Yesterday, I tweeted a quick post asking for assistance in creating either hrefs or URLS that could link into AquaBrowser. Specifically, link into canned searches, such as author searches, a specific subject or a combination of the two.
This is an issue that has been uppermost in my mind because of the popularity of reading lists and canned searches which we all use when linking from our websites or library blogs into the catalogue. For example, if we want to create a genealogy splash page, we want to link into key resources or pre-determined searches in our catalogues – if we can’t do this with our new catalogues, it’s a failure. One of the purposes of social catalogues, such as AquaBrowser, is to enhance user access and make the collection more visible by asking users to share and collaborate – and to make linking into the catalogue even easier! Fortunately, thanks to two colleagues of mine (one from my own library, and one from the New Brunswick Public Library Services), I’ve discovered this is possible. Not as easy as, perhaps, it should be, but we can continue creating our reading lists, resource lists and canned searches. Hopefully the “ease” in creating these links will develop as part of the vendor’s “intuitive” vision for these catalogues. From my own experience, the hands-on AquaBrowser crew are keen on new ideas and addressing shortcomings – so I think we’ll see some enhancements to deep linking in AquaBrowser.
While I’m still working out how to create complex canned searches that include Boolean – basic subject, author, ISBN and simple Boolean (with an implied AND) do work.
So, for those of you who have been trying to figure this out – I’m going to provide some examples straight out of our catalogue. Also, a nod to my colleague in New Brunswick who provided a really neat URL resource for linking into other libraries’ catalogues.
Examples for Deep-Linking in AquaBrowser
If you use a MARC tag, such as the 449 tag, to create linkable reading lists, you can recall those lists as well. For example, we have a Teen Picks List at HPL. This is how you’d link to it:
And finally, just some helpful tips when creating links into AquaBrowser:
• – ‘q’ initiates the Aquabrowser with a query. This can be used to build a search box on another site or page, and deep link into AquaBrowser with a query.
• – ‘uilang=en’ sets the user interface language ‘ENglish’. Also supported are ‘nl’ ‘fr’ etc. More languages can be added in language.xml.
• – ‘itemid=default::31234′ (2.0 only) gives a direct deep link to the item in the table ‘default’ and id=’31234′.
• – ‘itemid=|library/marc/howardcounty|453410′ (2.2 and up) gives a direct deep link to the item with extID=’|library/marc/howardcounty|453410′ (extID can be found in record when ?debug=true)
• ‘branch=branchcoe’ allows you to preselect locations (branches). Note that you need to branch CODE, which may be different than the name displayed. To see the branch codes use debug=true and look at the xml generated for the branch selector (under the feedback module).
This is new to me as well – so please play around with it. As you can see, it’s not as intuitive as it can be – and will definitely take some time to create. In the past with our classic catalogues, all we had to do was use the URL provided to us by our search. However, in AquaBrowser, the URL never changes or “refreshes”, so we can’t see the URL. Unfortunately, patrons still won’t be able to share more than a single item URL with friends. Hopefully, in time, we’ll see if this changes. But, in the meantime, libraries can continue to link to pre-determined searches and reading lists in AquaBrowser.
And, just for fun, my New Brunswick colleague sent me the coolest link. Here’s what she had to say:
This is my favourite type of link to do in a social catalogue: http://discover.halifaxpubliclibraries.ca/?q=md_tags:awesome
Everything user-tagged “Awesome”