A warm hello from Vancouver!
The Special Libraries Association annual conference comes to our home town of Vancouver next week, and we hope to meet many of you there. We invite you to stop by and visit us in booth 708 or see us at the Canadian and Inmagic/Lucidea receptions on Monday evening.
In This Issue
Health Library Upgrades in Ontario
Thunder Bay and Simcoe Muskoka Health Units Share Library Catalogue
Amongst health care agencies in Canada, it is quite common to share library systems and resources - it makes good economic sense, and helps users and patients to more easily find resources with a single search point.
In 2012, Andornot worked with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit to upgrade their DB/TextWorks library system from the older Inmagic Library Module kit to the much newer Inmagic Genie Integrated Library System. This year, the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit merged their MS Access library catalogue into this shared Genie system, providing both health units with a modern, up-to-date system for managing library holdings, serial subscriptions, orders, and more.
Both Genie and the VuFind-site are hosted by Andornot as part of our managed hosting service.
More details of how a combined and upgraded library system could benefit you and your users is available in this blog post.
Peel Health Region Upgrades Library Search Interface
With assistance from Andornot, the library upgraded the desktop data management interface to the latest one from the Andornot Starter Kit, featuring well-designed forms, query screens, and script buttons for easy navigation. Next, the library launched a new web interface at http://peel.andornot.com. This interface is based on the Twitter Bootstrap responsive web framework, allowing the site to reformat itself for the user's browser, so that it's as usable on full-size desktop browser as on a tablet or smartphone. The site is hosted by Andornot as part of our managed hosting service.
Librarian Diana Robertson was particularly interested in linking to PDFs of reports. PDFs are currently stored in a document management system only available internally. With catalog records already available for many of these, linking to the PDFs and making them available in the web interface gives much greater public access.
A list of popular topics on the home page (constructed with the help of the Andornot Search Cannery Wizard) provide quick access to areas of the collection.
The site also features icons to indicate material type, and a selection list to allow users to email, save or print items of most interest to them. These features are standard with the Andornot Starter Kit.
Contact us for assistance with upgrading your catalog to more effective desktop and web interfaces.
Archives and Digitization Projects
Digitized Publications and Archives of the United Farmers of Alberta Available Online
The history of the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) is fascinating, starting with their formation as one of the first co-operatives in Canada in 1909. Did you know that from 1921 to 1935 UFA was a political party, and actually formed the provincial government of Alberta?
To help preserve and present this rich history, the United Farmers Historical Society (UFHS) was formed in 2002 and now maintains a collection of over 3,500 photographs, numerous audio and video recordings, copies of newspapers and magazines, and over 35 metres of other textual records. UFHS uses Inmagic DB/TextWorks and the Andornot Archives Starter Kit to manage this collection.
UFHS approached Andornot to help make their archival content available online, including help with digitizing back issues of UFA publications. We also suggested including content from a beautiful coffee table book produced for UFA's centennial, entitled "Deep Roots, Promising Future".
The result is available at http://archives.ufa.com. This modern search engine features a responsive web interface powered by the Andornot Discovery Interface. Users may search database records and the full text of digitized documents, with single click access to original publications in many formats, including ePub and Kindle e-reader versions.
Learn more about how we can help you digitize your own collections and make them accessible in this blog post about this project.
Meet with Andornot in 2014
Andornot attends numerous conferences across the country each year. They're a great opportunity for us to meet with you in person, so we hope to see you at one of these this year:
Inmagic News: Free Training Sessions
Inmagic offers free monthly training and Q&A sessions on its products, including DB/TextWorks and Presto. These are a great opportunity to brush up on some skills or ask questions directly to Inmagic (though of course we're also happy to answer your questions as well). The next session is on June 11th and covers Advanced Forms Design in DB/TextWorks. A list of upcoming sessions is available here.
Tips and Tricks
Add a Unique Record ID to Your DB/TextWorks Database
The principles of good database design suggest that every record in a database should have something that uniquely identifies it and distinguishes it from every other record. In a small library catalogue, it may be that every title is different from every other, but in any larger database, there's a good chance there will be more than one very, very similar record.
When it comes time to do more with this information, such as import it into Inmagic Presto or the VuFind discovery interface, or clean-up some older records, it's imperative that every record be able to be uniquely identified. It's also good practice to have fields that track the date a record was created and the date it was last modified, for similar reasons.
It's very easy to create these fields in your database structure, whether in Inmagic DB/TextWorks or another system, when you are first building the database. But what would you do if you already have a database with thousands of records, and no unique record identifier or dates created or modified? With DB/TextWorks, it's very easy to add this information even after the database was built and populated. Full details are in this blog post.
TechSoup: Affordable Software for Non-Profits
If you're a non-profit organization and in need of software upgrades, especially for things like Windows desktop and server operating systems, SQL server, and antivirus protection, you might take a look at TechSoup. This Canadian non-profit organization obtains software donations from corporate partners and distributes it to eligible non-profits. It's part of a larger global network, so check out the international site if you're in another country.
Tweets: Round-up of Library, Archive and Museum News
As we come across news, projects, resources and other items we think might be of interest to our clients, we tend to post a quick tweet on our Twitter page, rather than a longer blog post. We've included a selection of recent tweets in this newsletter, but encourage you to follow us on Twitter.
Andornot Consulting Inc.