Evergreen International Conference hackfest results: Evergreen serials support

Posted on Wed 27 May 2009 in Libraries

Yes, all of a sudden and rather quietly, Evergreen has serials support.

A few weeks ago, I finished hooking up a rudimentary serials holdings display based on David Fiander's MFHD parsing code to our production instance of Evergreen. We loaded our MFHD records from our legacy system into Evergreen and that gave us enough breathing room to keep working on the problem. By rudimentary I mean:

  • limited to displaying one MFHD record per bibliographic record (a problem for journals for which you have separate sets of holdings in microfiche, print, etc)
  • serials holdings were displayed for a given bibliographic record no matter what library scope you were searching in (more of a problem in theory than in practice as we currently have one copy of a given bibliographic record per library... that will change over time...)
  • no way to edit the MFHD records, which is a problem as the issues we have received since migrating to Evergreen three weeks ago are starting to pile up
  • limited to English labels in the interface

Here's the rudimentary serials holdings display: image0

The operative phrase is was rudimentary. In the past two weeks, things have come a long way in Evergreen. The primary result of my afternoon of work at the Evergreen International Hackfest, with lots of help from Mike Rylander and Bill Erickson in navigating the impressive new Dojo toolkit-based Evergreen JavaScript widgets and services in the upcoming Evergreen 1.6 release, was to add an Edit button to the holdings display that shows up when the record is viewed in the staff client. When pressed, the Edit button invokes a MARC editor so that you can copy an 86[345] field and fill in the pertinent information; or collapse holdings in the 86[678] fields, etc. It seems like a minor victory, but it was a real result from the hackfest, and that cannot be discounted!

Here's the MARC editor in action: image1

Since then, I've been on fire... or maybe on a slow burn, as I put a few hours in here and there, and am happy to say that when Evergreen 1.6 is released, serials support will feature:

  • support for display unlimited MFHD records per bibliographic record
  • holdings display scoped by library search context - so you'll only see holdings for the part of the library hierarchy that you're searching, rather than the whole consortium
  • the Edit button for editing the raw MFHD record
  • internationalization support for interface labels, based on Dojo string substitution

I have already committed these features to the Evergreen trunk, but I hope to add a few more pieces to the mix before the Evergreen 1.6 release is cut. We need to display the 852 field contents to identify the location of each set of holdings, and we need to give cataloguers the ability to edit some of the attributes (such as owning library).

Here are |image2|the slides I presented (largely screenshots of the serials display and edit button) for the hackfest results lightning talk that I gave with Jeff Godin of Traverse Area District Library. Jeff did some interesting work in his own right on generating feeds for recently added titles based on copy location during the hackfest.