Today, like yesterday, one of my staff was away sick. Like yesterday this didn’t help things because with them away and another staff member away that means that we’re covering for two people. So I was helping out supporting the first guy but I also had to keep up with the support requests for the other person which was also fun.
So I had the on going issues with the wiki. Some appear to be legitimate, others appear to be an inability to copy and paste accurately. This is rather unfortunate but such is life. They are only first year students, so hopefully they’ll learn at some point. There were a few that weren’t in this bucket and I managed to get them resolved. We also had one student who changed their email address to a non-USQ student email address and is complaining that they didn’t get any email notification. I have a distinct feeling that the email was dropped as the student had a Yahoo! account and they have a habit of blacklisting us and our emails don’t go through. This is in part why we have the UMail accounts so that we can avoid this problem. We can’t blacklist ourselves.
Other issues involved some hosts needing to be added ezproxy’s list. It appears that EBSCO were redirecting this particular resource back onto ezproxy even though it was free. The ezproxy upgrade we did appears to have had this strange side effect that I will need to spend some time investigating if we can get rid of it so that for URL’s it doesn’t recognise it will unset itself.
The next issue was a link in the journal list that wasn’t being rewritten through ezproxy. That was an easy matter of updating the link where it was to run it back through ezproxy. I’m not entirely sure how it got changed but it was changed none the less and fixed now.
I had the regular Thursday tasks that the person off sick would have done. This involved kicking off the MARC export of our Library Management System, VTLS Virtua, and then starting the 11 hour reindex process into Solr and VuFind, the tool we use to index the catalogue. This bit doesn’t take much time however I spent a bit of time working on improving some of the scripts. I altered the way it handled logging and printed some user friendly messages to the screen. I’ve made small improvements along the way so hopefully this will continue.
Another curious thing was EndNote again complaining about a particular page implicating them more than VTLS. The issue is that since the upgrade EndNote has been broken. The original text read like this:
APOLOGIES – PLEASE NOTE: Currently there is no connection file for the USQ Library catalogue. We are awaiting a compliance upgrade from EndNote to match our Library Management System. We apologise for the inconvenience this causes. As an interim measure you might choose to search the UQ or other Australian Libraries for the title once you’ve found it in a normal websearch of our catalogue. We ask you to understand that this is NOT a permanent situation. Notification of the availability of the USQ connection file will be made ASAP
EndNote were upset about the implication that their system could be at fault here and that they had to do something. Curiously EndNote is the only system impacted and malfunctioning. Every other system that utilises the Z39.50 interface works perfectly well including but not limited to our Library Catalogue, the desktop management tool and web search tool provided by VTLS, OCLC’s VDX, Civica Aurora, Biblioscape 8, Yaz and Mercury Z39.50. Both Yaz and Mercury are freely available tools and Mercury was even tested off campus by a colleague at UQ. There are perhaps other systems that interface on Z39.50 that I have missed but it looks very much like the only system that isn’t working is EndNote. This has now been changed to the following:
APOLOGIES – PLEASE NOTE: Currently there is no connection file for the USQ Library catalogue. We are awaiting a compliance upgrade of our Library Management System to fix this. We apologise for the inconvenience this causes. As an interim measure you might choose to search the UQ or other Australian Libraries for the title once you’ve found it in a normal websearch of our catalogue. We ask you to understand that this is NOT a permanent situation and is not a problem created by the EndNote software. Notification of the availability of the USQ connection file will be made ASAP.
Fortunately VTLS have accepted that they made a change that broke EndNote and they’ve said they’ll fix it in their latest revision. It is unfortunate that EndNote seem disinterested in resolving the issue when VTLS took ownership and I must admit I never got a reasonable response from anyone about what was happening. As far as I could see from the logs, Virtua issues a challenge to EndNote which never gets responded to and EndNote just times out on its own. So whilst VTLS has agreed to do a fix to resolve the issue and restore compatibility however it will be in their next release which will be in a few months and due to the time it takes us to complete formal testing around the system it will likely be another few months after that until the fix reaches our production system. Unfortunate really. What I really don’t get is why EndNote is the only product that isn’t working but such is life. VTLS are happy to fix the problem and it’ll get resolved eventually. To be honest I don’t care who fixes it, I’m just disappointed that it took us a long period of time to get anyone to fix it.
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