Sorry not to giv e more info on my first request. But I'm a little shy
about owning up to my untried idea since there are a lot of IFs and unknowns
about the whole project. By the time I get anywhere on this project, III
will have made it possible to link Subject Guides from Encore, and my idea
will have no chance of adoption at my own school. And I must admit, my
goals are equal parts wanting to be able to bring my idea to reality with my
own hands, as well as providing a possible aid toward meeting the problem of
"students don't always make the transition from Google to the library
My idea is/was this: I created a Firefox extension that fires upon a Google
search. The idea is to identify the general subject area of the search, and
pop-up a notice about the pertinent library subject guides, reminding the
user that these resources are paid for and selected by the libraries. My
idea for identifying the general subject area was to use a catalog search,
mapping the call numbers of the resulting hits to the given subject guides.
So I prototyped this in ASP .NET, which is the platform I have most
experience with, using YAZ/VB-Zoom to perform the Z39.50 search. This is an
example of my prototype pop-up. A warning, I assumed it was a pop-up, so if
you're seeing it in tabs, it's going to resize your browser. That needs
There are a lot of questions to be answered, though. What proportion of
Google searches consist of phrases that could be found in the catalog? What
proportion of Google searches (in our computer labs, for instance) need
scholarly information? To answer those questions, I intended to log the
searches and the success of the mapping.
Well, my adminstration rejected my proposal to test the app in their
reference area. So I showed my app to Andrew Darby, author of Subjects
Plus, the app we use for our subject guides, and he was interested - if I
could port it over to PHP. And since it would need to support a variety of
ILS's, Z39.50 seems still to be the most likely technology.
That was last October, and I have yet to get PHP_YAZ working. Of course,
this is a squeeze-in in my own spare time, so the time devoted to it is
And the idea of offering it to other small libs is also why I would want to
have the app hosted. If Andrew were to offer it as a part of Subjects Plus,
it would have to be something that a library like mine could support without
a lot of in-house support. So I need to know what hosting service could make
it easiest for a small library with a small staff.
I know there are other questions - what kind of burden on the ILS would this
be? I know Z39.50 is old technology, and there are probably other problems
you all can predict.
So that's what I'm up to.
Cindy Harper, Systems Librarian
Colgate University Libraries
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On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 11:28 AM, Jon Gorman <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 10:13 AM, Cindy Harper <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sorry to bother you all with it. Everyone's happy family is
> > different, to hash a quote, but I hope I'm still welcome in Code4Lib,
> > if I'm not hired to be a library coder. Just a library (Windows) sys
> > Or maybe we need a spin-off code4lib for the amateurs among us.
> I think Bill meant why are you coming down here with us trolls when
> you're at such a nice place? You're quite welcome, although you've
> certainly have my curiosity up about why you want to run php_yaz in
> the first place. You didn't have much in the way of details in your
> initial email. It might change some people's advice if you're not
> intending the system to a long-term production system. (And I'm still
> curious what systems are even using php_yaz....)
> Jon Gorman