We’ve been moving to Prism 3 as our main catalogue at Sussex. Until now we used Aquabrowser as a main catalogue and Prism 2 as an alternative. Aquabrowser could not reserve or renew books and had no ‘My Account’ functionality’. It used frames and flash, and no real software updates have come out since we went live with it.Some nice things about Prism 3:
- one of the few library products I’ve seen that actually lets you properly theme it. Not as much as WordPress or Eprints, but much more so than other commercial software I have seen.
- Good UI and well designed, modern css/html.
- Cool URLs (bookmarkable – predictable – readable)
- Good attention to speed.
- Good mobile implementation.
- Live and Sandbox (dev) versions of the catalogue.
And some links
- Sandbox http://prism.talis.com/sussex-ac-sandbox/
- Live http://prism.talis.com/sussex-ac
- Sandbox in a mobile view http://responsivepx.com/?prism.talis.com%2Fsussex-ac-sandbox%2F#336×496
- Sussex Prism templates on GitHub https://github.com/chriskeene/SussexPrism/
We can provide one CSS file. Once uploaded, this is actually merged in to a much bigger css file with the Prism css as well as our own. The bit we supply is actually wrapped in a @media screen declaration – though by adding a close bracket we can then add other @media declarations for printing and small screen, handy.
The CSS we provide is actually a number of CSS files the University uses for its templates merged together in one long file, plus extra app specific stuff adde by me.
Most html templates will open a number of classes/identifiers at the top of the page and close then right at the end (#page #content #wrapper etc). At first that was what I planned to do in the header.html and close in the footer.html – however the html in the application itself basically restricts this approach – for example the editable header.html is wrapped inside a class itself, so all classes opened in header.html need to be closed.Github and tools
I’ve used github for keeping a track of changes. I found this useful. Originally I was using the git command line tools and git-gui. but yesterday discovered the much much nice Github for Windows – which is lush. you can see the repository here https://github.com/chriskeene/SussexPrism/ I found the Chrome Inspect Elements incredibly useful. So too was http://responsivepx.com/ and owning a smartphone! Jquery has been used to modify bits we don’t have control over. The nice html design makes it easy to select elements. CSS
Search EverythingOriginally I was disappointed that you could not do a blank search. You may find this odd but these can be useful, especially when the application allows you to create RSS feeds or alerts based on search results. Example: take a blank search, filter down to DVDs, and anything new in the results will be added to the RSS feed. It turns out you can. For a start, we have had a little known about Twitter account which tweets new books at Sussex ( https://twitter.com/SussexLibNewBks ) It didn’t work too well as Aquabrowser only updated once a day, so all the tweets would come at once. However I was able to take the following link:
http://prism.talis.com/sussex-ac/items.rss?query=collection%3A%22Main+Catalogue%22&sort=shelveddate%3Ad&limit=20 There’s lot of potential for similar sorts of services for different collections or criteria in the future.
And I’m not sure if this link will work off campus but it allows us to create search forms that will automatically restrict the search results to certain locations/collections or any other facet http://wwwnewdev.sussex.ac.uk/library/contact/testNo Results found
- Need to make the homepage pretty done
- Need to change the ‘no image available’ image, it’s distracting, either plan white or nothing at all. done
- I think there could be further improvements in the ‘Save/Export area. people want to print/email records, and create a biography in Word.
- And, regarding lists, I think we should aspire to Amazon and Youtube’s ease of use when saving (wishlist/favorites) an item
- implement proper authentication for My Account – not a borrower number (how many people can remember their borrower number).
- We’re looking to use the very bottom of a record to place more advanced/experimental features (qr codes, links to other systems, social, etc) This will provide potentially useful features to users without cluttering up or confusing the core record at the top of the screen.