|Implementing ALEPH is an
information-intensive activity. Everyone involved in the process has the experience: 'I
know I've seen that one particular item of information, but where was it?' What's needed
is a tool to help track down that elusive piece of ALEPH esoterica. Likewise, a
clearinghouse of information is needed to provide a focus for the information needs of
those implementing that SUNYConnect LMS.
The SUNY Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) is making such an information clearinghouse available to the SUNY community. This tool is available through a web interface and provides various searching and browsing capabilities. The SUNYConnect LMS "knowledge base" is generated via Footprints, a product of Unipress software. The Footprints software provides the text storage, search and display functions of the knowledge base. Footprints' database also allows for documents such as word processing and spreadsheet files to be attached to the relevant entry.
In general, Footprints is comparable to the Target Hotline software familiar to the SUNY Library Automation and Implementation Program (LAIP) participants. Initially, however, Footprints won't be used by campus contacts to submit ALEPH inquiries. Instead Footprints serves an information clearinghouse role pointing campus contacts to ALEPH information sources.
Footprints entries that are "solved" are available to those using the public access to the system. This access is available via the SUNY ALEPH500 portal. Contact Laura Murray (OLIS) if you need a reminder on accessing the portal.
This access allows one to browse the solved entries. In addition, the solutions can be searched via keywords or by entry number. Similiar entries on major topics regarding the SUNYConnect LMS are combined into FAQs. The frequently asked question entries are another way of accessing the knowledge base.
The OLIS plan is to also utilize Footprints to disseminate information on other aspects of the SUNYConnect initiative. These other Footprint "projects" include SUNYConnect electronic resources and SFX.
Eventually Footprints may be used as a SUNYConnect LMS technical support system. At that time, campus contacts will be able to send in their ALEPH inquiries and database contributions in addition to using Footprints as another ALEPH information source.
Please take a look at the Footprints knowledge base. Let us know what you think, and whether you have suggestions for improving the system.