Monday, December 12, 2011

Always Use Correct Terminology

MeSH updates for 2012 have been out for a while, so it's time to correct all the subject headings in our OPAC records. Yes! New terms!

We've heard rumors that there may be some way, in some system, to make this happen automatically, but we don't know what it is, in my library, so what this really means is that it's time for me to ask someone else to search for all the old, changed or deleted descriptors (like Indigotindisulfonate Sodium) one by one, and replace them with the shiny new descriptors (like Indigo Carmine).

Someone else will really enjoy that project.

While we're not sure about the existence of a way to have our OPAC talk to MeSH and update the 650 x2 fields automatically, we know there is actually a way to do a sort of 'find and replace' within the catalog that would at least correct multiple records at once, but to be honest we're kind of afraid of it.

What if we changed something in 50 records and then it was the wrong thing? And what if we couldn't just change it back? We could conceivably spend hours disentangling things. And we'd have to figure this out ourselves, because no one else knows how to do it either.

So it's kind of easier to have someone else do it the long way. Sometimes the thing that's technically more efficient is not actually the thing that makes the best use of available resources, that's what I tell myself.

Besides, we're getting a whole new ILS next year, so figuring out the cool tricks in Millennium at this late date isn't really going to help us in the long term. Therefore, heck with 'em.

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