In a deep and broad sense, the work I’m most proud of is ensuring the availability of necessary resources and effectively helping people find and use those resources.
Some of the distinctive work that I’m specifically proud of, though, has been some of the customizations I’ve made to our Primo discovery service and some of the subject and course guides I’ve made for my liaison areas at WT.
One example of the Primo changes entailed modifications to the item location and availability information display in the “Get It” block of the Primo New UI. In the image below of this example, note several differences from the default:
- Because loanability depends for some materials on the patron group, the Policy field can’t indicate “Loanable” without the patron signed in to determine whether they’re faculty or student, for instance, but at the same time for things that are generally loanable, even if for varying periods, showing in the Policy column something like “Sign in for loan options” or “Sign in to view loan policy” could imply that a lot of things that are necessarily loanable are potentially not. So we’ve configured that to remain blank for users who aren’t signed in. We’ve kept the column in place so that it can show users who are signed in whether they can borrow the item for 21 days, 120 days, 3 days or something else.
- We’ve removed the barcode field from the display. The barcode is basically only necessary for staff to see, and they can view it in Alma. Before moving to Alma and Primo, we had EBSCO Discovery Service on top of our Voyager catalog, and many students would mistake the EDS accession number for a call number. I wanted to prevent anything like that happening here.
- We’ve removed the library name from display. There are two reasons for this. Our Alma is set up with just one library for our institution, so it’s generally redundant to note the Cornette Library’s name before the location. Additionally, there are two locations on our campus, the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum Research Center and the Old Main Room 214 Williams Children’s Literature Collection, that our library handles the cataloging for but that would be entirely mischaracterized by a prefix of the Cornette Library’s name.
- We’ve changed the color, font size, and line arrangement of the shelving location and call number to make each more obvious and convenient.
Another type of change I’ve made in our Primo installation that I’m very pleased with are the additional search fields in the advanced search. In the screenshot below of our advanced search fields in Primo, you see each of the fields I’ve added after the defaults of “Any Field,” Title, Author/Creator, and Subject.
- Because our Voyager OPAC allowed users to select the location in the library before beginning the search, we wanted to allow this in Primo as well, rather than restricting that limiter only to the facets after broader search results are shown. I miss the dropdown list of locations to select from that Voyager offered, but we did the best we could here, allowing users to search for a known location keyword (e.g. Loan, Reference, Youth, etc.) in that specific field.
- ISBN and ISSN have some obvious utility but, if I recall correctly, were also sought by our interlibrary loan staff.
- I was genuinely delighted to be able to make Publisher a searchable field. If this was an option in the Voyager OPAC, I never figured out how. Having it here offers various benefits, but my favorite is to limit results to scholarly books by including “University” in the Publisher field.
- Call Number can have various potential benefits, but one that motivated me results from a peculiar quirk of Cornette’s classification of play scripts. Acting editions and similar scripts of plays and musicals are included in our general collection (“Loan Shelves”) but are gathered together in one artificial LC call number, PZ3.5, perhaps chosen because juvenile fiction is generally not in the Loan Shelves but instead in a separate collection in Youth Shelves. Being able to search for items with a call number beginning this way allows theatre students and faculty to focus a search on scripts while simultaneously limiting the publication date or topical keywords. (As you may know, there is no LCSH form subdivision specifically for scripts. Much to my chagrin.)
- The addition of Thesis Note allows us to focus much more effectively, conveniently, and intuitively than before on WTAMU theses and dissertations, typically, but not always, in our Archives. On the one hand, I wish it hadn’t taken me this long to learn about the 502 field; on the other hand, I’m glad I can keep learning more about MARC records and making our cataloger’s work on them more fruitful from the front end.