BC Teachers' Federation Launches TeachBC Resource Sharing Site

by Jonathan Jacobsen Tuesday, December 02, 2014 3:04 PM

The B.C. Teachers' Federation (BCTF) has launched a new website to enable BC teachers to share resources relevant to the K-12 BC curriculum. Called TeachBC, the site allows teachers to search for lesson plans, activities and other material, as well as upload their own teaching resources and research to share with their colleagues. 

TeachBC is publicly accessible at https://teachbc.bctf.ca and is in the early development stage. It is anticipated that this will grow quickly as BC teachers realize the value of the site as a one stop resource for quality classroom teaching resources.

Andornot developed this new site with the BCTF using a couple of our most popular technologies.

1. A pair of Inmagic DB/TextWorks databases are used as the initial data store for resource submissions. 

DB/TextWorks was selected as it's already in use and familiar to BCTF staff, and provides a quick and easy way of reviewing, editing and approving submissions.

2. The Andornot Discovery Interface (AnDI) powers the web search interface. 

Features such as spelling corrections, relevancy-ranked results and facets to refine a search help users find relevant resources quickly. 

Teachers can search by keyword, then narrow the results by grade, subject and resource type. A recommendation system allows teachers to mark resources they find most useful, and they can also easily Share them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest. Download counts are also tracked to provide another indicator of popularity.

Teachers can create an account on the site and there is an online submission form which feeds into DB/TextWorks to submit resources for review by BCTF staff before they are available for viewing publicly.

Contact Andornot for more information on developing a search interface for your unique collections.

Revs Institute Launches VuFind Catalog of Automotive History

by Jonathan Jacobsen Saturday, September 27, 2014 8:31 AM

The Revs Institute for Automotive Research, Inc. in Naples, Florida is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the understanding and appreciation of automotive history.

Within the Revs Institute, a research library contains over one million discrete items including over 700,000 photographs, 24,000 books, over 200,000 magazines and journals, papers, other written documents, films, and ephemera.

Over 80,000 records from the library are now available in a discovery interface powered by VuFind and hosted by Andornot at https://revscat.andornot.com

Features such as spelling corrections, relevancy-ranked search results, and facets for quick refinement of a search, help users discover information of interest to them from the fascinating collection available in the catalog.

Some of the topics featured in the collection include:

The library uses the Inmagic Genie integrated library system to manage the collection of records. Data is exported from this system nightly, using the Andornot Data Extraction Utility, and uploaded to VuFind.

"Our experience has been that the new VuFind interface adds both visual and intellectual clarity to our OPAC.  Our bib records are cleaner, more organized and more easily searchable by our users. This, of course, means that our research collections are more accessible to library patrons," says Trina Purcell, Special Collections Manager at the Revs Institute.

Contact us to discuss a discovery interface such as VuFind for your collection. 

Canadian Jewish Heritage Network Now Offering a Single Search Across Multiple Data Sources

by Jonathan Jacobsen Tuesday, August 26, 2014 1:19 PM

The Canadian Jewish Heritage Network (www.cjhn.ca) contains over one hundred thousands archival and genealogical records about Jewish history in Canada. The website is now powered by the latest version of the Andornot Discovery Interface (AnDI), providing an updated search with facets, spell checking and a host of new features.  

The CJHN site is hosted by Andornot and first launched in 2011, using the Umbraco content management system for static content and Inmagic WebPublisher PRO for database searching. Two separate databases were maintained: one for archival records and the other for genealogical. The records are contributed by a number of Jewish archives across the country, from many different source systems, including DB/TextWorks, FileMaker, and Archilog.

About a year later, a mobile-friendly view of the site and search features was added, along with an early version of our Andornot Discovery Interface (AnDI), to provide a simple search across the two separate databases.  This was an improvement, but meant that users had to contend with two different search syntaxes and separate selection carts.  After several months of planning and development, the early version of AnDI was recently upgraded. AnDI is now the only search engine on the site, searching all archival and genealogical records. 

Records are available from six different repositories and include many digitized photographs and historic documents, and an increasing number of videos. Search options allow users to easily narrow their results to just these types of records if they wish. An advanced search page also allows users to limit their searches by repository, material type, and other parameters, or to Browse A-Z indexes of Names, Places, Subjects and Collections. The Image Galleries and fonds inventories have all been upgraded to use the new search system.

The updated selection feature allows users to save records and then create a PDF, email them to a colleague, or request more information from the archives.  A hierarchical display shows the archival records in context and there is a link to view related records based on indexing terms. Permalinks facilitate the indexing of individual records by Google and other search engines, thus providing additional access points to the collection.  

We are delighted to have been able to continue to work with CJHN on improvements to their site and to see the network continue to flourish. As AnDI is a search layer, minimal changes were required to staff workflow in each of the repositories.   

Janice Rosen (CJHN coordinator and director of the Canadian Jewish Congress CC National Archives) notes: "The more I explore the potential of our new interface, the more I marvel at what it can do. Being able to search for very specific areas of interest has benefited our staff as well as our clientele, and the site partners can now create display galleries with minimal effort."

If you have an existing system that works well behind the scenes, but doesn’t have all the features that users expect in a modern search engine, contact us to see how AnDI could provide an enhanced interface to your collections.

Earlier Blog Posts About CJHN

Canadian Jewish Heritage Network Launches

Canadian Jewish Heritage Network Launches Enhanced Search and Mobile Interface

Thunder Bay and Simcoe Muskoka Health Units Launch Shared Library Catalogue

by Jonathan Jacobsen Monday, May 12, 2014 6:42 PM

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 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.

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.

The public and patients may search the combined library holdings through http://ophc.andornot.com, a discovery interface powered by the VuFind open source software. 

VuFind includes features such as:

  • Spelling suggestions and corrections. 
  • Faceted browsing to allow users to refine searches by subject, date, collection, and other key fields. 
  • A mobile interface. 
  • Google Book covers for records with ISBNs. 
  • Permalinks to records to allow easy bookmarking and social sharing. 
  • User accounts to allow users to save searches and records to personal lists.
  • RSS feeds for user-created searches.

A custom request form developed by Andornot allows users to direct a request to borrow items to the appropriate health unit.

Data is automatically imported into the VuFind system nightly using the Andornot Data Extraction Utility, so there’s no additional work needed by library staff.

The shared Genie system is hosted by Andornot as part of our managed hosting service. Working with two separate groups on a joint system can be tricky, but in this case the cooperation between the library staff in the two health units allowed us to complete the project in a very tight time frame.

"Thanks very much for all of your hard work on this project. It is very much appreciated by us and will be by our clients." Amy Faulkner, Librarian, SMDHU

"You’ve done an exceptional job and we’re all quite appreciative of your hard work and discipline to get this through in such short time frames." Shant Alajajian, Librarian, TBDHU

Contact us to discuss upgrades to your library system and public search interface.

Peel Health Region Upgrades Library Search Interface

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, April 23, 2014 11:09 AM

The Peel Health Region library in Ontario has been using Inmagic DB/TextWorks for a number of years to manage a small, specialized collection of health care resources. 

The library contacted Andornot recently for assistance in updating the public search interface to the catalog. After reviewing the catalog and discussing their needs, Andornot recommended an upgrade to both the DB/TextWorks databases and desktop interface, as well as creating a new web search interface.  

The library’s DB/TextWorks Catalog database was upgraded to the latest one from the Andornot Starter Kit, featuring well-designed forms, query screens, and script buttons for easy navigation.

A new public search interface was built from the web portion of the Andornot Starter Kit, and is available at http://peel.andornot.com, hosted by Andornot in our data centre. 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.

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.

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