Matthew Reidsma

Work Notes

Updates from the GVSU Libraries’ Web Team.
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A Little Extra Help in the Catalog

A few things have popped up in the catalog this week, and they all have something in common: they are little “modal” windows that appear after you click certain buttons. Here’s why they’ve arrived:

1. MeL Requesting is Down Until December 11th

UPDATE: MelCat Requesting is back, so this function is no longer operational

We encourage our users to take advantage of the MeLCat service to find books that GVSU doesn’t own. Unfortunately, due to a server migration, MeLCat is down for the next three weeks. So, when a user clicks on the “Search Michigan Libraries” button in the catalog, they see one of two windows:

Modal window for searches

If the user is on a search results page, they see a modal window that lets them know that MeLCat is not accepting requests, but that they can do a search. In addition, if they want to find a specific item, we let them know that they can request it through Document Delivery. If they choose DocDel, we send them to a blank request form.

Modal window for book records

If a user is on a book record, then we show a slightly different window. This one has an OpenURL link to Document Delivery with information from the book they are looking at, so they can do a simple request through Document Delivery. The goal was to make this temporary transition as seamless as requesting from MeLCat usually is. If the user wants, they can also look for the book in MeLCat, but we let them know that requesting is not available.

This script will automatically stop working on December 11th, unless MeLCat doesn’t reopen by then or they come back into operation sooner.

2. Bound Journal Requesting

Modal window for book records

We learned long ago that when students request journals, often what they really want is an article from the journal. They are directed to the catalog from the link resolver, which notes that we own a print version of the journal that contains their article. So they click through to the OPAC, click the volume they need, and expect an article waiting for them at the service desk. They are usually disappointed by the large bound collection of journals.

This modal asks the user if they want an article or the whole journal. The article link is an OpenURL that prepopulates a Document Delivery request with the journal information from the record. The user still has to fill in the article details, but they link resolver opens the OPAC in a new tab, so they should still have that window open.

Here’s a sample journal record that will show you how this works. Click on any of the request buttons.

3. Microform Requesting

Modal window for book records

Like journals, microforms are usually a disappointment to students. Patty let me know recently that Frey doesn’t even have a microform reader, so students who request film or fiche can’t even use it at Frey. Often these students are also looking for an article, not the journal saved on the film, so we added a modal letting them know that this item needs special equipment, and that they can just order a specific article if they like. Like journals, we prepopulate the Document Delivery form with the information we have from the record. The rest must be filled in by the user.

Here’s a sample record you can try by requesting one of the reels of microfilm.

If you’re curious, the code is online at Github. I use a function to create the windows and the listener for the close button, and then pass it the content and the “trigger” class on a case-by-case basis.