For a while I’ve been meaning to write a quick post around our move to Alma as our Library Management System. This isn’t that post, and I still plan to write it, but this is around some functionality in Primo which we wanted to create as a result.

Our processing of Reading lists tend to be quite staff time intensive, even after various business process analysis and fixing, and a push for academics to update much of the lists themselves. A key workflow is to check copies on our catalogue, when doing so it is important for our staff to know if an item is already on another list, as this will often affect purchasing decisions. Ideally this would show in the review screen of Aspire itself, perhaps a future enhancement, and we can’t add javascript to Aspire to enable this.

In the past our Capita Prism based catalogue used a juice widget to show if an item was on the catalogue, as far as I am aware Prism was the only catalogue which had an almost out of the box integration with Aspire in this way.

With Prism no longer available as we moved to Alma, the challenge was to provide the same information in Primo.

This was quite straight forward to do, the Aspire API is quite straight forward and Primo allows us to easily add javascript to its interface. The main issue was Primo’s poor css identifiers and class names, which make it difficult to isolate and manipulate parts of the interface. I rarely get around to doing much development and my javascript coding is very basic.

You can see the end result code here:

I do a brief walk through of how it works, and the code here:

If you use Primo and Aspire then feel free to take a copy and adapt it.

Possible improvements might include calling the API for each ISBN within a record, in case the Aspire record has one ISBN but not another. At the moment it only checks one ISBN (the first 13 digit ISBN, if not then the first 10 digit), if that is not in the Aspire record then no match will be found. Another idea is that at the moment it can only add the links if the links section appears on the right. Which is not always the case for Primo Central records. It could potentially check for this case, and display them elsewhere when this occurs.



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