Preface – this is not a “how to tweak the code” sessionThis is a how to get staff involved and excited about using your catalog, and to make it easier for the public to use your catalogFrom http://community.websense.com/blogs/securitylabs/archive/2010/03.aspx – malicious code translated and parsed to be more readable, apparently.
UbicompMore folks using computers to find info who haven’t been in a library in yearsCatalog is a beast unto self – how can we make it easier and more accessible, more like other familiar ways of finding info? Polaris good – but catalog as a concept is pretty different from most folks online experience.NextGen CatalogIt’s easy (relatively speaking) to install Polaris, and get it working. What’s not as simple is exploring the myriad options for customization or configuration, and deciding what might be best for helping patrons orfacilitating staff workflow. share your own tips for making the off-the-shelf product become locally customized.So – how do you do this?
Hated new system
Penguincubator Book Vending Machine! (no, we didn’t really) , invented by Alexis Madrigal after a weekend visiting with Agatha Christie, in the 1930’s. 1st installed at 66 Charing Cross Roadhttp://forums.ebay.com/db1/topic/Booksellers/Old-Tech-The/520285077
(In honor geekitude and also of Sarah H-J, our keynote speaker)So, what did we do?http://xkcd.com/231/
Years of just 2 or 3 people - Director, SysAdmin, Tech Managertaking care of the catalog and OPAC. What do you notice about that list, for a mid-size library system?No direct public svce
List our prior prioritiesPublic Services took an interest, and realized that there was more to know about using the PAC, and not everyone had the same infoGrew fast, added branchesSo we created a representative team, and started…
(TO SELF): Hmm, I was a philosophy major; I should be able to spell NEE-CHUH, let's see--N-E-I-- nope, um, N-I-E…yes, that's definitely it…N-I-E…N-I-E…then S?.. CH?... Z?... T?...zounds, I'm doomed! Now I'm going to look like a total idiot, especially after correcting her pronunciation…what good was my liberal arts education?...what good am I? I'm a failure, a poser... And the patron will leave without knowing about Infinite Recurrence and the Ubermensch and Zarathustra…she'll probably just check out some Danielle Steel instead...go brain dead…begin hating books and the library…her children will grow up ignorant and hasten the end of the world…200703
And, we adopted a Virtual Branch concept, more focus on online access, and remote access, less direct patron service, and more helping the patron to help themselves.Cost-cutting, right?And less frustrating.200708
Direct link to the library website Home pageDirect link to Downloadable materials (as well as from catalog hits)Direct link to Contact Us info on websiteThese are our highest hit pages outside the catalog, but were not easy to find in the catalog. Our hits rose significantly after adding these links. Different users? We believe that there are quite a few people who only use catalog, don’t even know about our other web resources
Used to say: Availability, Full Display, Place RequestNow changed Reviews and More to Details
Responded to reported “did you mean” oddities and worked on best bet alternatives.Then we got a new Intranet tool, using Sharepoint through the City.
FAQTech Competencies (called skills)
Polaris Best Practices Tips and Tricks
Polaris Best Practices Team – Share your tips and tricks Margaret Hazel Eugene Public Library, OR 11:00 a.m.—12:15 p.m. Admin Track Dallas 1 & 2
Educating staffAhead of the PAC: Pointers for Plucky Polaris PursuitsMagic SpellsPATRON: "What books do you have by NEE-CHEE?"STAFF: (TO PATRON): "Ah, yes, the famous Germanphilosopher FRRRREED-RISH NEE-CHUH, just amoment, please." (smiling, secretly terrified, pretendingto type...)
TipsAhead of the PAC: Pointers for Plucky Polaris PursuitsApril 2007: Perplexing Polaris Puzzles ~~~Boolean Browsers Beware! ~~~ (for Advanced Boolean users)If you’re using the Library catalog to perform a Boolean search with a“CALL=” operation (this includes “CALL>=” and “CALL<=” searches), besure to use an asterisk wildcard at the end of the number (for example,817.5*). By default, the search is explicitly truncated, which meansthat a search for 817.5 will not bring up 817.5 BARRY or 817.5PERELMAN – it would only return results for 817.5 with no name ordate following the number. You can’t search “CALL=817.5 BARRY”either, because Polaris interprets the blank space (after the number) asthe end of one search. So remember to use that wildcard!
FAQsPolaris SearchesNarrowing down DVD/VHS searches#1: Search by Author to find directors or actors#2: Use the Search Options to limit by publication date#3: Keyword by Genre: Comedy films [or any genre from list below] >> Limit by:[select]Some popular genre subject headings:Adventure films Horror filmsAnimated films Mystery filmsComedy films Science fiction filmsDocumentary films Spy filmsFantasy films Suspense filmsFilm noir Western films
“Reports”Ahead of the PAC: Pointers for Plucky Polaris PursuitsOften I’m asked for reports that can easily be gotten by using the Find Tool inthe Polaris Tech Client, what some are calling the Polaris Shortcut Bar. TheScoping capabilities of this tool have increased with each new release ofPolaris.For instance, how can you get a list of all the CDs that have a status ofMissing from the Downtown collection?Hmm, maybe you should include Lost items as well since they aren’t goingto be coming back any time soon…
Secret MessagesMissing volumes in a set pose a problem. Patrons see that a volume if missing andrequest that we replace it. However, sometimes I am not able to replace a singlevolume and I want to tell everyone that Ive tried but well just have to live without it.In this case, I add a public note to the item record to communicate this. The note isviewable in all three catalog interfaces. In the tech client, go to the item record andclick the Alert icon (left side, envelope/mailbox image). In the ActivePac and thePowerPac go to Availability. Just hover over the icon that looks like a piece of paperwith a blue N. My note will magically appear.For example, this note says "Unable to replace Season 6, Volume 3."
Did you mean…Polaris search for Did you mean?Invisible man (sic) Envious moonFelting hats Floating headsBaldwin, alec Baldwin ale*the piano The PawneeKIA sportage Gay spiritualityStudio at Large by Palleroni Studio large ballerinaDrywall drawlLarrson, Steig Larceny stingKid knits Quiet nightsDowns syndrome Dance centerstage