SNRG 2008 Cool and creative ways for small libraries to promote their OPACs

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Tracey Amey

How do we bring the users to our catalog?

Custom Search URLs
Custom search url is a url that you construct to make a link into an on the fly search for a specific item type, category, keyword. These are all live urls, so thy are automatically updated. This becomes a seamless link into the OPAC. You don't need to update them again.  One example is for the titles they have on cd at summer break time. Another example is for their popular collection or leisure reading  - they use the list and bring in book covers for a more visual list.

Highlighting a display on the home page with a link to the item catgory display within the catalog. Students don't even know they are being sent into the catalog.

Custom search string includes the following: &item_2cat=GAMES_IND.  The advantage is that it's aways live and always current and the url can be sent to faculty, students, etc at a momen't notice.

Periodicals by curriculum.
This was created by using the fund code in the local notes field 594. 
Base url plus ?searchdata1=LS{T594}

custom search string includes the following: &item_2cat=GAMES_IND

Lots of information for creating these comes from the Sirsi Customer wiki

There is a check box to have people search ebooks only. When they implemented this, their stats for e-books went up 33% after this was turned on.  sys.env file under the electronic book configuration area.


How do we bring the catalog to them?

iGoogle, Amazon, IMDb, CMS, Blogs
widgets for iGoogle that also work in Angel library look up - works in firefox only right now.  The script was modified from the LION Library Lookup Script at

IMDb - there is a script that lets people know that the library has this dvd.Adapted from an existing script.

Trixie - same as greasemonkey for Firefox. Helps with migratin scripts to work on IE as well as Firefox. 

Yahoo Pipes -

Dapper lets you take a url and make an RSS.  Choose the content you want to feed. (Tracy chose Title call# and availability). Use the dapper-created rss feed as your source in yahoo pipes. Use pipe as is. Peoplpe can add to their iGoogle or feedreader. Creates badge to embed in website or blog, etc. You can clone a feed that works and change it to use your own url.  For promoting these tools, Madigan has a page called cool tools. This is where all gadgets and instructions for downloading.


Promotional posting on portal, emails with gadgets and custom urls.  Talking about them in sessions, classes, users has really promoted them. 

Tools used:

Flickr - to embed images into email
iGoogle gadget
Greasemonkey - to use scripts in Firefox
Yahoo pipes - interactive feed aggregator
Dapper - the data mapper
Trixie for IE7

Try it - you can't break anything. Experiment and see what you can do!

Great presentation!






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