On Thursday 6th March I attended my second HUG (Heritage User Group) meeting. The Heritage User Group is a community of users of the Library Management System Heritage who work closely with, but independently from, Heritage's developers, IS Oxford. You can find out more about the group here.
The morning's presentation was delivered by Neville Jones from IS Oxford who demonstrated the new developments within their Cirqa system. We still haven't yet upgraded to Heritage Cirqa (although should be soon) but I was glad to see that some of the previously frustrating aspects had been improved (such as the past inability to renew all items in one go). I was also impressed by the improved clarity of reader messages when managing their account online.
The afternoon began with a brief AGM and were followed by two presentations by members of the committee. Emily Armstrong and Julian Dawson demonstrated their use of Heritage's 'favourites' listing feature to create reading lists. We have been using this feature for a number of years so I didnt' really learn anything new. The second presentation on tidying up your data I found much more useful. Whilst I look after a lot of Heritage's 'housekeeping' tasks there are areas of our system which I haven't really looked at. Following the meeting I am keen to start looking at our authority files for keywords, for example, and tidying them up as well as checking for duplicate names and titles.
The only negative aspect I found was that Neville was around for the entire day in order to field a Q & A session. Whilst the Group is independent from IS Oxford I felt that the structure of this meeting left little room for questions and good practice sharing amongst colleagues.
I wrote the following to conclude my blog about my first HUG meeting and I stand by it still:
"Overall I found the day extremely useful and would recommend that anyone who uses Heritage become a member of the Group. You have access to a range of helpful resources and advice and the opportunity to discuss with others their experience of Heritage. Of course, this isn't the only Heritage forum environment - there is the Marvin mailing list and the HUG sub-groups. However, for very little membership cost there are big benefits."