
This This section of the report presents describes the envisioned enhancements to Library Automation Systems (LAS) that will be necessary for successful implementation of the future DTB distribution system. Time-wise, t hese enhancements will be performed in two distinct phases . Th e first phase will be the development of LAS functionality required to support design for the All Mass-Duplication DTB distribution system , and the second phase will be development of the functionality re quired to support the Hybrid distribution system , if implemented . . Because this approach uses the current book distribution model, the changes necessary to network library and NLS operations are relatively modest. The major components of operations are first presented and any necessary changes are cited and estimated, followed by the estimated major costs for audio book production under this system.
It is anticipated that five LASs will be in use in the future DTB distribution system . These systems are:
- Keystone Library Automation System (KLAS) ,
- Reader Enrolment and Delivery System (READS) ,
- Consortium of User Libraries system (CUL) ,
- Albany system (used by the Regional Library in Albany, New Y ork ) , and
- Texas system (used by the Regional Library in Austin, Texas) .
The owners of each of these five systems will be responsible for making the required enhancements. NLS will assume the costs for modifying the READS system, while individual libraries or groups of libraries will be responsible for the costs of modifying the other systems. Changes to the KLAS system will be made by the staff of Keystone Systems; to the READS system by the staff of NLS ’s contractor Data Management Associates; to the CUL system by the IT consultants retained by the user libraries consortium ; and to the Albany and Texas systems by the in-house staff of those libraries who designed and maintain the systems.
The current NLS transition plan for conversion to the future digital system calls for DTBM and DTB mass-production to begin in FY 2008 , and hence DTB distribution from network libraries to also begin during FY 2008. The enhancements described in Section 2.2 should therefore be in place by the beginning of FY 200 8 , while the appropriate deadline for development of the functionality described in Section 2.3 is somewhat uncertain at this time.
Site 3.1.1 6 Changes to Library Information Systems : The following network library information system functionality will either be mandatory or, as cited, highly desirable in order to successfully implement the All Mass-Duplication DTB distribution system.
Basic Audio Book Distribution Capabilities – Library Automation Systems must have the same basic capabilities for the distribution of DTBs that they now have for the distribution of RCs. These capabilities must include, but will not necessarily be limited to, the following:
(1) the ability to provide input to the NLS Production Inventory Control System (PICS) in the copy allotment process, including the specification of default quantities of new book copies by subject code and manual overrides to default quantities, so that NLS can plan production quantities for DTB titles being mass-duplicated;
(2) the ability to receive bibliographic and copy allotment quantity information on new DTB titles from the NLS PICS system and update the library information system with the same;
(3) the ability to receive and check-in new copies of DTBs received from NLS mass-duplication contractors, including the use of copy-level identification (i.e., barcoding) of DTBs if used by the library to manage book distribution, and incrementing the book inventory record;
(4) the ability to check-out DTBs to patrons, charging the patron Has-Now record and decrementing the book inventory record;
(5) the ability to check-in DTBs returned from patrons, relieving the patron Has-Now record, updating the patron Has-Had record, and incrementing the book inventory record;
(6) the ability to locate DTBs in storage locations in the library, whether in quick-turnaround areas, if used, or in collection storage, if system-assistance is required for locating a copy (i.e., if random storage is used);
(7) the ability to remove a DTB copy from circulating inventory and place it in inventory awaiting possible redistribution via the NLS XESS system; and
(8) the ability to remove both damaged DTB copies from circulating inventory, and unselected/un-redistributed copies from XESS inventory, for forwarding to an NLS DTB cartridge and container reconditioning contractor.
Playback Machine Ownership Status – After the transition to the digital system begins, there will effectively be three classes of patrons vis-à-vis playback machine ownership: (1) those who have only DTBMs; (2) those who have both DTBMs and CBMs; and (3) those who have only CBMs. The library information system must have this information in the patron record.
DTBM Accessories - The information system must be able to track any DTBM accessories that are loaned to patrons.
Type of DTBM - The information system must know whether a DTBM loaned to a patron is a "Basic" or "Advanced" machine model. It is possible that the DTBM serial number may provide this information.
Patron Language Preference for DTBM – Patrons will have a choice of English or Spanish for the audible prompts and other user information provided by the DTBM. This language preference must be contained in the library information system.
Selection of Books in Appropriate Media – A reader with only a CBM will be able to use only RCs, a reader with only a DTBM will be able to use only DTBs, while a reader with both types of machines will be able to use either RCs or DTBs. Therefore, the information system must select books in the appropriate medium for circulation to a patron based upon playback machine ownership status.
Preferential Selection of DTB - L ibrary information systems should employ preferential selection of DTB format over RC format for patrons owning both types of machines. That is, if copies of both RC and DTB are available in inventory for an ordered title, then the DTB copy should be preferentially selected by the information system . This preferential selection should occur because the overall quality of the service will be better for the patron.
Preferential Selection of DTB Over RC: It is recommended that the library systems employ preferential selection of DTB over RC for patrons with both types of machines. That is, if copies of both RC and DTB are available in inventory for an ordered title, then the DTB copy should be preferentially selected. This is because the overall quality of the product and service will be better, and because this is the system of the future to which the NLS and network are moving. This capability is desirable, but is not essen . This capability is desirable, but is not essentiaCrosswalk of Titles Read in RC and DTB Formats – Library information systems should have a “crosswalk” that would be used for updating patron Has-Had records for books read in either RC or DTB formats , with respect to orders generated by Profile Select. This would prevent a Profile Select order being generated for a title that the patron has already read in another medium. NLS will use the same numeric portion of the book title number number for both prospectively and retrospectively-produced book titles in DTB format. This crosswalk should, therefore, be relatively straightforward to implement .
D TB Pick Ticket /Address Card Information for DTBs – The p ick ticket to be used for DTB distribution must be the same size and made from the same standard cardstock as the pick tickets now used for RC distribution; the DTB container is being designed to accommodate the card now used by all network libraries for RC circulation. Therefore, pick ticket stock used for DTBs will be identical to that which a library uses for RCs. T he library return address must be pre-printed on the back of the card, and a barcode of the library address zip code should also be pre - printed on the back of the card in the appropriate USPS barcode format . Pre-printed information on the front of the card must include the “Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped” citation, and v ariable information on the front of the card will include that necessary to enable library-based distribution of DTBs , which will vary among network libraries. Th e address information on the front of the card must include patron name and address, and should include a barcode of the patron zip code in the appropriate USPS barcode format in order to expedite delivery .
Batching and Printing of DTB Pick Tickets - DTB pick tickets must be separately batched from the pick tickets for other media if DTB ’s are stored separately, which is recommended . If terminal digit storage of DTBs is implemented , pick tickets must be sorted by the last two digits of the book title number and then by the first three digits of the title number before printing. If some or all DTBs are to be randomly stored in quick-turnaround and/or collection storage , then pick tickets for these must be separately batched and printed in stock location sequence.
Random Storage Capability - There are two reasons why network libraries should use a random storage capability (terminal digit storage would also provide a different but ef fective solution). First, in the early years of the transition to the digital system , not all of the 2,000 new book titles that will be produced in RC format will also be produced in DTB format, and there will therefore be “gaps” in the title numbers that are mass-duplicated; these gaps will not disappear after all planned production has been received by the library . Second, there will be gaps in the title number sequence of books mass-duplicated in DTB format from the Retro collection of 20,000 titles, even if all are mass-duplicated, because these will be 20,000 titles selected from among approximately 50,000 titles; the sequence in which such titles will be mass-duplicated may also very well be random in terms of Title Numbers. For both of these reasons, libraries should implement a random storage locator system or terminal-digit storage system that will either supplement or replace the T itle Number sequence- based storage system that is now used.
System-Assisted and Prompted Weeding – Because of the relatively high cost of DTB media and the attendant need to reuse the cartridges for mass-duplication of new DTBs, and the need to improve the efficiency of audio book storage in network libraries due to limited facility space in most operations, a more formal weeding methodology should be implemented in network library operations . This capability would be logic incorporated in the library information system, modeled up on the Texas system, which would automatically make daily weeding decisions and produce weeding pick tickets to prompt the removal of surplus copies from library collections. Weeding supported by such a system would be performed continuously rather than periodically.
Updates to CMLS and BPHICS - I nteractions with both the Comprehensive Mailing List System ( CMLS) and Blind and Physically Handicapped Inventory Control System ( BPHICS) will be fundamentally unchanged in the future system . However, l ibraries must update CMLS as to whether a reader has a DTBM, and update BPHICS with the serial numbers of DTBMs in their inventories. Even if the Hybrid System with duplication-on-demand is never implemented, there are two reasons why network library information systems may nevertheless require random storage capability (note: Terminal Digit storage would also provide a different but effective solution to the same potential problems without the need for random storage capability and associated system enhancements). First, if in the first few years of the transition not all 2,000 new book titles (being produced in RC format) are produced in DTB format, but rather some subset of this 2,000, then there will be "gaps" in the title number range for the DTB collection – gaps that will not disappear after all current production is received (since gaps in title numbers for RCs occur, but are temporary and disappear). Second, if NLS ever mass-duplicates any of the "Retrospective" DTB titles collection (20,000 titles by the end of FY 2008, all produced at some time in RC format), then the same "gap" situation will occur, because only a minority of these titles will ever be mass-duplicated, there are gaps within the Retrospective collection itself, and the order in which they will be produced would likely be random. NLS has decided to use the numeric portion of existing audio book titles for the same titles if ever produced in DTB format, and for all titles concurrently produced in RC and DTB format during the transition period. For both of these reasons, and because of the possibility that the Hybrid system may be implemented several years into the transition, it is recommended that libraries have the capability for either random or terminal digit storage in order to handle these situations efficiently. The specifics of how these updates are performed vary among network libraries .
The information system functionality provided by the various enhancements described above will first be tested by the parties who make the enhancements, network library staff, NLS staff (RE library system interactions with the PICS system), and NLS contractors (RE library system interactions with CMLS and BPHICS). For each of the three multi-library information systems, a pilot test site will be selected to test the enhancements, while the independent systems will be tested in their respective locations. After successful testing is completed, with additional system modifications performed as necessary, actual library-based distribution of DTBs will begin.
If the Hybrid DTB distribution system is implemented in the future, then network libraries will have to make a second set of information system enhancements in order to facilitate successful distribution of DTBs from NLS contractor-operated DOD Centers. In this event, the contractor hired by NLS to develop the information system for the DOD Centers (and who would operate the DOD Centers), will take the lead role in developing the framework for this information exchange. This contractor will then meet with representatives of the five LASs expected to be in use in the future system, and the specific design of this information exchange, and the specific modifications required to the LASs, will be defined. Based upon input from representatives of these five LASs, such required enhancements will be of minor-to-moderate difficulty.
A DTB title record in a network library’s information system must indicate if the “Library” or “Center” is responsible for circulation of that title. If it is the library, then DTB circulation will be handled by the information system functionality described in Section 2.2.
If, however, the responsibility for circulation lies with the DOD Center, then the following types of transactions and information exchange must occur between the network libraries and DOD Centers, and this information exchange must be completely automated.
1 - "Order" (Library to Center), i.e., a library will place an order with a DOD Center for a DTB; the DOD Center will then perform checks for validity and completeness, and assign its own transaction number to the order.
2 - "Status" (Center to Library), i.e., the library order will be classified as either “accepted” or “rejected” by the Center; if rejected, the reason for rejection will be cited, probably using codes, e.g. “Address Incomplete”. This status will be reported back to the libraries for all orders received.
3 - "Shipped" (Center to Library), i.e., an order has been shipped-out to a patron from the DOD Center via USPS, which is reported to the library.
4 - "Undeliverables" (Center to Library), i.e, an undeliverable copy has been returned to the DOD Center by the USPS, which is reported to the library.
5 - "Returns" (Center to Library), i.e., a book has been read by a patron and returned to a DOD Center, which is reported to the library.
6 - "Inquiry" (Library to Center), i.e., the library inquires about the status of an order.
7 - "Lost" (Library to Center), i.e., the library will inform the Center that a copy is to be considered lost (using the same criteria for defining a mass-duplicated, library-distributed copy as lost).
Several fundamental tenets of the contemplated information exchange between network libraries and DOD Centers are listed below.
- Information exchange between network libraries and DOD Centers will be by web-based (i.e., via the Internet) data telecommunications. While other possibilities were considered, because almost all network libraries have some type of Internet access, the volume of data to be exchanged will be relatively minor, and other methods would likely impose incremental costs upon network libraries, web-based data communications was selected as the means for DOD Center-network library information exchange.
- Data communications between network libraries and DOD Centers will use transaction records in Extensible Markup Language (XML) format. This approach will be effective because data communications using XML records is common and has a proven track-record in many applications. It will also be efficient because all library information system vendors and representatives have experience using XML records, and can therefore efficiently implement such enhancements to library information systems if and when they become necessary.
- A "Periodic Polling" approach will be employed to facilitate data communications between network libraries and DOD Centers, whereby network library information systems will send transaction records to servers in the DOD Centers’ information systems, and will "pick-up" transaction records written to the servers by the DOD Centers’ information systems. These tasks will be scheduled and fully automated. In this manner, most fundamental information system security and access problems will be minimized, specifically the difficulty associated with information systems in the DOD Centers having security access to information systems that support 132 network libraries.
While all network libraries do not now have the communications infrastructure necessary to facilitate the data exchange as described, the vast majority do possess these capabilities.
Further considerations of information systems and the information exchange between network libraries and DOD Centers are discussed in Section 5. As previously mentioned, the DOD Center operator/Systems Integrator will take the lead role in the development of the protocols for information exchange between the libraries and DOD Centers. After the necessary enhancements are made to each of the five library information systems to facilitate DTB distribution from DOD Centers, testing of the enhancements will be conducted at pilot sites for each of the three multi-library systems, and for the Texas and Albany systems. After completion of successful testing, DOD distribution will be implemented.