Date displays in the brief citation lists

I counter-attacked a problem this week that had been bugging me a while.







The brief citation display we used to have for a number of our records was misleading people who saw dates (on the right, under the book graphic) such as “2006-” which was what displayed for serial book records.  (You don’t see that in the example for the reason explained below.)  People overlooked the hyphen and assumed the date of the title was 2006 instead of realizing that was when the entire series began.  Faculty kept asking us to update titles which were already up-to-date.

We used serial records for control reasons, which made it easier to track and update them.  But the date in the 260 subfield c was what displays in the catalog, and that was the series starting date followed by a hyphen to indicate the series was still continuing.

So, I experimented and proposed to the staff, after some discussion, that we begin putting the date of the latest edition at the end of that subfield.  Example: |c2006-2016  [latest edition owned]

Yes, that is cataloging heresy, but the result is shown above, since the ending date is displayed and the text is ignored.  The latest edition now appears.

We’ll have to update this field every time we add a new edition, but it’s a small price to pay to make it easier for people to understand the catalog.  If you go to the individual record, the  [latest edition owned] is visible so it explains to the lay user what the date really means.

Progress is often incremental.  This week, I incremented.



RDA thoughts

[updated 2017.11.9]RDAlogo_rgb

I’ve been listening to webinars on RDA (Resource Description and Access) and related developments in cataloging.  Most recently, the Amigos webinar “Is RDA on Your RaDAr?”, which has been interesting.  Thank you, Amigos team.

It’s my responsibility, after all, as the Technical Services Librarian.  I do all the cataloging.  I have one person to follow up after all that (a much more time-consuming job, and I’m pathetically glad I have her) with the barcodes, physical processing, etc., much of it by using the tools I worked out for that (and happily delegated). Then we have a student worker to cover/place labels/pockets/etc.

I’ve been doing this long enough to have gone through some changes in AACR to AACR2, MARC formats, etc.  That includes the first records for things that exist online, even.  So I’m no stranger to changes.

However, that tends to make me a little slow to jump onto new things just because they are supposed to be improvements, at least while still in beta stages.  RDA has been out a while, but it was being tweaked for some time.

I don’t want to sound negative about evaluating newer ideas such as RDA, but I’m a big advocate of cost-effectiveness.  This is sometimes considered inconsistent with the obsessive-compulsive, sometimes perfectionist, nature of catalogers (being personally somewhat guilty as charged). When there’s nobody else to take up the slack in the workload, however, one tends to boil down to what’s really going to get used.  The perfect should not be the enemy of the “good enough for actual use by our end users.”  So, that’s how I tend to look at something like this.

I specifically asked a presenter what advantages RDA offers that, say, a Discovery service doesn’t as far as searching and limiting and other patron-relevant functions.  I did not get one specific improvement, just some talk about how it supposedly was going to be better, and Discovery services are using it or compensating for the lack of RDA, or whatever.  

We have a Discovery service now on top of the catalog, so will RDA improve on that?  What can I use to justify the work and expense of converting our existing catalog records?  That’s the sort of question I have to ask.

I’m seeing my own catalog, which would need revisions to essentially every single record to become RDA, at some cost (going through a vendor to reprocess the records, as others have done, I hear).

I have some idea of what RDA advocates are trying to improve.  MARC, admittedly, is rigid, because the standardization of MARC allows computers to search and display the data consistently.  There are coding conventions (including AACR2) that still contain holdovers from the limited amount of data which could be crammed onto paper catalog cards, such as abbreviations which could be upgraded to make records clearer to end users.  That’s a pro, in favor of RDA procedures.

And yet I saw a commenter in a webinar session saying reactions from users about the missing GMD (General Material Designation) in the 245 field (the h subfield with things such as [sound recording] to describe the material RIGHT THERE) which patrons are complaining are missing in RDA records.  Patrons now say they have to open the entire record to see what the item actually is (since apparently they are not using the icons representing format supposedly being displayed using these fields).  Our catalog and Discovery service both offer visual icons as well as GMDs, since some people will look one place and not the other.

Other librarians say the end users haven’t seemed to notice (so why are we doing this RDA stuff, again?).

The reality, I fear, is that the vast majority of patrons/end users may not use — or even care about — the features that RDA and related standards are trying to provide.  I need those supposed enhancements to be able to justify spending the money and time to non-library as well as library administration, during a time of increasingly limited funding, or we’re not getting approved for this.

So, I’m trying to line up the factors that I (not necessarily anyone else) am thinking about at this time, which may change as we progress, and consider what — if any — reason(s) might be valid for putting effort into converting to RDA.

*** There are certainly pros to RDA, such as getting away from the abbreviations used since the days of typing catalog cards, and allowing more flexibility in tracings and description.  However, I’m not seeing why elements such as those cannot be added to our existing records (other than consistency), whether or not RDA is implemented otherwise.  We are definitely overdue for some of these changes.  I could do a lot of that with just the Global Update function in III’s Millennium, however, if it seems useful enough. [No Reason]

*** Don’t we love the 007 and 008 fields?  I wonder how many lone professional-cataloger libraries were involved in creating RDA and/or implementing it…  Of course, that’s not a pro or con; a lot of stuff gets created by the members of larger staffs which benefit — or at least affect — the rest of us.  I certainly didn’t have time to sit down and write AACR2 anyplace I’ve worked.  Several presenters (in this webinar and others) talk about the meetings in committees and elsewhere, over details such as how many tracings to do, while us solo types hold such meetings in our heads.  Meanwhile, I admit I pretty much never bother with 007/008 fields on the rare occasions when I do original cataloging — anyone else who wants them is welcome to add to my record. [Reason Only Useful to Catalogers = Con]

*** I hate implementing anything until it’s completed, so I haven’t rushed to do RDA up to this point (2009 to 2014). I think it’s pretty much out there by now, with some tweaks in process.  So it’s only now that I feel I can seriously look at it, and at how it’s working for places that are using it. [Reason to Consider]

*** BIBFRAME is proposed to replace MARC coding, to allow more links and versatility in handling them.  Someday.  For open source software, perhaps.  It looks promising, but it’s not something I can use at this time. [Reason to Wait]

We have been discussing changing our ILS at some time in the future, and if we decide to do that, we may just have much of this handled automatically by using enhanced records.  [Reason to Wait]

I’ve set our catalog  so it accepts and displays RDA records.  We can use the incoming records downloaded from OCLC.  I keep the RDA fields in records since they don’t display or provide any relevance in the online catalog which users see.  [No Reason]

All in all, I cannot see that RDA helps us, or that not having it hurts us.  At least at this time.  Maybe later.  Wait and see.

Update 2017.11.8

We have allowed the webpub.def in our Sierra OPAC (online public access catalog) to show RDA fields such as 264, since RDA-compatible records show that field instead of 260 for a while now.

I’m seeing another Amigos presentation on RDA and such. With all due respect, I’m not seeing anything that will make a bit of difference to patrons trying to use the OPAC. Still a lot of stuff being developed. Still — quite honestly — arcane.

ARCANE: As in, “known or knowable to only a few people”, as in “mysterious, obscure”. But hey, the idea is still to keep understanding to catalogers, and that function is working quite well. Top marks.

Extra credit for terms such as “the four-fold path” (didn’t Dr. Strange come up with that one?) complete with a graphic and a need for a new ‘toolkit’ to figure out how to apply it. They are now restructuring RDA and the toolkit. Paint your wand a different color, Mr. Potter.  [Everyone following the cultural references okay?]

This is looking more and more like change for the sake of appearing to ‘update’ procedures, which quickly becomes a new way to complicate whatever you’re doing. I don’t doubt the dedication of the people working on this, but any presentation that has to quote the Hitchhiker’s Guide and say “Don’t Panic” at the end, does not fill me with confidence. No panic here – just minimal compliance to remain functional, until they finish digging all the way through the planet and come out the other side.  (“The elves are working hard” as they said.)

Adding Programs to ebooks

Followup on my post on the Programs tracings in the 690s field.

So, having gone clear through all the bulk purchase of 80,000 plus ebooks from one vendor, we’ve now switched to another vendor for 130,000 plus records, and I’ve had to start over from scratch in adding 690 fields for our various Programs.  All the previous ebooks from that vendor have been removed.

Oh, joy.

Still, I’ve got the technique down pretty well in III’s Millennium software.

1.  Create a list of the new ebooks records.  To keep the searching and file size down for faster operations, I limit it to all the call numbers below a certain one — say, all the call numbers under 300.  I also eliminate all the records that already have a 690.  That way, as I progress, I just increase the upper limit and don’t worry about the lower one.

Oh, yes — when more ebooks are added while I’m working on this long project (as they have been already), they will fall into the proper place, and I’ll catch up with them as I proceed.  If they are in the earlier numbers, they’ll show up at the top of the list.

2.  Run the search.  (This is the part where I switch over and catalog books, write posts like this, check Feedly, or do other chores while waiting.)  It takes a little while.

3.  Sort the records by call number.  Fortunately, this latest vendor uses records downloaded from OCLC, so almost all of them have Dewey call numbers, and the few that have oddball 082 suggested Dewey numbers can quickly be located and fixed.

4.  Display the list.

Okay, there’s tens of thousands of them, at the beginning.  But, starting from the top, I only go so far before the titles are obviously differing in subjects significantly.

As I scan down, I take note of any that might make good book reviews or are simply of interest to me, and add a code in the record for my use.

5.  When the subject changes, highlight from there to the end of the list, and remove those records from the file.  Now I have a much shorter list of like subjects.

6.  Go to Global Update and select the much reduced file.  In order to find it quickly in the Global Update, I use a string of identical characters in the list title, such as @@@@@@ so I can spot the file quickly as I slide down them.

7. Insert one or more appropriate 690 PROGRAM fields and update the batch.

7.  Go back to step one, search by the same search I did before, and this time, the search will eliminate all the ones I just updated.  Repeat.  When I finally run out of records in this chunk, I can increase the call number limit by enough to get a good chunk again.

Now, this has obvious limitations.  For one thing, a lot of titles are not all that descriptive, so I have to check the records for those, which takes time.  Fortunately, it isn’t necessary in most cases.

Also, given the nature of catalogers, institutions, and cataloging, a number of titles end up in call numbers which I would not have chosen, either due to the oddities of the cataloging system (whether Dewey or LC), or just because the cataloger had different priorities from us (see how politely I put that?).  After all, someplace without, say, an Education program might not catalog a given book in that call number range (370s) if it dealt with, say, Psychology as well.  It might end up in the 150s rather than the 370s on that campus, while we would put it in the 370s if it looked more useful there.  Do I bother to reclassify it?  Usually no; I just add a 690 for PROGRAMEDUCATION and that takes care of it.  And probably a PROGRAMPSYCHOLOGY as well, since I can have as many relevant 690s on a record as I need.

People are using key words today, not call numbers.  I’ve talked to catalogers from other campuses who don’t even bother with call numbers for ebooks, since call numbers were intended to group like subjects together on shelves, and ebooks don’t need shelves.  Call numbers may not be furnished with some ebooks records (and I have to pull those out and determine the 690s individually).

So in between everything else I do, I slowly whittle down the ebooks list.  If we have a Program with an accreditation coming up soon, I’ll jump to the relevant ebooks and do them ahead of time, so they’ll count properly as being available in our collection.  With this system, they will not be picked up with the rest when I reach their range later since they have 690s already, so it’s not especially disruptive to the entire process.

The one factor that such bulk purchases of ebooks does complicate is the frequent request for spending info.  How much did we spend on Program A last fiscal year?  Aside from a specialized ebook collection (say, Business, which we have), I can’t really do anything for the general “academic collection” of ebooks in that formula without a HUGE investment in trying to assign print prices to ebooks (which wouldn’t be accurate, since that’s not what we really paid), or giving a figure of $0.002 or something (a percentage of the total annual fees) for the cost of a title, which wouldn’t add enough to the expenditure to be worth the effort.  So, ebooks tend to count in numbers but not in money spent, which is not fair, but that’s the situation.

On the other hand, some students cannot/will not use ebooks, so should that factor into the utility of the funds spent?  That’s not covered by accreditation teams, as far as I’ve been told — if you have the title in some format, it counts.  I supposed you could look at it much like having someone who cannot read print but we don’t have the title in an audiobook.  If there is demand (or likely to be), we’ll probably buy a print version also, as the budget permits.  Audiobook versions, on the other hand, are not always available for many academic titles, and you may or may not be able to use an ereader to read the text aloud to you (publisher’s choice!).

This is going to be a months-long process.  I consider it job security.


Adding a Discovery service

Been a busy spring.  Moved into our expanded building, changed the library’s URLs due to a domain change, and beginning July 1, we now have a discovery service.

We went with Ebsco, which at this point is not necessarily an endorsement, but it looked like a good bet.  We exported MARC records for our catalog holdings, and data for our online services (if they cooperated).  There’s actually several months of preparation to step through, and I handled only a small part of it.  Our Periodicals Librarian did most of the rest, on our side.

The idea is to have everything possible in one search result.  Users can limit it (full text only, or peer-reviewed only, etc.) and/or to types of materials (articles only, for example).

A recent article contends that discovery tools are a bad idea for new researchers, and the author makes some good points.  The catch is, as I see it, that this is based on trying to achieve an ideal rather than a realistic situation.  With all due respect, we don’t have an ideal situation where we get to sit our students (or even faculty) down and step them through all the proper procedures to make them optimal researchers.  Frankly, I suspect that even if we did, it wouldn’t matter that much (or maybe a little for faculty).  They’d take the easy way because it’s easy and fast and doesn’t require them to think as much.

This is also important because our students (and sometimes faculty and staff!) may have plenty to deal with just learning the use of computers and software, never mind the intricacies of “proper” searching.  Tell somebody who barely gets in and out of various programs on their new laptop that they need to do things the harder but better for them way in searching, and… I’m not that brave.

In our real situation, we’re lucky if we can get students in a classroom long enough to teach them how to research this specific assignment just before they go to work on it.  So, anything we can do to — at the very least — get them to actually realize that there are many resources which are available, is a useful achievement.

I’m going to be interested to see if this actually increases use of resources just by showing all of them (well, most of them) in one search.  I suspect most users would much prefer to use one search, and if that happens to exclude a lot of resources, well, too bad.  If most things are there, however, the options widen considerably, and I’d rather teach how to narrow options than try to get people to try several different methods to search for different resources.  The former is optional, while the latter just doesn’t happen as often.


Crisis averted

Innovative’s Millennium system allows us to link media, such as graphics and video and audio, to records.  The graphics can be linked so they appear on the catalog page in our OPAC.  That’s the basis for our honor and memorial bookplates, among other media.

At the time I set that up, in order to insure a good, solid URL, we linked to our Millennium server using instead of simply /screens/ .

And now, we’ve changed the domain, to, and I.T. is planning to shut off the re-direct (in library terms, the cross-reference) from to

Working on a donation, I noticed the problem, and tried manually changing the 962 field which contains the links in that one record.  Millennium balked and announced an error.

Uh-oh.  We have 3951 links like that.  Do we have to go in and change them all one by one?

Fortunately, the Global Update function did make a successful change.  I tested one record using Global Update to change the domain from uafortsmith to uafs, and the link still worked, and the graphic for the bookplate still functioned properly in the OPAC.  I then did the entire batch, and testing of samples indicates the links still work.

Of such suspenseful events is a cataloger’s life composed….


Cataloging (the) blues

[updated 2010.5.25]

So, I’m cataloging a huge batch (over 1700!) of CDs donated by the family of a man who used to do radio programs on the blues.

It’s not easy, folks.

To do these properly and make them a truly useful reference for people doing research on blues music, I’m trying to make sure that every bibliographic record has (a) a complete list of the musical pieces on it (for keyword searching), and (b) a subject line for the blues artist(s) on it (for grouping by the individual artist or group under a standard entry).

That means that I need to download authority records from OCLC to our catalog, so we can have a standard authority for each person and cross-references to nicknames, aliases, etc.  It avoids variations in spelling, nicknames, etc.

Now, if you know blues names like “Muddy Waters” or “Little Joe Blue”, you might expect these would be easy to find.

Try this one (yes, it’s copied directly from a real authority record) for Robyn,  William:

SUBJ AUTH    Robyn, William, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Bennett, Bert, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Brown, Tom, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Conroy, Frank, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Conroy, Fred, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Crane, Thornely, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Ender, Jack, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Foster, Al, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Franklin, Fred, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Gravelle, Buddy, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Hamilton, Edward, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Hamilton, Ray, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Mack, Bobby, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Manning, John, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Norton, Walter, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Powell, Ray, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Powell, Roy, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Ray, Walter, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Robinow, William, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Robinson, William, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Robyn, Willie, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Ruban, George, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Rubin, William, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Rubinoff, Mario, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Rubinoff, William, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Scarpioff, William, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Scarpioff, Wolf, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Scott, Henry, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Shaw, Eddie, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Smith, Harry, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Spear, John, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Stanley, William, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Waters, Frankie, 1894-1996
SUBJ S FRM    Wee Willie, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Allison, James, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Bolton, Jamie, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Clarke, Walter, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Forsythe, Reg, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Francis, William, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Hart, Charles, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Henderson, Larry, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Henry, Lawrence, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Hillman, Bob, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Johnson, Al, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Lee, Albert, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    O’Shea, Allen, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    O’Shea, John, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Playman, Edmund, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Remick, Walter, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Richards, Edgar, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Richards, Walter, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Rickman, Eddie, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Roberts, Billy, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Roberts, Lewis, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Robin, Wyllie, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Thomas, Brian, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Turner, Ray, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Weston, Les, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    White, Jerry, 1894-1996.
SUBJ S FRM    Young, Louis, 1894-1996.
NOTE    William Robyn oral history interviews: label (William Robyn) transcript (Wolf Scarpioff, Mario Rubinoff)
NOTE    Enc. of rec. sound, c2005 (Robyn, William; b. Latvia 1894; d. Englewood, N.J., 12 Apr. 1996; tenor; born William Rubin he used more than 50 pseudonyms on recordings published by Victor, Columbia, Cameo, and approx. 50 other labels between 1919 and 1931)
NOTE    Pseudonyms on American records, c2005: p. 401 (Bert Bennett ; Tom Brown ; Frank Conroy ; Fred Conroy ; Thornely Crane ; Jack Ender ; Al Foster ; Fred Franklin ; Buddy Gravelle ; Edward Hamilton ; Ray Hamilton ; Bobby Mack ; John Manning ; Walter Norton ; Ray or Roy Powell ; Walter Ray ; William Robinow ; William Robinson ; “Wee” Willie Robyn ; George Ruban ; Cantor William Rubin ; William Rubinoff ; William Scarpioff ; Henry Scott ; Eddie Shaw ; Harry Smith ; John Spear ; William Stanley ; Frankie Waters ; Wee Willie)
NOTE    ARSC journal, v. 23, no. 2 (1992): p. 223 (James Allison, Jamie Bolton, Walter Clarke, Reg Forsythe, William Francis, Charles Hart, Larry Henderson, Lawrence Henry, Bob Hillman, Al Johnson, Albert Lee, Allen or John O’Shea, Edmund Playman, Walter Remick, Edgar or Walter Richards, Eddie Rickman, Billy or Lewis Roberts, Wyllie Robin, Brian Thomas, Ray Turner, Les Weston, Jerry White, Louis Young, Olympia Quartet (member))

He used more than 50 different names?!?!?!  (I have to wonder, was somebody chasing this guy all the way from Latvia?  Or, whose decision at the record label(s) was it to create yet another pseudonym?)  Maybe this was simply to avoid legal encumbrances made under other names, but come on!

And then we have all the short, fairly common names like “Joe Martin” or “Henry Gray” (and actually, those are relatively easy — less than ten different authority records to check to find the musician among them).

And THREE, count ’em, THREE different Howlin’ Wolf guys.   There’s J.T. “Funny Paper” Smith a.k.a. the Howling Wolf, and Chester Arthur Burnett, and neither of these should be confused with “English rhythm and blues singer Howlin’ Wolf”.  Go figure.  So, I’m paging through each little CD notes booklets to figure out which one is playing on this specific CD….

This is why Hollywood makes each performer have a slightly different name, to avoid this kind of confusion.  Good thinking!

Anyway, it will be a useful and valuable collection when I get it cataloged.  But it is going to be a long, slow, very picky job.

And that’s what catalogers have to be good at doing.


Having griped about William Robyn, I find that his pseudonym Eddie Shaw is not even the correct Eddie Shaw!  Turns out that Eddie Shaw 1937- is the blues musician I needed.

Catalogers got the right to sing the blues, all right….

(Thanks to the person who emailed me with the alert to check this!)

Followup on the new website

More on the website revision, in part to remind myself what I did and why, and perhaps something here will be of use to others.

So, I’ve been converting our Innovative Interfaces catalog pages on our libcat server to a format as close to the new server pages as possible.

I’ve wanted all along to make the transition as seamless as possible — ideally (IMHO) most users won’t realize they’re moving back and forth from one server to another.

Due to the wiki template set up on the campus website (and therefore the old library pages), however, we elected not to do that and allowed variation on the catalog pages.  Now, with the new server, I’m striving for identical looks.

Little things crop up in the process, of course.

Date Script

JavaScript for date in the header is one I borrowed some years back for use in the catalog.  We are finally able to use it on the regular home page now that we are on a server that allows it.  I like it because it specifically states what today is (day of the week and date) and the hours today only.  There is also now a link to all our hours on a separate page.

When we’re closed, it says so for that day, but I wanted the ‘closed’ message to remind people that online services are still available: “Closed Today (Online Services Still Available)”.  The catch was, I had that message on one line replacing the ‘hours’ text for that day, and it’s a much longer piece of text.  It threw everything off in the header — kicked everything right off that over and some of it wrapped onto additional lines, which looked terrible.  So, I broke the text display for the ‘closed’ message into two lines and it works neatly now: “Closed Today<br />Online Services Still Available”.

III uses “tokens” which are shortcuts to scripts in their system that handle certain tasks.  These work somewhat like SSI (Server Side Includes).

For example, for much of the top header in catalog pages, I can use “toplogo” which calls up a separate HTML partial file to fill in a stock header.  Same for “botlogo” which fills in a stock footer section.  Very handy.

So, I linked the toplogo section in the catalog to run the same JavaScript for the date/hours info from the library server, so I only have to change it one place to update it (changes in hours, holidays, etc.).  Very handy.

Advanced Searching

The catch to the above is, the header in ‘toplogo’ included the same catalog search box that is on all the pages.  The Advanced Searching page in the catalog, however, is one page that uses not an HTML form, but a token which calls up a form, since it’s more complex (combines terms, searches several indexes, etc.).

That called form assumes it’s the only one on the page, which conflicts with the one in the stock header.  Normally, you avoid this by giving specific names to the forms and referring to those, but when using the token to call up the form, I didn’t have the option to change the token-called script.

Trying to use Advanced Search in the proper box resulted in the form trying to get information from the box in the header search box instead (since that was the first form encountered on the page), and then telling me I needed to enter something there.

Answer: I entered the toplogo completely in normal HTML on this one Advanced Search page, instead of calling it with the ‘toplogo’ token.  That way, I could comment out the search box in the header so only this page is without that search box in the header.  Now the only working search was the one called by the Advanced Search token script.  Conflict eliminated.

If I change the header, I’ll have to remember to change this page as well.  However, the date script still works as usual, so no extra concerns on that.


CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are multiplying in the catalog.  III includes one of their own (untouchable since it operates some of their specialized functions), and we can override aspects of that and augment it with another, which we do. Now I added the one for the new style pages.

That meant that I had to make sure that adding the style sheet Joni created wouldn’t conflict with any names in the other style sheets.  Then I added that to the list of style sheets to check when a browser creates a page on the screen.

Then there was minor tweaking to get the CSS to work within our catalog server.  This included some little spacing things to allow for (as usual) Internet Explorer not working to the same standards as other browsers, but that worked out.

I commented a lot in the catalog version of the CSS file as to what I did to make it different from the version in the home version.  I may need to know all that some day.

Testing Browsers

I’m testing with Firefox 3.5 and Internet Explorer 7 and 8 (although 8 is not approved on our campus at this time as it won’t work properly with our version of some instructional software elsewhere on campus), as well as the current Windows version of Safari (since I don’t have a Mac to test) and current Google Chrome.

Progress is being made!