Posted on October 11th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp
Here’s a lovely little hack for displaying the contact details of our 5 libraries, neatly in a web page:
It uses Alex Bilbie‘s implementation of a geolocation/IP-lookup script to try and determine the nearest library to the person viewing the page, according to the following rules:
- If you’re on campus, then choose the library for that campus.
- If you’re within 20 miles of one of our three campus libraries (Riseholme, Hull, or Holbeach) then choose the nearest library.
- If you’re actually inside Chad Varah House, choose the Theology Reading Room.
- If none of these rules apply, choose the main GCW University Library.
We’ll be tweaking these ‘library lookup’ rules to get the best results. I’d also like to look at overriding the geo-lookup settings for logged-in users (displaying instead the library for their campus of study as derived from their profile). And what about displaying information about SCONUL Access libraries for distance learners, perhaps making use of Owen Stephens’ SCONUL libraries lookup script?
Neat, no? The code is on Github if you want to have a look.
Posted on August 4th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp
We’re making a few changes to the home page of our library catalogue in time for the new academic year. Changes include:
- Reduced ‘tabset’ browsing to only the most important elements of the catalogue.
- Use of the newest version of the University’s Minerva logo and colour scheme.
- Home page used for ‘top 10′ (…ish) links to Library services elsewhere on the web – these are served up using an RSS feed via Feed2JS (so that we can display the same links in other environments such as Blackboard). All placed in one of HiP’s lovely XSL stylesheets.
Very many thanks to the new LNCD intern Jamie Mahoney for help with styling this!
Here’s the current, ‘old’ front page:
And here’s the new, redesigned page – still in development!
You can have a look at it, if you like, at:
This isn’t intended as a long-term solution for the question of the Library’s web presence. There’s a lot more we need to do to consolidate and simplify the information we present to users across different environments (open web, intranet/Portal, Blackboard VLE, etc.). But it’s a good short-to-medium-term fix which makes the most of the tools we have available at the moment, and recognises the value of establishing www.library.lincoln.ac.uk as the home of our ‘primary’ presence on the web. If nowt else, that’s the address we’re printing on our induction materials
We also had to work out a way of testing this on one of our public-access OPAC kiosks. I was particularly proud of this little MARC hack which allowed us to navigate to the test version of the home page without having to use the browser navigation bar (which is disabled on the kiosks).
Posted on July 12th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp
I don’t blog about Microsoft SharePoint much. (SharePoint 2003 is the technology behind the University of Lincoln’s Portal system.) But here’s a useful tip I’ve found: sometimes, when I’m editing a SharePoint Content Editor web part using the HTML source editor, I make a mistake – this tends to completely freeze the Portal site, and I often can’t even get back into the source editor to correct my mistake.
When this happens, I use a special SharePoint “Manage Web Part” page which lists all the web parts in that site. I can then delete the offending web part containing my botched code, and start again.
For a Portal site with the URL:
The shared “Manage Web Part” page can be accessed at:
It’s a useful hack. SharePoint 2003 says: “Use this page to close Web Parts on your page, restore defaults to Web Parts, or delete Web Parts from your page. The following Web Parts are on your page. To modify the page, select one or more Web Parts and then select an action.“
Posted on November 12th, 2010 by Paul Stainthorp
University of Lincoln students and staff have full-text access to the ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) Digital Library “core package” of around 50 ACM journals and magazines, but not to the full text of conference proceedings which also form part of the ACM Digital Library.
This can make it confusing to search the Digital Library: its search results don’t distinguish between material which is part of the core package and that which is not, and it’s not until you try clicking on a ‘Full text available’ link that you discover whether you will be granted access to a particular article.
The core package titles are listed on the Library’s e-journals website.
What follows is a somewhat inelegant hack, but one which does provide a reasonably reliable way of limiting your search to only those articles which are available as part of the core package:
- Log in to the ACM Digital Library. (University of Lincoln students and staff: off-campus access is available via the University Portal.)
- Click on the ‘Advanced Search’ option, toward the top right of the screen.
- Toward the bottom of the advanced search form, you should see a field labelled ‘Find ISBN/ISSN’. Copy and paste this list of core package ISSNs (International Standard Serial Numbers) into the ‘Find ISBN/ISSN’ field.
- Then, enter your search terms in the ‘Words or Phrases’ search boxes toward the top of the form, and hit ‘Search’.
- You should see a list of search results, containing articles from only those publications which form part of the core package. All the articles in these search results should be available in full text to University of Lincoln students and staff.
Posted on August 20th, 2010 by Paul Stainthorp
I’ve just recreated my list of magazines from Google Books for the University’s e-journals site.
Google now hosts 199 digitised magazine titles, and for the sake of 10 minutes’ work every few months it would be a shame to miss out on the extra full-text coverage, which often complements the “library” sources for a title.
E.g. for the frankly un-put-downable Estonian Journal of Archaeology (available as an Open Access (OA) journal from 2006-, and indexed in Art Full Text), Google provides the missing articles from 1997 (vol.1) up to 2006.
I’d like to be able to harvest the Google Books content to build my list using the standard mashlib toolkit (Google spreadsheets; Yahoo! Pipes; some coffee)… but while use of Google’s =ImportHtml() function is limited to 50 per spreadsheet, and because Google search pages block robots.txt files, I can’t figure out a way of doing so.
Instead, I’ve been copying-and-pasting the search results pages into an ordinary Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (thanks, again, Google, for making this possible through your magazine browse page), then using a custom Excel function to ‘unmask’ the URL hidden behind each hyperlinked magazine title.
Finally, I use a bit of text-to-column splitting, search/replace, and filling-in of package-wide fields, to give me a compatible, tab-delimited text file which I then upload to our e-journals knowledge base (which happens to be EBSCO A-to-Z) – I used EBSCO’s custom notes feature to link to Google’s cover image to each entry in the file.