Ottawa Hospital Library Launches Inmagic Genie

by Jonathan Jacobsen Tuesday, August 17, 2010 11:19 AM

The Ottawa Hospital Library is the latest Andornot client to launch Genie (part of the Inmagic DB/Text Library Suite).

Ottawa_Hospital_Library_Catalogue_Search_Results2 The hospital library serves both hospital staff and patients from multiple locations in Ottawa. Previously, staff used several separate DB/Textworks databases to manage collections of materials for these different audiences and locations. In moving to Genie, these databases were consolidated into the single Genie Catalog to simplify access.

Most of the data conversion, including mapping of fields and converting data into the Genie databases, was done by librarian Risa Shorr. As an experienced DB/TextWorks user, Risa was able to see the similarities between her databases and those used by Genie, and use the features available in DB/TextWorks to move the data over. Andornot provided guidance and recommendations as needed.

"The combination of expertise between Andornot and Risa meant that our move to Genie was cost effective. Andornot was extremely supportive of the collaborative approach to installing and customizing Genie to meet our needs," says Margaret Quirie, Director, Library Services.

With Genie launched for library staff, the library asked Andornot to develop a new OPAC for hospital staff and patients. The new OPAC is based on the Andornot Starter Kit and features:

  • quick and advanced search screens for all library materials;
  • a specific search screen for patients, targeted just at those materials they may access;
  • Andornot extras such as Google style search syntax with automatic ANDing of terms and stemming of words, plus enhanced navigation and display options;
  • automatic display of the five most recent additions to the catalog on the Quick Search page, and a link to a canned search showing the latest materials;
  • tick boxes to allow users to mark items as they find them, then submit a request to the library for those materials indicating their preferred pickup location, or email a copy of the list to themselves or a colleague, or save or print the list;
  • icons in the search results to help users more easily identify the types of materials in their search results;
  • Google Book Covers and links to more information on titles in the Google Books database; and
  • “permalinks” and a Share button to expedite bookmarking of records and sharing with colleagues via social networking services.

View the new OPAC here.

The library often has multiple copies of a title, in different locations. As a result of the data conversion, these are represented as individual records in the Genie Catalog textbase (rather than a single Catalog record with multiple Item records). This is quite a common occurrence after a data conversion, and while it’s possible to clean it up, in this case it was simpler to modify the OPAC to group records by title, but still show the edition and location information for each individual record.

The Google Book Covers have been a particularly well-received feature, with users remembering books based on the cover they saw.

Please contact Andornot for more information on Genie, the Andornot Starter Kit, and our consulting services.

Burnaby's Charting Change Atlas wins ArchivesNext award

by Kathy Bryce Friday, August 13, 2010 11:09 AM

ArchivesNext is an American weblog with a monthly audience of 10,000 covering topics related to archives and technology. The award to the City of Burnaby Archives for "Best re-purposing of descriptive data" was shared with the Smithsonian Institute.

"One of the goals of the Charting Change project was to bring together Burnaby's heritage resources in a useful, accessible and interesting format that allowed our community to interact with and experience their history in a new way," said Arilea Sill, archivist for the city, in a press release. "The nomination and award announcement is a mark of success and recognition for the city as a whole for the creative approach it has taken in sponsoring such programs."

The Charting Change atlas developed by Andornot and the City of Burnaby allows users to see how historical events, ranging from First Nations settlement to the founding of Fort Langley in 1825, through to the Depression and post-war housing boom have shaped the community of Burnaby. Behind the scenes, the information shown on each map point is pulled from the existing Inmagic databases currently searchable from the Heritage Burnaby website.   Heritage landmarks, historic buildings, and neighbourhoods are plotted and linked to the records for photographs, artifacts, textual records and bylaws.

For more information on this project, see the press release from the City of Burnaby, the announcement on the ArchivesNext website or our earlier blog posts describing the project.  The atlas is available on the Heritage Burnaby website.

Our congratulations to the City of Burnaby team - it was a pleasure to work on this project with them. If you have ideas for enhancing access to your collections, be sure to contact us to discuss possibilities.

Do your DB/TextWorks databases need some TLC?

by Kathy Bryce Tuesday, August 10, 2010 10:58 AM

Have you been using DB/TextWorks for years and years?  When we visit clients we often come across databases that were originally designed in early versions of the software or were even ported over from DOS.   Amazingly, these continue to work just fine, but as with any system, they could benefit from a checkup every so often.  Here are a few of the quick and easy updates we like to suggest:

Forms and query screens housecleaning.

It is so easy to design new forms in DB/TextWorks that sometimes we find databases with a multitude of reports.  They may have names like report5 or test2 and no one knows what they are for, or if anyone still needs them.  If you don’t have the time to do a proper audit and check each of them with your staff, here is a quick option to jump start the cleanup process. UnManage_Textbase_Elementsder Tools > Manage Textbase Elements you can Rename those that you suspect are not used with an x or z in front.  This drops them to the bottom of the list when using Select Form so that you can quickly see your most used forms first.  If no one misses these forms after a month or so it is probably safe to Delete them.  Or you can select them and Export to a file as a backup before deleting, just in case.   When saving or renaming a form it is always a good idea to use a standard naming convention that indicates the function of the form, and to add a Description as this will display when the form is highlighted under Select Form or Manage Textbase Elements
If you also use WebPublisher PRO,the Manage Textbase Elements list will include any that have been saved as web only. These of course should not be renamed without also editing the web interface search screen or canned query that references them.

Choosing useful fields for your log information.

The Log file tracks information as records are added or modified.  By default it is set up to use the first field in the database.  However it is easy to Textbase_log_filechange the log file to be more informative through Maintain > Edit Textbase Structure > Log file.  We recommend setting the first field to be your unique auto generated ID field (you do have one of these don’t you?) plus add a more meaningful field such as Title.  Then if you have a problem, you can choose Maintain>View Log file and scroll to the bottom to see which records may have been affected.  The log file also records information on password, textbase structure or validation lists edits.  Many times no one can remember changing anything and the log file has come to the rescue in deciphering what caused a problem.  Just recently a client’s web interface suddenly prompted for a password. The log file showed that one of the support staff had added a password for a temporary employee not realizing that they needed to also add a silent password for continued use by WebPublisher PRO.

Moving your user file to a network drive.

In older versions the personal user files for each database (*.tbu) which store your preferences such as window layout, private forms and sets etc. were stored in User_file_paththe install directory or C:\Program Files\Inmagic.  These files can therefore easily be overlooked when migrating to a new computer, and on some networks, C drives are not backed up.  Moving these files to a network drive is now easy.  Choose Tools > Options and under the General Tab > User Options > User File directory, use the Browse button to choose a new directory.

Of course we are always available to help you with these checkups and to make recommendations for improving your databases. Watch for more hints in upcoming blog posts!

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