A VuFind Index of Alaska North Slope Gas Resources

by Jonathan Jacobsen Monday, September 23, 2013 11:53 AM

Every day we learn about new and diverse users of the VuFind discovery interface. Just recently, the Alaska Resources Library & Information Services (ARLIS) contacted us for some help with "The Pipe Files", a VuFind-powered index of Alaska North Slope natural gas pipeline work from the past 40 years. This specialized collection is an invaluable resource to researchers and workers in this field.

ARLIS had been using VuFind for some time, but had a list of changes and improvements they needed help with. 

The records available in The Pipe Files VuFind site are cataloged in ARLIS’s main library system and exported to MARC format for import to VuFind. Records include a link to a PDF report stored on the ARLIS document server.

Over a few months, Andornot helped with the following improvements to the site:

  • We adjusted the VuFind-MARC field mapping to suit the particular characteristics of these records and to bring MARC tags into the most appropriate VuFind fields.
  • We rearranged, added, and removed fields from the search results and full record display to best present the information in these records.
  • We configured Apache Tika to extract the full text of PDFs and make it searchable.
  • We configured ImageMagick to generate cover images of the cataloged PDFs, in various sizes, and display them when viewing records.

This sort of fune-tuning resulted in a more polished and usable search interface for this unique collection. Try it out at http://www.arlis.org/vufind/ 

Contact Andornot for help with your VuFind site, or to discuss a search interface to any collections you have.

DuPage County Law Library Upgrades Library System

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, August 28, 2013 8:04 AM

The Law Library of DuPage County, Illinois, has been using Inmagic DB/TextWorks for a number of years to manage a small, specialized collection of materials related to Illinois law. The Library contacted Andornot recently for assistance in making this catalog publicly-searchable. After reviewing the catalog and discussing their needs, Andornot recommended an upgrade to the DB/TextWorks databases as well as creating a web search interface.  

Desktop databases were upgraded to the Andornot Library Kit, a suite of DB/TextWorks databases designed for managing the collections and operations of a typical small specialized library such as this one. Library staff then updated records and added ISBN’s where possible to facilitate the automatic display of book covers when these are available in Google Books. Links were also added to take users straight to PDF documents and other websites.

A web interface was developed from the Andornot Starter Kit, and is hosted by Andornot in our data center.

The web interface blends together elements of their existing website and a new version of our Andornot Starter Kit search interface in a modern, responsive layout. The site and search options adapt and reformat themselves depending on the browser, so they are as usable in a full-size desktop browser as on a tablet or smartphone.

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 web version of the catalog has allowed us to give our users another way to explore our electronic resources and locate materials on the internet that they may have missed," says Elizabeth Cooper, Law Library Director.

The catalog is available at http://dupagelawlibrary.andornot.com 

Contact us for assistance with upgrading your catalog to more effective desktop and web interfaces.

Providing BC Educators with Alternate Format Materials for their Students with Perceptual Disabilities

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, May 15, 2013 1:57 PM

The Accessible Resource Centre – British Columbia (ARC-BC) is a collection of alternate format materials of recommended resources for the British Columbia K-12 curriculum that serves every school district in the province.

ARC-BC is managed by the Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI) and works in consultation and partnership with BC school districts, other alternate format producers, and publishers to provide recommended and requested materials in a timely manner.

ARC-BC collects, produces and distributes high quality digital and alternate format materials for use by students with perceptual disabilities as a service to BC school districts. Educators in all school districts are able to search this online repository or "digital library" to find and download alternate format resources related to the BC curriculum.

By providing alternate format versions of the standard print materials used in the BC curriculum in a centralized, coordinated and secure manner, BC educators are able to quickly locate and acquire the alternate versions needed, without having to scan and edit the materials while ensuring they adhere to copyright law.

Andornot worked with ARC-BC staff to specify, design and develop the first version in 2008. Numerous changes and enhancements have been made every year since, to improve workflow and resource access for users and ARC-BC staff.

The public face of the site gives participants a fast and flexible search, a shopping cart for downloads, and a personal area to manage their account profile, search alerts, and download history. Digital resources can be downloaded in a variety of formats for students with perceptual disabilities, and participants have the opportunity to improve the collection through the submission of new or improved material.

On the admin side, the site features online data entry with advanced file upload, user account administration, and site activity reporting.

From a technical perspective, the system consists of a .NET web application and MS SQL back-end, as well as full text searching using Apache Lucene.

Contact Andornot to discuss development of custom applications such as this.

A New Website for McGill Universities Health Centre Libraries

by Jonathan Jacobsen Tuesday, April 30, 2013 9:58 AM

Check out the new McGill Universities Health Centre Libraries website! A fresh new design launched earlier this year.

http://www.muhclibraries.ca and http://www.bibliothequescusm.ca

The image below shows the earlier site on the left and the newer one on the right, with a more modern, clean look (click to enlarge).

Andornot has hosted MUHC Libraries' books and journals catalogues for many years, as part of our managed hosting service. Both catalogues are stored within an Inmagic Genie system, with a search interface built from the Andornot Starter Kit. Google book covers appear for many records, and the interface is available in both English and French.

In the new site template, the option to search the books and journals catalogues is provided on every page in a band across the middle, along with searches for PubMed, the McGill University Library catalogue, and MUHC's e-journal subscriptions.

For this project, Andornot updated the layout and design of the hosted books and journals catalogues to match the new MUHC Libraries website and co-ordinated with MUHC Library staff so both their new site and the updated catalogue launched at the same time.

Contact us for updates to your catalogue or for help with a redesign of your website or search interface.

Capital Health in Halifax updates look and adds features

by Denise Bonin Friday, November 30, 2012 10:18 AM

It started with a simple request… “Could you help us add permalinks to our web Catalogue textbase records?”, but it ended with 3 new textbase interfaces, an ordering cart, a mobile interface, the ability to add records to RefWorks and, of course, permalinks.

At the beginning of this project with the Capital Health Library, it was quickly determined that, given the age of the current web-interface, adding permalinks to the records could only be accomplished using canned searches with rather long URLs.  That was rejected and a discussion ensued that resulted in the addition of many new features to the site.

Out with the old and in with the new. We started with the backend by revising the textbase data structures and ditching a bunch of unused fields and forms for the Catalogue and Pamphlets textbases.  The Catalogue had a separate interface for journal check-in and item ordering, which was also revamped.  Using the Andornot Starter Kit for Inmagic’s DB/TextWorks, we were able to provide nice clean desktop screens with a minimal number of forms, including a couple of links to saved sets from the menu screen, e.g. new catalogue items added in the past 30 days.  Given that the Capital Health library staff were already familiar with the Inmagic DB/TextWorks program, it was not a big jump to start using these new desktop interfaces and they adapted quite quickly. 

Screen shot of Pamphlets textbase search resultsMore clean up and integration. The web-interface overhaul followed using the Andornot Starter Kit for Inmagic’s WebPublisher PRO.  This included new search screens, brief report forms, and full display forms with “see also” links and Permalinks for the Catalogue, Journals and Pamphlets interfaces.  All of which was nicely integrated into the Capital Health Library website template.  Google book covers and links to Google Books were made available on both report and full display forms in the Catalogue.  Users of both the Catalogue and the Pamphlet textbases now have the ability to add items to a cart, for ordering, and/or Email, Save and Print.  In addition, within the interfaces, users can also link to selected websites, e-books, e-journals or to in-house PDF files.  Quick links to the other textbases and back to the Library website are readily available on every page.

Go-small-and-go-home. Why not let the users have access to the systems wherever they are located, even if it is on the bus, in the hospital, or at home?  Using the mobile version of the Andornot Starter Kit, we added a couple of mobile interfaces.  These included the Catalogue textbase as a whole, with all its links to e-books, e-journals, Google Books, websites, etc. as well as a separate journal subset.

Screen Shot of Catalogue textbase of RefWorks LinkResearch counts. A slight delay in the launch occurred when it was discovered that RefWorks was a big part of the Capital Health library world, but that it took about 10 steps to implement this in order to get catalogue records into RefWorks.  Some coding later and we were able to add the RefWorks feature to the Email, Save and Print portion of the cart allowing a much smoother path from catalogue to bibliography.

“We got much more than we expected when we asked about Permalinks! We now have an ordering system for our patient pamphlets, a direct-to-RefWorks button and mobile-ready search pages for our catalogue and our journals. All of this is based on the Inmagic software that our staff know so well. Andornot worked with our Information Technology department to get us to a new level of service. The look and feel is close to what our users know, so there is limited change for them, but behind the scenes, we now have more searchable fields, simpler systems, and, of course those Permalinks! All in all, an excellent experience!”
Penny Logan, Capital Health Manager Library Services

Future ready. With all these new features now in place the library is well positioned to move into the future, providing the Capital Health staff with an abundance of new information access options. 

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