(Possibly inaccurate translation of possibly equally-bad French: keystone is here!)
All University of Lincoln library users can now see an overview of their borrowing activity within Blackboard, thanks to our new Talis Keystone -powered ‘My Library Account’ widget, a version of which now appears on the Blackboard home page for all students and staff. The widget displays a summary of a user’s borrowing, derived—in real time—from their own Horizon account:
(University of Lincoln students and staff: you can see your own borrowing overview by logging in to Bb, at: http://blackboard.lincoln.ac.uk/)
At the moment, the hyperlinked text points only to an expanded version of the same facility (displayed on the Library ‘tab’ on Blackboard), which then links the user out to the library catalogue with instructions on how to log in (using barcode and PIN), along with short explanations of any terminology.
The integration of Horizon, Blackboard, and finance systems using Talis Keystone is being coordinated by a project group of staff from the Library, Finance, and ICT services. Matthew Darch from the Online Services Team designed and created the widget itself using the Talis Keystone API (Application Programming Interface) to embed and display the overview of a user’s borrowing.
This “Overview” facility is the first step towards full integration of library, finance, and student learning systems using Keystone. We’ve let it go out as a soft launch, with no great marketing campaign at this stage (though we will be mentioning it to groups of students when the opportunity arises, and recording their comments in a spreadsheet): the plan is to use these first few weeks to identify and fix any problems, listen to user feedback, and develop extra features for future iterations of the same widget, before…
Iteration #2 of the ‘overview’ widget will allow library users to pay their library fines, fees, etc., by credit or debit card (…this was the reason we bought Talis Keystone in the first place). At this point, we’ll also begin a more high-profile launch and internal marketing campaign.
Iteration #3 [onwards] should build on the extended set of borrower data that we can pull out of the Keystone APIs, with full bibliographic details of loans displayed in an extended Blackboard widget, the potential to tailor the display for different classes of library user (i.e. Horizon borrower types), renewals within Blackboard, messages, etc.
We’ll be demo-ing the new widget to all interested Library (plus ICT, CERD, etc.) staff over the next few weeks.