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Requirements for Viewing Multiple Records Simultaneously


MM SIG members have noted that in both Inventory and MarcCat it would be desirable to be able to quickly view two records side-by-side (e.g., two Instance records or two MARC bibliographic records in the same screen). While it is possible to approximate this functionality by opening multiple tabs or multiple browsers, it does not provide the same functionality.

OCLC Connexion, a tool many of us use regularly, has this functionality. Some of us use it multiple times daily. Examples include reviewing another cataloger’s proposed changes to a record or creating a record for an earlier/later version of a resource (or name). We would also like the ability to view 2 records side by side in order to copy and paste fields from one record to another. We would also like the ability to merge 2 records that are duplicates, but to do that we would need to see them side by side for comparison. (We assume that a merge function will be built into Folio in some way, but that functionality will require the ability to view and compare records.)

Some ILSs do currently allow this. For those that don’t, in order to view two records side-by-side, we need to open two sessions (comparable to opening two browsers), resize each session’s screen, and then open a record in each. If we are doing something like transferring holdings or items from one record to another this is not always easily accomplished in two separate sessions. Also, it is much more time consuming to open two screens, remember which is which if either gets minimized, etc.

Another concern is version control. When we have multiple browser tabs open in OLE (because OLE does not offer a split screen view) we can run into version issues - cases where someone has the same record open in two browser windows, makes changes in one window, closes it, then sees an older version and believes their changes are not saved. It is not clear what happens if someone starts editing an older version…

While it may seem like a minor inconvenience, if this minor inconvenience in multiplied by the number of times each day an individual user has to perform the task and then again by the number of users, it becomes significant.

–Laura (on behalf of the MM SIG)