Add a catalog search & hours to make your website better!

I attended a PLA 2014 session last week on building better library websites. The entire panel said every library needs to have a catalog search on the home/main page of the library website and their regular operating hours prominently displayed and/or easily located. They claimed this is what 90% of their website visitors wanted according to their analytics.

The HTML code to add a search box for a quick keyword search is pretty simple. The problem that needed to be solved for Pioneer members was limiting the search to just their library’s holdings. Randy Rowe with LCL provided the “hidden” solution. Thanks Randy! Here’s the HTML code you need to add it to your webpage:

Basic

<form id=”searchform” action=”http://ccpl.pioneer.kohalibrary.com/cgi-bin/koha/opac-search.pl” method=”get” name=”searchform”><strong>Search the Catalog: </strong><input id=”transl1″ type=”text” name=”q” size=”40″ /> (Type term then Enter.)<input type=”hidden” name=”multibranchlimit” value=”CCPL-OPAC” /></form>

Advanced

<form id=”searchform” action=”http://ccpl.pioneer.kohalibrary.com/cgi-bin/koha/opac-search.pl” method=”get” name=”searchform”><strong><span style=”color:#000000; font-family:arial;”>Search the Catalog!</span></strong><select id=”masthead_search” name=”idx” style=”float:left;”>
<option value=””>Keyword</option>
<option value=”title”>Title</option>
<option value=”author”>Author</option>
<option value=”subject”>Subject</option>
<option value=”series-title”>Series</option></select>
<input id=”transl1″ style=”font-size:16px; font-family:arial;” type=”text” name=”q” size=”40″ /><input id=”searchsubmit” type=”submit” value=”Search” /><input type=”hidden” name=”multibranchlimit” value=”CCPL-OPAC” /></form>

The sections in red need to be modified for your library. ccpl is the first part of Central City’s OPAC Search Group URL. You can get if from the URL displayed when you bring up your library’s Koha OPAC. CCPL is Central City’s library code and will limit the search results to just their holdings. You will need to replace the CCPL with your library’s code. This code can be found in Administration/Libraries and Groups in the Code column next to your library’s Name.

Andrew “Sherm” Sherman, IT Coordinator, Sump Memorial Library

The “Location” Search Facet has been activated to fix “Search the Catalog”

You had been advised to use the “Advanced Search” instead of “Search the Catalog” due to the “Available” Search Facet narrowing the search results to only items that are available/on-shelf and not showing items that are checked out. This issue has been corrected by the activation of the “Location” Search Facet which will now appear at the top of the “Refine your search” panel on the left side of the screen when searching. The Locations are listed by Branch Code and sorted by which Location has the largest number of items matching the search request to the least. Select your Branch Code to narrow the search results to the items at your location.

Standard Reports for Your Annual NLC Reporting

A set of standard SQL reports have been built to provide the data required to complete Section 4.0 – Library Collections & 5.0 Library Services of the NLC’s Bilbliostat Collect Survey. The Std reports will prompt for your library’s Branch Code and dates as needed. The Std Archive reports will only prompt for date. Because the Std Archive reports reference a library’s specific archive data file, you will need to copy the “Std Archive PAP” reports to a reported named for your library and replace the occurrences of “PAP” in them with the Branch Code for your library.

All dates must be entered in the yyyy/mm/dd format. Since the dates default to a time of midnight, the END date should be run for a day past the period you need the report for. For example, when running one of these reports to pull data for my library from Oct 1, 2011 through Sep 30, 2012. I enter 2011/10/01 for the START date prompt, 2012/10/01 for the END date prompt and PAP for the BRANCHCODE prompt. Once the reports have completed, they should be exported to Excel to be saved and further manipulated.

If you are running reports for a library with archived statistics you will need to run the Std & Std Archive version of each standard report and combine their results for the reporting period. Also be aware that the stats for Koha begin on your 1st live day after conversion. You will need to combine the Koha stats with the appropriate stats from your previous ILS for the time prior to conversion that is within the reporting period.

The reports are:

  • Std Checkouts & Renewals by Item Type
  • Std Checkouts & Renewals by Collection Code (Be aware that this report will not be as accurate as the Item Type report!)
  • Std Archive PAP Checkouts & Renewals by Item Type (Has to be copied & modified with your library’s Branch Code.)
  • Std Archive PAP Checkouts & Renewals by Collection Code (Has to be copied & modified with your library’s Branch Code. Be aware that this report will not be as accurate as the Item Type report!)
  • Std Count of Items Created by Item Type (If you converted during the reporting period, you may need to run this report starting the day after conversion if your converted items have a Date Acquired/Accessioned of the day you converted.)
  • Std Count of Items Deleted by Item Type
  • Std Count of Items by Item Type
  • Std Count of Patrons by Patron Type (prompts for a expiration date and excludes patrons with an older Expiry Date.)

Please feel free to contact me if you need assistance with these reports.

Andrew “Sherm” Sherman, IT Coordinator, Sump Memorial Library

Hear What You’re Doing!

With the move to Koha, too many items were not getting checked out/in at my library. This was due to the lag time we were not accustomed to when an item is scanned to when Koha finishes processing it since the server is in the “cloud” and no longer on premise. To combat this, we enabled the Sound on our Circulation Desk PCs.

Now when we scan an item, we hear a tone from the scanner that acknowledges a successful scan of the barcode. Next, we hear a tone from the PC when Koha has successfully processed the item. If you hear a fuzzy double-tone from the PC, Koha is alerting you that a warning message is being displayed on screen that needs to be viewed. (For an example of this “error” tone, checkin an item that is not checked out.) If an item has a Hold on it, you will hear a “Hold” tone for it alerting you to print the Hold Slip. Now our staff doesn’t scan the next item until they hear the “success” tone from the PC and we have greatly reduced this issue.

Andrew “Sherm” Sherman, IT Coordinator, Sump Memorial Library

Series and Awards

The Library Thing for Libraries module on Series and Awards is now loaded onto our production server-meaning it is available to the public and for staff to use.  If you did not get a chance to try this out you need to pull up a record and go to the holdings level record.  Directly above the holding display you will have a clickable series title that will create a separate list of the series in proper order and also highlight the items in the series that are part of the collection. The awards are also clickable.  Just chose the one you would like to read about in connection with the title and link to the information.

Who Needs Advanced Searching?

Just a heads up that we are still working on getting I-Types straightened out, so a few advanced searches may turn up some unexpected results.  We have been making changes to the I-Types but so far they have only been made on the load server and not the sandbox.

But this is also great to begin using the standard keyword search function by putting in a combination of term and format. For example search Cats and DVD and you will get your desired result without the extra steps of the advanced search.  Better for our customers.