[OPEN-ILS-GENERAL] Towards more consistent terminology in the web client

Boyer, Jason A JBoyer at library.IN.gov
Fri Aug 17 07:25:58 EDT 2018

I 100% agree with all of this and if we're going to do any terminology realignment I think we should straighten up as much as possible at the same time.

Jason Boyer
MIS Supervisor
Indiana State Library

From: Open-ils-general [mailto:open-ils-general-bounces at list.georgialibraries.org] On Behalf Of Daniel Wells
Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2018 7:10 PM
To: Evergreen Discussion Group <open-ils-general at list.georgialibraries.org>
Subject: Re: [OPEN-ILS-GENERAL] Towards more consistent terminology in the web client

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Hello all,

Very happy to see the term "Holding" getting some traction.  I would also agree that changing the record-level "Add Copies" button to "Add Holdings" makes a lot of sense!

Furthermore, after 9 days of suspense, I have finally found time to unveil the one term I feel has been misused in Evergreen since the beginning: volume!  Hopefully there are some like-minded folks to whom this is no surprise.  To others, I offer the following somewhat long explanation, and also to help the busy and impatient, here is the summary conclusion. "Volume" is a word for a physical thing (i.e. something with "volume"), and we already have two established words for that (item/copy), so it is of no obvious use to us.  Volume, be gone!

You may be thinking that's just, like, my opinion, so to that I offer the following quote from the American Library Association Fact Sheet:

"The ARL academic library study takes its definition of volume from the National Information Standards Organization<http://www.niso.org/> (NISO): A single physical unit of any printed, typewritten, handwritten, mimeographed, or processed work, distinguished from other units by a separate binding, encasement, portfolio, or other clear distinction, which has been cataloged, classified, and made ready for use, and which is typically the unit used to charge circulation transactions."

With this single quote, we've got the ALA, the ARL (Association of Research Libraries), and NISO all agreeing on usage of the term "volume" to be the physical "things" in our library collections.  That's some pretty good authority, I think.  And when the ALA Fact Sheet then tells us the Library of Congress has 34,528,818 "volumes held", they mean 34,528,818 physical things, and we all generally understand that usage without difficulty.  It certainly doesn't mean "call numbers", and it doesn't mean something conceptual.  It is simply the separate units of stuff they have collected and organized.

So, if this is the case, why does "volume" as it is currently used in Evergreen feel right to so many of us?  Stockholm syndrome, of course.  Actually, the way we use it isn't *totally* wrong, and since some of us have now been using this term "the Evergreen way" for 10+ years, it has become a bit ingrained and entrenched.  It also just shorter and easier to use and say than "call number" even when we really just mean "call number".  I, too, am guilty of such things.

Finally, the term "volume" also brings some additional baggage when it comes to parts.  Since the most common *label* for a part is "volume [xyz]", sometime we casually refer to a part as a "volume".  To this, I can only say that even volumes not labeled "volume" are volumes, so let's not trip ourselves over thinking that "volume" belongs to parts in any meaningful way.

My feelings, in summary:
1) "Holding" should be our general term as much as possible.  It simply means anything we provide access to.
2) Our circulating units should be labeled "Item" or "Copy".  My slight preference is for "Item", but I don't think "Copy" has any major problems being understood when used in this way.
3) We should keep using the term "Call Number" for the actual call number, of course, but in many places "Holding" will slide in and work fine.
3) "Volume" is tainted, and it would be best to quit cold-turkey.  It is hard to imagine us strictly using it as ALA/ARL/NISO have defined it, and we can live without it.

Now, some of the above is rhetoric; I can also imagine a path forward where we keep "volume", since no label is going to allow software to perfectly fit reality.  But I do feel that path will require a little more finesse and discipline, and that moving away is ultimately the easier road.

Thanks for reading!


On Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 5:21 PM, Kathy Lussier <klussier at masslnc.org<mailto:klussier at masslnc.org>> wrote:
Hi all,

I'm sending along a reminder to please fill out this survey by tomorrow if you haven't done so already. We've received 97 responses so far!




Kathy Lussier

Project Coordinator

Massachusetts Library Network Cooperative

(508) 343-0128

klussier at masslnc.org<mailto:klussier at masslnc.org>

On Fri, Aug 10, 2018 at 1:28 PM, Kathy Lussier <klussier at masslnc.org<mailto:klussier at masslnc.org>> wrote:
As promised, here is the link to the survey for gauge community opinion on these terms.


I see the survey as a way to set a general direction for which terms we want to use.  Once we have that direction, I think we can dive into the details more to see if there are specific instances where we shouldn't be changing a term because it has a slightly different meaning or context.

I'll keep the survey open until next Friday.

Thanks all!


Kathy Lussier

Project Coordinator

Massachusetts Library Network Cooperative

(508) 343-0128

klussier at masslnc.org<mailto:klussier at masslnc.org>

On Fri, Aug 10, 2018 at 11:29 AM, Mary Llewellyn <mllewell at biblio.org<mailto:mllewell at biblio.org>> wrote:
+1 for holdings and Sarah!

On Fri, Aug 10, 2018 at 9:19 AM, Deborah Luchenbill <deborah at mobiusconsortium.org<mailto:deborah at mobiusconsortium.org>> wrote:
+1, Sarah!  I like Holdings for that label.

Debbie Luchenbill
Evergreen Coordinator
111 E. Broadway, Ste. 220<https://maps.google.com/?q=111+E.+Broadway,+Ste.+220+Columbia,+MO+%C2%A065203&entry=gmail&source=g>
Columbia, MO  65203<https://maps.google.com/?q=111+E.+Broadway,+Ste.+220+Columbia,+MO+%C2%A065203&entry=gmail&source=g>
debbie at mobiusconsortium.org<mailto:deborah at mobiusconsortium.org>
Missouri Evergreen Help Desk: help at mobiusconsortium.org<mailto:help at mobiusconsortium.org> / 877-312-3517

On Fri, Aug 10, 2018 at 7:08 AM, Elaine Hardy <ehardy at georgialibraries.org<mailto:ehardy at georgialibraries.org>> wrote:
+1 Sarah!

J. Elaine Hardy
PINES & Collaborative Projects Manager
Georgia Public Library Service/PINES
1800 Century Place, Ste. 580<https://maps.google.com/?q=1800+Century+Place,+Ste.+580+Atlanta,+GA+30045&entry=gmail&source=g>
Atlanta, GA 30045<https://maps.google.com/?q=1800+Century+Place,+Ste.+580+Atlanta,+GA+30045&entry=gmail&source=g>

404.548.4241 Cell
ehardy at georgialibraries.org<mailto:ehardy at georgialibraries.org>
Helpdesk: http://help.georgialibraries.org

On Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 5:23 PM, Janet Schrader <jschrader at cwmars.org<mailto:jschrader at cwmars.org>> wrote:
+1 to holdings.
I like that because it's consistent with "Holdings transfer" and can be either a copy or a volume. Holdings should be familiar to any librarian who used MARC record loads to create items 852 or 94x fields.


Janet Schrader

Bibliographic Services Supervisor | CW MARS

67 Millbrook Street, Suite 201, Worcester, MA 01606<https://maps.google.com/?q=67+Millbrook+Street,+Suite+201,+Worcester,+MA+01606&entry=gmail&source=g>

P: 508-755-3323 x 325 | F: 508-757-7801


jschrader at cwmars.org<mailto:jschrader at cwmars.org>  ||  http;//cwmars.org<http://www.cwmars.org/>

On Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 4:06 PM, Sarah Childs <sarahc at zionsvillelibrary.org<mailto:sarahc at zionsvillelibrary.org>> wrote:
On Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 3:41 PM, Elaine Hardy <ehardy at georgialibraries.org<mailto:ehardy at georgialibraries.org>> wrote:
I do like Holdings transfer. I think it is a good descriptor of what we are doing with the functionality.

A little quibble, though with not having the button labelled Add volumes and copies. I realize that is cumbersome, however, it is more descriptive, especially from a cataloger's point of view.

Maybe it should be labeled "Add Holdings"?   Then it's distinct from both Add Volumes and Add Copies.

Sarah Childs
Technical Services Department Head
Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library
250 North Fifth Street<https://maps.google.com/?q=250+North+Fifth+Street+%0D%0AZionsville,+IN+46077&entry=gmail&source=g>
Zionsville, IN 46077
317-873-3149 x13330
sarahc at zionsvillelibrary.org<mailto:sarahc at zionsvillelibrary.org>

Mary Llewellyn
Database Manager
Bibliomation, Inc.
24 Wooster Ave.<https://maps.google.com/?q=24+Wooster+Ave.+Waterbury,+CT+06708&entry=gmail&source=g>
Waterbury, CT 06708<https://maps.google.com/?q=24+Wooster+Ave.+Waterbury,+CT+06708&entry=gmail&source=g>
mllewell at biblio.org<mailto:mllewell at biblio.org>

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