Reading History


Reading History

With these settings, users can:

  • Learn about reading history
  • Opt in to recording their reading history
  • Stop recording reading history at any time
  • Delete titles individually or in bulk
  • Sort and search through reading history


Aspen Discovery allows you to track items checked out from the library, both in print and electronic.

Users can opt-in if they want to track their history. Additionally, users can delete individual titles (or all titles) from their reading history, and can start or stop recording their history at any time.



View Reading History in My Account

Users can navigate to their Reading History either directly in the drop down under their name or via the hamburger menu under My Account.

Once users are in My Account, they will see a Reading History link on the side.

Opt in to Reading History

When a user first clicks into their Reading History in My Account, they are typically presented with a message to opt into Reading History.

Note: Library staff with translation privileges can translate this message by either starting translation mode or going to the Languages and Translations Admin. menu.

When a user clicks on Start Recording My Reading History, 1 of 2 things will happen:

  • If they have already opted into their Reading History in the ILS, then any titles will be loaded automatically into Aspen.
  • If they have not opted into their Reading History in the ILS and/or are new to the library completely, then titles will begin recording from current checkouts moving forward

Note: For Koha library migrations that have also carried over the Reading History flags of ON/OFF, Koha will force the reloading of any users with the ON flag and loading history will begin loading when a user clicks on My Account > Reading History


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Export and Print Reading History

Users can export their reading history to a csv file to easily convert to other formats, save or print.

Once in My Account > Reading History, users will see the option to Export to CSV

Once downloaded, the file will look something like this with key information like title, author, and format.

Delete All or Selected Reading History

Users can modify their reading history in My Account > Reading History.

Users can choose to delete individual items (by clicking Delete) next to that item or all of the current items showing (by clicking Delete All) in their reading history.

Delete All will delete current reading history but will continue storing future reading history.

The Delete and Delete All options only delete these titles from the Aspen database but those deletions are not pushing that information to the ILS if data is being stored there.


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Stop Recording Reading History

Users can choose to stop recording their reading history any time by going to My Account > Reading History and selecting Stop Recording My Reading History.

If the user decides to Stop Recording "My Reading History", they will receive a prompt alerting them "Opting out of Reading History will also delete your entire reading history irreversibly. Proceed?"

  • The user will have to click OK or CANCEL before completing or abandoning the process.

If the users decides to Delete All, they will receive a prompt alerting them "Your entire reading history will be irreversibly deleted. Proceed?"

  • The user will have to click OK or CANCEL before completing or abandoning the process.
See Reading History in Search Results

If a user has opted in to Reading History, as they search and browse the catalog, items that appear on their Reading History will have a label of Last Checkedout appear.

This is automatically generated based off of the date in their reading history so there are no Administration settings to turn on/off.

To remove this, a user can stop recording their Reading History. 

Here is a look at this user's Reading History in their Account:

Here is their view when browsing the catalog:

How Reading History Appears When Bib Record Has Been Deleted

After a user starts recording reading history in Aspen, there might be a time when the library removes the reocrd from the catalog. When a bib record has been deleted (all items have been deleted and entire bib record is deleted), the record will show in Aspen without a hyperlink and without a cover. Users will also lose their "You Might Also Like" recommendations associated with that title.


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Search Reading History

Reading history is searchable.

You can search reading history by:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Format

How Aspen Interprets Migrated Reading History

If you are migrating over to Aspen and you are bringing over reading history from your ILS, Aspen is not able to load:

  • Titles suppressed in Aspen (common examples would be suppression by status, location, item type, etc.)
  • Titles that no longer exist or have been withdrawn
  • Titles that share a grouped work - for example, two different publication dates of a title would be counted once not twice
  • Titles that share the same grouped work but contain multiple items/volumes - for example, every month I check out Vogue. Aspen will have 1 stored reading history for the Vogue grouped work and not Vogue Feb, Vogue March, Vogue April (at the item level)
  • Titles that share the same grouped work but have been accessed in multiple formats - for example, the book and the audiobook would be counted once not twice


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    Administration Settings

    Enable Reading History

    To enable Reading History in Aspen, go to Aspen Administration > Primary Configuration > Library Systems >

    ILS/Account Integration > Enable Reading History


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    Determine if Staff Can View User Reading History with Masquerade Mode

    A library can decide to turn masquerade mode on for users who have staff permissions in Aspen. Masquerade mode is a helpful tool for staff. This is great, especially when launching Aspen, for staff to masquerade as a user and walk through the new catalog at the Reference desk. It is also a great tool for virtual reference to see exactly what a user is seeing. Masquerade mode is a way for library staff to help users without needing to ask the user for a password.

    Learn more about Masquerade Mode here.

    If you have masquerade mode turned on, the library can choose if their staff can see a user's reading history or not. 

    To turn this on/off, go to Aspen Administration > Primary Configuration > Library Systems > ILS/Account Integration > Masquerade Mode. 

    From here, you can allow/disallow Masquerade Mode, set an automatic timeout length for Masquerade Mode, and either enable or disable Allow Display of Reading History in Masquerade Mode.

    If a library chooses not to allow display of Reading History in Masquerade Mode, a message like this will show to masquerading users.

    Push Reading History Updates from Aspen into the ILS

    By default, whichever preference a patron chooses in regards to Reading History (on or off) in Aspen supersedes any selection that they've made in the ILS.

    For Carl.X, Koha, Millennium, Sierra, and Symphony there are two settings related to pushing these changes into the ILS that you might want to utilize.

    These settings are found in Aspen Administration > Primary Configuration > Library Systems > click into the library system > ILS/Account Integration:

    Opting in to Reading History Updates ILS settings - Whether or not the user should be opted in to reading history within the ILS when they opt in within Aspen.

    Opting out of Reading History Updates ILS settings - Whether or not the user should be opted out of reading history within the ILS when they opt out within Aspen.

    With one or both of these checked, this will push the reading history updates to the ILS.


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    Reading History in Koha & Aspen

    If you are a library using or migrating to the Koha ILS, read this blog post:

    Reading History & Privacy in Aspen Discovery and Koha

    Enable or Disable Reading History by Patron Type

    Libraries can decide by patron type which types should or should not have reading history enabled.

    By default, all patron types will be checked.

    Once Reading History is enabled, then go to Aspen Administration > Primary Configuration > Patron Types > click into the patron type(s) you want to modify > uncheck/check Enable Reading History.


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