Tag Archives: Ex Libris Aleph

Tech Sharecase, 16 October 2009

Arthur Downing, Ellen Kaufman, Stephen Francoeur, Harold Gee, Joseph Hartnett, Ryan Phillips, Mike Waldman

We discussed the challenges that the CUNY Office of Library Services is facing as it tries to set up ARC (Aleph 500 Reporting Center), which is a product from Ex Libris that allows Aleph 500 customers to generate sophisticated reports on the items in the catalog and their use.

Capturing User Experience
Ryan discussed capturing user experiences, some ideas and tools presented by Michael Lascarides as part of the NYPL Service Excellence symposium in September. Michael Lascarides is a User Analyst with the Digital Experience Group at NYPL. His presentation was titled  “Uncovering Stories”. Two takeaways from his presentation discussed were how to capture user experiences and how users react to bad design and bad user experiences. One tool he mentioned for capturing users’ online experiences is Google Analytics, a tool for analyzing web site traffic. (If you are reading this blog post on the web, then you can view the slides from Lascarides’ presentation below.)

SFX Page with Links to Google Books
We discussed the draft of the SFX FIND IT page that offers Google Books as a target when the item presented is a book that happens to be fully or partially available in Google Books. We also discussed the problems we had a few years ago with a trial to Safari Books.

SFX and bX
We also discussed the Ex Libris bX Recommender, which would function similarly to the Amazon recommendation feature (i.e., “You might also like…”). This tool, highlighted in Eric’s recent email about SFX options, presents article suggestions when you click the SFX Find It link next to an item in your search results. Stephen mentioned that Dave Pattern of University of Huddersfield gave a presentation at Internet Librarian International on how he uses transaction data from his catalog for “you might like” feature in his catalog. (If you are reading this blog post on the web, you can view the slides below; otherwise, you can find them online at Slideshare.)

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Tech Sharecase, 20 August 2009


Ryan Phillips, Stephen Francoeur, Randy Hensley, Mike Waldman, Jean Yaremchuk, Joseph Hartnett

Squirrelizer and Cornify

Because we like to have fun as well as talk about serious topics, we started off with a couple of silly sites. Squirrelizer will insert the newly famous squirrel image into your pictures. Cornify will add pretty rainbows and unicorns to a web site or image (until your stomach turns).

Bing News vs. Google News

Google News offers a richer interface with better faceted navigation. Bing’s news section suffers at the moment from not having enough sources to provide, but Microsoft is likely working on lots of deals with news publishers now. It may be that Bing is also working on a finance section to rival Yahoo! Finance (although with the Yahoo!/Microsoft deal from last month, it’s not clear what’s going to happen). It was remarked that Bing is making a more competitive landscape now.

NewsGator announced that they are dropping its longtime desktop RSS reader and focusing on a mobile app version instead. Since Microsoft Outlook 2007 was released, which featured a built in RSS reader, the market for desktop RSS readers has declined. Jean mentioned that she used PHP to code her own desktop RSS reader.


Jean used Visio for a couple of things recently: for planning display cases layouts and for creating a Gantt charts. Maybe at an upcoming sharecase where there is a critical mass of library staff attending, she can give a demo of the software.

Exporting from Aleph

Jean created a script that will allow us to run reports on our subject areas and export to Excel.

Library Technology for Assistive Services

We talked about assistive technology that we have in the 3rd floor room and on the 2nd floor.

Library Web Site Design

A discussion about how we update content in our library web site led to a broader discussion of library web site design and looks at lots of notable sites. One resource that is helpful when talking about web site design is Jon Kupersmith’s Library Terms That Users Understand.

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