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OPAL Updates and Tips

OPAL Update January 15, 2021

by Heidi Beke-Harrigan on 2021-01-15T17:30:00-05:00 in Professional Development, Sierra, OhioLINK, Ebooks, Databases, Statistics and Reports, Circulation | Comments

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Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year as the spring semester gets underway!


Managing OhioLINK GEER Resources

Documentation in the EDS section of the OPAL Website has been updated to reflect recent changes to OhioLINK resources including the Electronic Book Center (EBC), Digital Resource Commons (DRC), and the addition of the GEER resources. The Databases and Holdings Management lists provide a quick reference if you are not sure about the adjustments you need to make to your EBSCO admin for EDS and Holdings Management. 

Since the JoVE Science Education Database (edsjov) contains additional content that OhioLINK does not have access to, you may want to consider linking directly to the collections in the package through your website and A-Z Database list instead of selecting the entire package in the EDS database list. In Holdings Management, only select the subscribed titles in the JoVE package. There are four currently available, and Core Chemistry will be added later. Find detailed instructions for all of the collections, along with the latest updates on the Ostaff page for GEER Resources (with login). We will continue to update the OPAL EDS documentation as information becomes available from OhioLINK.

Support for the GEER resources has already been added to your EZProxy instance. We are also in the process of setting up item locations and record loading for the new GEER collections (with the exception of Wiley Cochrane Library) in the OPAL catalog. The deadline to let us know which collections to include in your library's scope was January 12. If you have any questions please contact opalhelp@ohionet.org.


Flexibility to Extend PCIRC Renewals 

Since we reconfigured the circulation parameters earlier in the year to use localized copies of the OhioLINK loan rules, each OPAL library can implement OhioLINK-approved policy changes (no-fines policies, automatic renewals) as needed - without everyone in OPAL needing to do so.  Any OPAL library can freely extend their PCIRC renewals according to the ICS proposed recommendations or stay at their current levels, depending on local needs.


Watch for Your ACRL/IPEDS Statistics  

The ACRL/IPEDS 2020 Summary spreadsheet, individual detail sheets and notes were sent out earlier this week for the upcoming FY 2019-2020 reporting. You'll notice that the format for the detail sheet has changed due to differences in how ACRL and IPEDS now report e-book, e-media and e-serial usage and totals. Additional details and individualized explanations are included in the email. If you are a participant in the shared CONTENTdm OPAL Repository, Michael Dziabiak has worked a little programming magic to provide you with summary usage data for field 51.


OPAL Server Migration & OS Upgrade

Innovative has scheduled a server migration and OS upgrade for OPAL's Sierra instance next week on January 20 starting at 8:45am EST. For about 4-6 hours, anything that relies on Sierra will be unavailable. This includes the OPAL OPAC, Sierra desktop client, remote database authentication for libraries authenticating against the Sierra patron database, and requesting material through OhioLINK. You'll still be able to search for your own materials using the OhioLINK catalog or by using the EDS. 

We realize the timing of this is inconvenient at the beginning of the spring semester, but we weren't given any scheduling options. Innovative is unwilling to delay until February because their schedule is full and the prep work for the upgrade is already underway.


Free Certification Training for Mental Health First Aid

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction services is offering an opportunity to attend a free course on Mental Health First Aid   (MHFA). This is a 5 ½ hour , evidence-based, virtual training program that is highly interactive, and will give you the tools to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders in real, actionable ways. The courses are grouped by adult or youth, according to the population served. 

The deadline to sign up is Tuesday, January 19. Once you receive your MHFA certification, it is good for three years. 


Automated Record Loading Now Available for Individually Purchased EBSCO Titles

For some time now the presence of older NetLibrary collections has necessitated manual cataloging of individually purchased EBSCO 
e-books by OPAL institutions.  We have just finished a significant project to fix this issue, clean up Netlibrary holdings in the catalog, and re-establish broken EBSCO feeds in OCLC Collection Manager. Going forward, EBSCO e-book purchases by institutions with an established EBSCO feed will automatically trigger record loading. After records appear in the catalog, the institution will add a mutually agreed upon ICode1 to their item records. Because this is an automatic feed it is important that you don’t manually select or de-select any titles in OCLC Collection Manager for All EBSCO eBooks or your feed will break and record delivery will stop.

If your library doesn't have an EBSCO feed set up and you anticipate purchasing individual EBSCO titles for your institution, contact opalhelp@ohionet.org to initiate the process. Detailed information about record loading can be found on the Record Loading page of the OPAL website in the Support section.


Authentication to OhioLINK Music Center and DRC

OhioLink is currently working to resolve an issue that requires authentication through OhioLINK (rather than local proxy authentication) for the Music Center and the DRC.  In the meantime, OPAL users of these platforms will be forced out of their local proxy session and need to re-authenticate through OhioLINK to access content.


Welcome New OPAL Colleagues:
Mount Union

  • Frank Bove, Head of Technology/Cataloger
  • Amy Donovan, Administrative Assistant

Scott Sanders will be fulfilling the role of Interim Director at Antioch College as of January 15, 2021.


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