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.



Another day, another icon

We have a few titles in the catalog that are both online databases and available in paper:  Value Line, the Arkansas Code, for examples.

I had a request to come up with a new icon to show in the search results that indicated the materials available, rather than one or the other.

The problem is, we’ve maxed out on material types.  These are in BCode2 and ICode2 in the III system, and since we use ICode2 for inventory and I try to keep these the same as much as possible, I had to hunt for something I could salvage.

Fortunately, we’ve eliminated filmstrips, so I reused that code “p” and made it “Database & Books” instead.

That still left me without a little graphic for the icon to show on the right.  So, I reworked and re-named the same picture from ebooks and made it work for this.

A keyword search on “value line” will show the results.

tabs in the catalog

Working on the catalog display in Innovative (III) today and making these notes to myself.

I originally used the May 2007 set downloaded from III, with some modifications I picked up at IUG, for the version I brought out in August 2007.

The campus standard HAD been to accomodate 800×600 displays, and I didn’t want people using those to go from the campus pages to the library pages and find themselves suddenly running off the side of the screen with the catalog.

Since we are now no longer restricted to the 800×600 display (with the wide margins left and right), I’m reconfiguring the pages for 98% width (just a 1% margin on each side — I think it looks neater and less crowded than 100% across the page) of the screen in 1025×768 resolution.

That leaves a lot of stuff sort of weighing down the left side. All the tabs, for example, start on the left, and don’t go very far across in many cases.

So, I decided I needed to change the width of the tabs to spread them out a bit. The catch is, the tabs normally on mainmenu.html, for example, are using the div class “mainActiveTab” with “menuActiveTab” and InactiveTab, and those have only one size.

However, the div class “helpActiveTab” has “helpActiveTabMedium” and “Large” and seem to work just as well, so I’m replacing “main/menu” with “help” div classes. (It’s easier than adding to the CSS for “main/menu”.)

Then I changed the size to all medium tabs. Spreads further across and balances the look better, IMHO.

I’ve also taken the frame with the Quick Links and moved it over to the far right 20% of the page, and reset the percentages to 80% search and 20% Quick Links frame, now that I have the additional room. More balanced, again.

Tests okay.