In January librarians across Cambridge will be using a different Library Management System. Voyager has been a (generally!) faithful servant for the last 15 years, and it’s time to move on to a new system that’s better able to cope with the demands of a swiftly changing digital world. Helen will be telling you all about Alma, our new system in due course, but in the meantime, if you notice lines of librarians skulking off to training rooms clutching folders, you’ll know what they’re up to.
Voyager itself will be switched off in its entirety over the holiday period, as the transition to Alma begins. Generally the change should have little noticeable effect on reader usage. Even during the downtime of the Library Management System most things will work as usual. Library collections will still be searchable via iDiscover . Do remember that most music scores are on the card catalogue, which is not affected by IT hiccups! At long last the card catalogue comes into its own.
Just be aware that as books will have to go on to manual circulation from the end of December, what you see on the system after December 23rd may not always be exact – books may appear to be on the shelf that aren’t, and vice versa, for example. You’ll also be unable during this time to renew books online, make stack requests, request or recall items. Please bear with us, it will only be for a short period, and everything should be up and running by the time the Lent term starts in January.
Any information that you have saved in the ‘My Favourites’ area of iDiscover (pins, searches etc.) will be lost during this time. This will also affect any permalinks to records which you may have saved. If you wish to retain your pinned records, visit this link for further advice.
There will be one vital change to library catalogues with the arrival of Alma, and that will be the end of our old friend, the Newton catalogue. But don’t worry – all the searches that you used to do on Newton will still work on iDiscover, though sometimes in a slightly different way.
For example, Newton was great at finding results, even if you weren’t sure how to spell a name. A good example of this can be seen here, where I’m trying to do a search for Rachmaninoff, but I’m not quite sure of the spelling…
However it’s still possible to do this sort of search on iDiscover. On iDiscover, use a simple search, making sure that it is set to Cambridge Libraries Collections (which will give you all the hard copies held in Cambridge libraries), and (if you’re looking for a UL copy), set the drop down box at the end of the search box to University Library (if you’re looking for a score in the Pendlebury, change the drop-down box to “Music: Pendlebury Library”). Then do exactly the same “guesstimating” the composer’s name as before….
You’ll see here that although no records have been found, it asks if you were intending to search for an alternative spelling. Click on this alternate, and the following page will appear….
If you then click on Scores in the filter field Resource type in the right hand column, it will narrow it down to scores by Rachmaninoff.
iDiscover is also pretty good at guesstimating all by itself. For example if I try the Cherepnin search on there, it comes up with a mixture of results for Cherepnin and Tcherepnin. A quick look through some of the results will soon narrow it down to the correct spelling. You can then click on the appropriate subject heading to find more works by or about the same person.
Once you’re there, do the appropriate search. Let’s try to find some scores of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. In this case, I’d like to find a score in the Pendlebury Library, so I’ve set the location to there. I’ll now have a look for Mozart under author, and Marriage of Figaro under title.
You’ll notice that just 12 results have been returned – that doesn’t seem very many, so how can we improve on that? A TOP TIP is to search using the original language of the title. If you’re not sure what it is, have a look in Oxford music online (Grove) (Raven password needed outside the UL). Searching for Nozze di Figaro instead of Marriage of Figaro will bring up 53 results (an additional 38 to the earlier search). Use the filters on the right hand side to restrict to scores, sound recordings, or whatever you’re looking for.
The filter fields are a really easy way to narrow down searches, and to find exactly what you need. One real improvement on iDiscover is that you can now search the UL and the Pendlebury simultaneously by applying (and locking) the filters for both.
Simply do a search…
Scroll down to Library and click on Show more to get the full list. Once you’ve done that, run the cursor to the left of the library names, and a tick box will appear.
Click in the relevant boxes, and an Apply Filters box will appear.
There will be plenty of help and advice around iDiscover and the end of Newton nearer the time. Keep watching this space, and check out the LibGuide for iDiscover. Remember to use the card catalogues for music (they’re surprisingly user friendly); and if you have any questions please ask a member of staff. We’re happy to help.
MJ (with additional photos and text courtesy of HS)