How to use record skeletons in Inmagic Genie to save time when cataloguing

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, August 09, 2017 8:15 AM

Inmagic DB/TextWorks has long had a popular feature called 'record skeletons.' They're a great way to save and add consistency and accuracy to data entry. 

Here's how they work: Suppose you're cataloguing a group of materials that all share some data in common. This could be as simple as books, written in English and published in 2017. Or it could be a series all with the same title, author, publisher, date, subjects, etc. and only the subtitle or volume number changes.

In both of these cases, when filling in a data entry form, you'd be filling in some fields with the same values over and over again.

Why repeat work when there are tools to save time?

The Duplicate Record feature in DB/TextWorks is handy when you have the first record finished and want to duplicate it. But this copies all the fields, and you then need to change or remove fields that are different in the next item you're cataloguing.

This is where 'record skeletons' are useful. A record skeleton is a set of values to populate in select fields in a new record, such as:

Material Type = Book

Language = English

Publication Date = 2017

Long-time DB/Text users are well versed in these features, but what if you manage your library with the Inmagic Genie system?

While record skeletons are not a feature of Genie itself, there's a reasonably easy way to add them, using browser extensions know as 'form fillers'. These tools work just like a record skeleton, storing default values for fields, but within your browser, rather than in Genie itself. So, you might have one profile (a set of fields) for books, another for journals, another for internal corporate reports, etc.

When cataloguing an item in Genie, you pretty much just just click on your form filler extension and choose a profile and the appropriate fields will be filled in. 2 clicks and you're done!

To set up a profile, you can populate the fields you want in the skeleton, then save the profile. You can also, in some cases, access an editor, such as shown below, for fine-grained control.

A form filler could be used in any module in Genie. Orders would be another good place, for example.

Of course, it's most useful if you have many similar items to catalogue. For more unique items, there's no time savings over just cataloguing as per usual, one record and one field at a time.

Depending on the form filler you choose, you may want or need to consolidate all your Catalogue fields into a single tab (the default is 4 tabs: Biblio 1, Biblio 2, Physical and Serials) so that the form filler can populate them all at once. This is easily done by editing the MyEditScreens.config XML file in Genie. 

Since the different profiles you set up are stored in your browser, if you have colleagues who also catalogue, you'd want to export the profile from the form filler and import it into their browser. You might store a master exported profile on your network somewhere so that anyone who needs it can get it. Many of the form filler extensions have export and import ability.

One form filler extension we recommend is Autofill for Chrome (shown above).

Andornot would be happy to help you select, install and configure a form filler extension for your browser and your Genie instance. Just mailto:#mce_temp_url# and we'll tell you more.

Upgrades to the Libraries of the BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital and the BC Cancer Agency

by Jonathan Jacobsen Monday, July 13, 2015 7:37 AM

Two of Andornot's long-standing health care clients, the BC Children's and Women's Hospital and the BC Cancer Agency, recently came together to share a library management system and public search engine for their collections.

BC Children's and Women's had been using an early version of the Inmagic Genie integrated library system for many years, while the BC Cancer Agency used DB/TextWorks to manage its collections. Both used versions of Andornot's Starter Kit for Inmagic WebPublisher PRO to provide public search access to their collections.

The upgrade completed this year provides them with a shared, modern, current-version Genie system for cataloguing, serials, circulation and more. As each record "belongs" to one or the other of the two institutions, this cost-effective approach still allows them a measure of autonomy within the shared data.

The two organizations chose the Andornot Discovery Interface as the platform for developing a new search engine for patients and medical staff.

The  public search interface is available at https://libraries.phsa.ca 

With AnDI, users can search the collections of the BC Cancer Agency, and separate collections within the BC Children’s and Women's Hospital, including ones for patients, for medical staff, and a bookstore where items may be ordered online and shipped. All libraries also support borrowing by patients throughout British Columbia.

As with all search systems based on the Andornot Discovery Interface, this one features relevancy-ranked search results, spelling corrections and did-you-mean search suggestions, and facets for easy search refinement. Book covers from OpenLibrary.org as well as icons representing different types of items add visual interest to the bibliographic citations.

Contact Andornot to discuss similar upgrades to your collection, or review other recent blog posts about work we do with health care providers.

Enhance Genie with Andornot’s Genie Starter Kit

by Jonathan Jacobsen Sunday, June 28, 2015 8:16 PM

Andornot's Genie Starter Kit is a great way to get up and running with the Inmagic Genie integrated library system quickly and easily.

Out of the box, Genie comes with a configuration suitable for all libraries, with basic search screens, reports and edit screens for each module. Right after installation, you can log in and start cataloguing items, entering borrowers and loaning items, routing serials, and managing orders or interlibrary loans.

However, there are many more features available with Genie that are not pre-configured. Full details of how to add these to your Genie configuration are in the technical notes included with Genie, but requires some study and effort. Configuration files are primarily XML, so to take advantage of these features, you'd need to:

  • study the manual;
  • install a text editor that understands XML;
  • learn a bit about XML so you can edit the syntax correctly;
  • learn tips and tricks from other Genie users;
  • add features to the configuration files; and
  • correct errors that may creep in as you edit the files.

If you need Genie to be available in English and French, another set of steps would be required to adjust the configuration, and some translation may be needed.

Andornot's Genie Starter Kit saves you all of the above trouble, and gives you the benefit of Andornot's years of experience configuring Genie for a wide variety of clients. We know and understand both the Genie system and the many ways in is used in different types of libraries, from law firms to hospitals to government agencies. Our Genie Starter Kit is configured to meet the specific needs of these types of libraries, and includes features such as:

  • Customized search screens, including an All Fields screen in every module that lists every searchable field, allowing ultimate flexibility (especially useful for those coming to Genie from DB/TextWorks).
  • Shortcuts between search screens – hyperlinks instead of drop-downs.
  • Icons in search results to indicate material type.
  • Customized Bookwhere / MARC XML conversion file for importing catalogue records from other sources.
  • Shortcuts, such as links on a Borrower record to view a Borrower's loans, reserves, routed serials and orders, or to edit records added to a selection list.
  • Additional reports, such as Orders by Title, Order Subscriptions, a Loan Receipt, a and a Loan Due Soon reminder.
  • Additional statistics, such as counts of different types of records and loans per year.
  • Reports for batch modification and deletion of records, with appropriate permissions to only Administrators have access.
  • Additional and customized order types, order statuses, payment methods and currencies.
  • Additional fields, such as Borrower Status, Catalog Staff Notes, and URLs for Serial issues.
  • Updated location validation lists that include Canadian provinces and territories.
  • Standardized date format so that every date in Genie uses the same format.
  • Textbase field changes to improve searching and sorting.
  • Can be used in English and French, for bilingual Genie installations.

While you could develop all of the above yourself, it requires quite a bit of time and skill, so why not let Andornot improve your Genie workflow quickly and easily.

Every Genie site we set up uses our Genie Starter Kit, but it's also available for existing Genie sites and users. Contact us to discuss how this kit could improve your use of Genie and help you get more out of your investment in Genie.

How to Optimize Genie’s Catalog Edit Screen for Larger Monitors

by Jonathan Jacobsen Friday, November 07, 2014 3:13 PM

Genie’s Catalog Edit Screen includes all the fields needed to manage bibliographic records in the Genie catalogue. To help see more fields at once and minimize the need to scroll, the fields are split across four tabs, as shown here:

However, as monitors grow ever larger, with ever higher resolutions, more of a web page can be seen at once, and thus it may be more efficient to have more fields on fewer tabs. For example, here’s a layout with all the core bibliographic fields on one tab, with only serial info remaining on a separate tab:

This layout features fields that span the full width of the form, half the width, and one-third the width.

It’s fairly easy to do this by editing the Catalog edit screen in the MyEditScreens.config file, but do note that you will need to create a MyGenie.css style sheet with 2 new catalog edit styles, for the full-width and one-third width boxes, such as:

Once the styles are created, just re-arrange the fields in the Catalog edit screen into multiple tables of rows with 1, 2 or 3 fields in them, each using the appropriate styles. Here’s an example of the start of the report:

Contact us for any assistance with optimizing Genie to match your workflow, and your monitors!

Checking for Broken Links in Catalog Records in Inmagic Genie

by Jonathan Jacobsen Saturday, September 20, 2014 7:35 PM

Inmagic DB/TextWorks has had a very useful feature to check all the URLs in records for many years (since version 8). This handy tool (under the Tools menu) will crawl all the URLs in a field you designate, and write the results into another field (e.g. URLStatus) in your database, for review and correction of the URLs.

For libraries using the Inmagic Genie integrated library system, such a feature doesn’t yet exist. As more and more libraries catalogue more and more electronic resources, the need to periodically check URLs and correct invalid ones becomes ever more important.

Fortunately, there’s a fairly easy way to do this in Genie. Here’s how:

1. Install a link checker plug-in into your web browser. There are many available; just search the web for "URL checker" or "link checker" and the name of your browser. This tool will crawl all the links on a web page and inform you which ones are in good working order and which are problematic.

2. Search the CatURL field in your Genie Catalog for all records with a URL (hint: use an asterisk in this field to find all). 

If the URL field isn’t available on any of your Catalog search screens, it's easily added by editing  the MyQueries.config file.

3. Check that the URLs are appearing on the Genie Catalog brief results page. If that field isn’t on the brief display, you'll either need to add it or create a new report (see below for ideas about that).

4. Activate the link checker and wait while it crawls all the links on your URL Check report. Depending on the plug-in you installed, it may highlight results in different ways.  The screenshot below shows an example of a link checker that has checked 16 Genie Catalog search results. Links are colour-coded green and red to indicate status.

Note that the link checker has crawled and checked EVERY link on the page, including ones within Genie (e.g. the Edit and Full Display links, the navigation menu, etc.). The count of links checked will be much more than just the maximum 20 records per page with URLs.

5. For any broken links, click the Edit link to edit the Catalog record. Manually verify the link – it may not be broken per se, but simply redirecting the user to a different page. If appropriate, either edit or remove the URL from the Catalog record's URL field.

6. Click the Search Results link in the breadcrumb trail at the top of the Catalog edit screen to return to where you left off. Click the Next 20 Records link to advance to the next set of records with URLs and run the link checker again.

The above procedure has some pros and cons:

Pros

No need for any new reports in Genie (other than ensuring you can search for and view URLs in Catalog results).

Only have to work with 20 records at a time.

Can quickly access the Catalog Edit screen to correct URLs.

Cons

Link checker crawls more than just URLs in Catalog records, taking longer.

Can only work with 20 records at a time. Many manual steps required to work through hundreds or thousands of Catalog records with URLs.

To work with more than 20 records a time, but still have quick access to the Edit button, create a new report in the MyReports.config file specifically for URL checking:

1. Copy any existing Catalog brief results and give it a new name (e.g. URL Check), but add PageSize="0" to the header. 

2. Consider removing the Full Display and Add to Cart Links to reduce the number of internal links that the link checker will crawl.

3. Be sure to list the new report in the list of available Catalog reports at the bottom of the config file.

After searching the Catalog, select this report. All results will load into one page, rather than just 20 at a time.

Note that if you have more than 1,000 such records, only the first 1,000 may be returned. You can change this by adding TotalRecordsforXML=nnnn (where nnnn = some number, such as 2,000 or 5,000) to your WebPublisher PRO dbtwpub.ini configuration file (or icsweb.ini if you have the SQL version).

Contact us for help configuring query screens and reports to use this workflow in your Genie system.

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