Have you used our Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) to look up an item in the Luther Seminary library collection? If your answer is yes you have used MARTIN. This is the name we give the public face of our catalog. MARTIN stands for Making Available Religious and Theological INformation. You think this is a little corny? Well, perhaps, but it is perfect for a Lutheran seminary library. That's what we do! We provide access to information to help prepare you for ministry.
The technology that underlies MARTIN is complex. One part is the hardware, the server responsible for storing library holdings data. The server that MARTIN (the OPAC) runs on is named Ruth. She is a Sun Server; powered by Voyager software from ExLibris Ltd. Voyager has different modules: Circulation (checking books in and out) runs on Ruth. Trisha Burr orders books and other materials using the acquisitions module. Mary Ann Teske, our über cataloger, adds to our collections with the cataloging module. Paula Vestermark tracks our journals and magazines with the aid of the serials module.
Last year we learned that Voyager was making a Linux version available to the Voyager community. This was good news. Though Ruth has served us well, Sun servers are expensive. The IT department (computer services/information technology) prefers to use Linux servers. They opt for open source solutions and savings whenever possible. Current budgets have pushed us to wait longer than we were comfortable with to replace Ruth. Ruth has been working behind the scenes since 2004 and it's time for her to retire. Most servers have a life span of four to five years. She's been on duty way past our comfort zone.
The past three days our Upgrade Engineer Klaus has been working from Hamburg Germany. He started on Tuesday by moving our data from Ruth to Anna, our new server. Once the data was moved it had to be converted, massaged and prepared for the latest version of Voyager. Our usual upgrades have been a day and half or so. This one required three. I'll be tweaking how it looks and searches for a few more weeks.
The upgrade has been a truly collaborative process. Mark Solhjem, our Network Systems Engineer, who works from his home office in Moorhead, has been involved at every step. This week he's been working with Klaus to facilitate the upgrade. Maria Thompson, Laura Kaslow and Jenni Lathrop from Luther's Communications Office have participated in creating a new look for MARTIN, integrating it with the elements of the branding work unveiled earlier this year. Jenni and I exchanged numerous emails tweaking the pixel size and color details to work with Voyager's specifications. The library staff debated which search options to offer and which features to include in the customization.
As the process winds up I'd like to say Thank You to everyone involved. Thank you also to Ruth for long and faithful service. You have been worthy of your name. Our new server is Anna. It took us several weeks to decide on a name. We liked the palindrome, the length of the name and the stories of the two women in the Bible named Anna. One is Tobit's wife, the other is the prophet who lived in the Temple and proclaimed Jesus the redeemer of Israel. (Luke 2:36-38). As we move forward with a new "face" to MARTIN we look to Anna. May she live to a ripe old age and serve us both day and night.
- Jennie Bartholomew, electronic services librarian