VuFind Version 5.0 Released

by Jonathan Jacobsen Monday, July 16, 2018 5:37 PM

Version 5.0 of VuFind, the popular open-source discovery interface, was released today, a year after the last major release (4.0). 

This version improves the software’s compatibility with recent language and operating system releases and adds several significant new features.

Some key additions:

  • New features to improve compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), including optional user-initiated account removal and support for encrypted session data.
  • Significant improvements to the "Channels" interface for serendipitous resource discovery, including a streamlined user interface and several new channel providers (such as "new items" and "trending items").
  • Improved support for rendering geographic data.
  • PHP 7.2 compatibility.
  • Optional user access to their own account history.
  • Upgrades to the latest Solr, SolrMarc and Zend Framework component versions.

Additionally, several bug fixes, new configuration options, performance enhancements and minor improvements have been incorporated.

Although VuFind was largely developed by and for academic libraries, we've found applications for it in other organizations, including smaller specialized libraries. Our blog has details of selected projects. In general, we recommend VuFind for organizations with purely bibliographic records and little or no need for customization, a custom graphic design, integration of other features or content, etc. For organizations with those requirements, our Andornot Discovery Interface (AnDI) is a perfect choice.

In comparison to the release schedule for VuFind Andornot’s own Andornot Discovery Interface, which shares the same Apache Solr search engine as VuFind, is continuously upgraded with each project we use it for. Earlier sites built from AnDI can be upgraded as needed, and we’ve begin doing so upon request by clients. Upgrades include any new features and bug fixes added or made to AnDI since the initial build of the site, plus upgrades to key components, such as Solr, .Net versions, Javascript libraries, and more.

Contact us to learn more about VuFind or AnDI and how either might offer your users an improved search experience for your collections and resources.

Tags: VuFind

Andornot's July 2018 Newsletter Available: News, Tips and Tricks for Libraries, Archives and Museums

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, July 04, 2018 9:08 PM

Tags: newsletters

Snazzy up your DB/TextWorks databases!

by Kathy Bryce Wednesday, July 04, 2018 10:58 AM

DB/TextWorks has been around since the late 1990’s and we sometimes come across clients with databases that were developed almost that long ago!  Two recent projects we are working on involve rationalizing older databases to modern standards.   It’s amazing how old, ugly, inefficient interfaces can be spruced up through the use of one of our kits for libraries, archives and museums.  We use these as a starting point, and after updating field names to be as descriptive as possible, we import our query screens, report and edit forms and adjust these to show the clients fields.  If you have report designs you like, you can do this too!  Under Maintain > Manage Textbase Elements you can import and export forms from one database to another.  We like to color code our databases and it’s possible to open the exported forms in Notepad or other text editor and carefully edit to replace background colors. Archives_Accessions

Inevitably requirements change over the years, so we help clients review how fields are being used, and suggest adding or deleting fields to better handle their needs.  We also make sure to add automatic number and date fields, appropriate validation and substitution lists and work with clients to clean up their data by batch modifying or updating values through the validation lists. After so many years working with DB/TextWorks we have a lot of tricks up our sleeves, and often export data, adjust it in other software and re-import to split or combine fields.

If you need assistance with your databases, please check out some of our past blog posts that provide various suggestions for improvements.  Note that some of these reference older versions of DB/TextWorks so the location of functions may not be identical.

Spring Cleanup series:

Give your databases a new lease on life and contact us for a quote to help you love them again!

New ThinkWood Research Library Launches

by Jonathan Jacobsen Sunday, July 01, 2018 8:42 AM

The ThinkWood Research Library is a central resource for research on designing and building with wood. An enhanced search engine for this collection has just been launched at https://research.thinkwood.com

The library links to research publications from around the world about structural systems composed of mass timber, heavy timber, and light-frame construction (for buildings five stories and up). Research topics include design and systems, connections, mechanical properties, acoustics and vibration, energy performance, fire, seismic, moisture, wind, serviceability, environmental impact, cost and market adoption.

The library is managed by Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd, a provincial crown corporation, who approached Andornot for assistance with improving management and searching of this library.

Andornot recommended and then implemented a system using Inmagic DB/TextWorks as the back-end database and our Andornot Discovery Interface as the public search system. Data was converted and de-duplicated from two sources: MS Access and a WordPress site.

The result works well for both FII staff who catalog new resources and architects and engineers who have an easier means to search for them.

In the back-end DB/TextWorks database, a few features have proven to be particularly useful in this project, including:

  • Validation lists to ensure consistent application of names, keywords, topics, product types, etc.;
  • dead URL Link Checking to find and edit links to resources that move; and
  • batch modification to clean up older data.

While in AnDI, features such as spelling corrections, relevancy-ranked results, and facets to help narrow a search all combine to make for a simple and enjoyable search process. In particular for this project, made use of AnDI's synonyms feature to equate terms with their acronyms and variations, such as:

  • GLT, glulam, glued laminated timber, glue laminated timber
  • CLT, cross laminated timber, xlam, x-lam, cross-lam 

Whenever any term in a comma-separated set of terms is searched, all the others in the set are also searched for, resulting in broader discovery of resources, especially where different terms have been used.

To improve the visual appeal of the site, we took a small screenshot of each resource (PDFs and web pages) and included it as a thumbnail in the search results.

Andornot was delighted at the positive feedback we received, such as:

"Thank you very much for all the hard work and for all of your expertise. The whole team is very happy with the aesthetics and functionalities of the database and website.

-- Antje Wahl, Manager, Industry Innovation, Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd.

"This is very exciting! Overall, this was one of FII's smoothest web refits/redesigns! Well done to all that were involved :-)

  -- Lindsay Bridgman, Manager, IT, Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd.

Contact us to discuss projects to better manage your resources and library collections.

2018 CHLA Conference Rewarding for Andornot Grant Recipient Gayle Graham

by Gayle Graham Wednesday, June 27, 2018 11:31 AM

This year, I was the lucky recipient of Andornot's Professional Development Grant. The Canadian Health Libraries Association (CHLA) conference was being held in St. John's, Newfoundland, which is located in the region where I live. I have never attended their conference before, so I was determined to get there. As a relatively new health sciences librarian, I expected that the experience would instill in me a sense of what's happening in the broader landscape of health sciences libraries beyond my organization and across the country. It did not disappoint.

The opening keynote speech was a fascinating account of Newfoundland history, and how the genetic disorders brought over by the first European settlers still impact the health of the people who live there today. It demonstrated the importance of ongoing medical research and the difference it makes in the lives of so many people. It is so rewarding to know that the work I do supports initiatives like these. I took in many informative sessions on searching and collaborating which were relevant to me. As there were a very limited number of sessions about health sciences library collections and metadata, I see a great opportunity for future conferences to focus on those themes. I am confident that I will apply to present at future conferences on at least one of these topics.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to network with colleagues based in the Maritimes and across Canada, as well as throughout the United States and even Sweden. By chatting with my fellow delegates between sessions and during receptions, I was able to get a much broader view of the current climate of health sciences libraries than I had initially expected. I even reconnected with a friend I met at the Canadian Libraries Association conference in Winnipeg a few years ago when we were both MLIS students. I was not aware that she had also pursued health sciences libraries, so it was quite a surprise to run into her across the country at a completely different conference! 

One of the highlights of my conference experience was meeting Jonathan Jacobsen. For the past 3.5 years, I have been working closely with him to develop, launch, and maintain our library catalogue. After countless e-mail exchanges with him which resulted in the successful completion of a major project, it was particularly satisfying to finally shake his hand and put a face to a name. Similarly, I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the vendor representatives in attendance were familiar to me. During my short time in the health sciences so far, I have become much more connected within the field than I had realized.

I would like to thank Andornot, for choosing me as the 2018 recipient of their Professional Development Grant. In addition, I extend my thanks to them for their commitment to supporting the professional development of library professionals which is so vital. I would also like to thank Nova Scotia Health Authority for their contribution to my attendance.

Gayle and Jonathan at the CHLA Conference.

Tags: events

Month List