Adding a Bookmobile or Outreach Location

There may come a time when your library decides to add a new place for users to access library resources, such as a bookmobile or another outreach location. Thankfully, Aspen Discovery allows for great flexibility when it comes to adding and setting up new locations at any time.

Configuring a New Location

If using either Koha, Evergreen, or Polaris for your ILS, start by creating the location there. For Koha, check out this awesome episode of Monday Minutes to learn how! Once set up in the ILS, Aspen will pull in this information and create a new setting for this location automatically. Then, all you’ll need to do is edit this location setting and adjust preferences as needed. 

If using another ILS (Sierra, Symphony and Evolve), you will first need to create and configure the location there, then add the corresponding Location setting manually into Aspen. 

Let’s walk through the essential settings you’ll want to enter in and make decisions about. (If a setting isn’t mentioned, assume that it is not necessary for this setup - at least, not for the majority of cases.)

 

1. From Aspen Administration, head to Primary Configuration > Locations > click Add New. 

2. Enter in the Code for this location. This must match what you have set up for the bookmobile/outreach location in your ILS. 


 

3. Enter in the Display Name. This is how you would like the location to display throughout Aspen, whether that’s in copy information or in the list of locations and hours.



4. Make sure the appropriate Library system setting is selected under Library. This would be the library the bookmobile or outreach location “belongs” to. 



 

5. Next, decide whether or not you want this location to appear in the Library Hours & Location screen. This information is accessible from the hamburger menu (☰) on every page. If you don’t want this location to appear there, uncheck Show in Locations And Hours List.

If you do want this location to appear, fill in any applicable location information – address, phone number, and/or email address. (No need to enter in address latitude/longitude/units for distance – if the address is filled in, Aspen auto-calculates this for you via our Google Maps API.)

Then, scroll down the page until you reach the Hours section where you can enter in any regular schedule for your location. Use the Notes field to add extra information about specific days/hours.

 

If none of these fields are quite right for your location’s needs, you can also add more details in the Description field, which will appear on the Hours & Location screen under “Additional Information.”

 

Here’s an example of what all these fields together might look like in action:



 

6. If this new location “owns” any materials, scroll to the bottom and create an entry in Records to Include. (This will already be created for you if using the Koha ILS)

Leave the Indexing Profile Id as “ils,” then fill in the location’s code in the Location field. If the location will not have any circulating materials attached to it, you can skip this step.

To show ownership, check Owned?, fill in the Location code, add a second line with Owned? unchecked and add .*




 

7. Finalize your setup in the Location settings by answering the following questions:

  • Should this location show on the Donations page (if applicable)? 
    • If No, make sure “Show Location on Donations Page” is unchecked.
  • Should users be able to select this location as a pickup location for holds?
    • If No, go to ILS/Account Integration > Valid Hold Pickup Branch? and select Not Valid. Otherwise, select the setting that’s right for your location.
  • Should users be able to select this location when registering for a card online?
    • If No, go to ILS/Account Integration > Valid Self Registration Branch? and select Not Valid.

8. Finally, if this location will circulate items, consider whether or not you’d like these items to be discoverable in the catalog(s). If you do not want items at the location to show in search results for any library (whether using a single or multiple catalogs), you can suppress the items using the location code in Aspen Administration > ILS Integration > Indexing Profiles > Locations to Suppress. 



 

If you only want to suppress this location’s items for specific catalogs (when multiple catalogs are involved), you can suppress the items using the location code in Aspen Administration > Primary Configuration > Library Systems > edit the setting(s) > add the location code to “Locations to Exclude” under Records to Include.



 

These steps and questions should work great for the majority of scenarios, but if you have any questions about how to configure settings for your library’s unique situation, please submit a support ticket and we’ll be happy to help.

Spread the Word

Now that your location settings are in place, you can use Aspen to promote your new location and services, too. If your location has a tie-in with any special collections or resources, promote them with placards! Using Aspen’s web builder, you can also create an informational page about your new location with images, videos, and more. System messages are also another useful tool when it comes to communicating important announcements to all users.

Updated 2023-05-30 km bws

Handling Closures or Removing a Library Location

Deleting a Library Location

When you delete a library location/branch from your ILS, you must also delete the library location from Aspen.

To remove a location, go to Primary Configuration > Locations > click into the Location you want to remove and click the Delete button.

If this location/branch is still in the ILS, Aspen will reload this location when it catches the ILS index (for Koha, Polaris, Evergreen libraries). If you did this by accident using other ILSes (Sierra, Symphony, Evolve), you will need to manually re-add and configure the location/branch.

 

Updated 2023-04-04 km bws
Suppress a Location's Collections

To suppress the location's collections go, to Aspen Administration > ILS Integration > Indexing Profiles > Item Information > Locations to Suppress. Here you will enter in the branch code(s) you need to suppress. The records will disappear completely after an overnight index.

If you need to suppress multiple locations, separate each location code with vertical pipes and no spaces. Example: EAST|SOUTH|STORAGE

If you're not sure what your location codes are, they should be defined in your ILS. Aspen also displays the location codes used by your ILS in Primary Configuration > Locations. The code is displayed in the Code column.

Remove the Location as a Hold Pick Up Location

If the location is closing and you don't want users to be able to pick up a hold at that location, go to Aspen Administration > Primary Configuration > Locations > click into that Location > ILS/Account Integration > Valid Hold Pickup Branch? > Not Valid

If you are doing this you may either way to suppress the items owned by the location or at minimum, make them non-holdable.

To do that, go to Aspen Administration > ILS Integration > Indexing Profiles > Item Information.

There is a section for Non Holdable Locations and/or a section for Locations To Suppress. Here you put the library's location code or multiple library codes seperated by pipes. Changes to either of these settings take an overnight index.

Remove the Location from Self Registration

If you are using Self Registration and want to hide this location, go to Aspen Administration > Primary Configuration > Locations > click into that Location > ILS/Account Integration > Valid Self Registration Branch? > Not Valid

Remove or Edit the Location in Library Hours & Locations Link

Remove the Location from the Library Hours & Locations Link

If this Location is completely being removed from the system, go to Aspen Administration > Primary Configuration > Locations > click into that Location > uncheck Show In Locations And Hours List 

 

Edit the Location Information in the Library Hours & Locations Link

If you want to edit the location information in the Library Hours & Locations link, go to Aspen Administration > Primary Configuration > Locations > click into that Location > Description > update with information about the closure.

 

 

Adjust the Library Hours

If the library location is temporarily closing but you have patrons registered with a Home Library of that location, you can adjust the hours for the location in Aspen Administration > Primary Configuration > Locations > click into that Location > Hours > click on Closed

These hours in Aspen relate to messaging within the user account on the "Holds" and "Checkouts" screens. 

 

 

Set Up a System Message

You can set up a system message in Aspen Administration > Local Catalog Enrichment > System Messages > Add New

Fill in the Message to Show - You may want to include any links out to your website where you have more information/resources about the closure.

Show On - you can choose where you want the message to display. 

You can set Start Date to Show and End Date to Show if you have a length of time for the message

You can allow the message to be Dismissable by checking the box. Then users don't have to see the message repeatedly when they log in. 

Where the message shows on All Pages:

Hide the Location's Catalog from a Consortial Display

If you are consortium and have a Select Interface display to share your various scoped opacs then you can choose to remove a location to make the location's opac hidden. You can find this view at {YourAspenURL}/MyAccount/SelectInterface

 

To hide an Aspen opac from this interface, go to Aspen Administration > Primary Configuration > Library System > click into that Library System > uncheck Show In Select Interface (requires Create Search Interface)

 

Shut Down Access to Physical Items and/or Only Allow Access to eContent

If you are a single library location on a server and you are shutting down, you have a few different options in Aspen for limiting access and searching of the catalog.

In Aspen Administration > System Administration > System Variables > Catalog Online/Offline you can choose:

  • Catalog Online - default, everything is working normally and your catalog is active
  • Catalog Offline, no login allowed - catalog is off, no log ins will be allowed

 

Note: For the above two options, you can also use the message box to add a message for users trying to login

 

  • Catalog Offline, login allowed with eContent active - If you are moving physical collections/closing the location, but want to continue to offer eContent checkouts and holds through the catalog, this is the way to go. 

 

 

When you go into offline mode, messaging will also appear in the Copies information to alert users that this information may not be current:

"The circulation system is currently offline. Holdings information is based on information from before the system went offline"

 

Remove the Location from Aspen LiDA

If you are using the Aspen LiDA app and want to remove a location from the app, go to Aspen Administration > Aspen LiDA > Location Settings > uncheck the location.

 

 

You may also check individual location settings by going to Aspen Administration > Primary Configuration > Locations > click into that Location > scroll all the way to the bottom > Aspen LiDA App Settings > make sure "None" is selected.

 

 

The location can take up to 24 hours to disappear from LiDA. 

Test Systems

Create a Test Catalog

To create a test catalog, you will need to reach out to ByWater Support to help set up the URL for the test catalog. There is no charge for this.

A test catalog is a way to test out things like Theme, Layout, Browse Categories, Placards, Facets, Group Work Display and Web Builder settings.

A test catalog would not help you test any changes in the ILS Integration settings, settings related to Languages & Translations or any other global settings. 

To configure, the test catalog, follow these steps:

In Primary Configuration > Library System > Add New

Fill in the required fields - Subdomain and Display Name. ByWater will need to help you create the URL for this catalog. We recommend Display Name includes an indicator that this system is the Test library.


At the bottom, in Records to Include, copy over what is shown in your production catalog. This may be something like .*

Manually update any other settings in Library Systems to mimic what is shown in your production catalog.

Depending on what else you want to test in this new catalog, we suggest you follow these steps:

In Theme & Layount > Theme, Add New and create a test theme. It may be a good idea to make these colors brighter or different from your production catalog so you can clearly identify production v. test.

In Local Catalog Enrichment > Browse Category Groups > Add New and manually add browse categories. Then, apply to your test catalog.

In Local Catalog / Grouped Works > Grouped Work Display > Copy > Create a Test Grouped Work Display setting.

In Local Catalog / Grouped Works > Grouped Work Facets > Copy > Create a Test Grouped Work Facet > apply to your Test Group Work Display settings

For anything else that has scopes that you want to add to your test catalog (OverDrive, Hoopla, CloudLibrary, side loads, etc.) you will need to create a new test scope and then apply it to the test library system. Functionality may be limited with these services.

You may also consider setting up a System Message on the test catalog that clearly shows that is your test catalog.

 

Updated 2023-07-21 km bws
Purchase a Test Server

To create a test server, you will need to reach out to ByWater to talk about the associated cost. A test server would be creating and hosting and entire seperate instance of Aspen.

A test server would help you test any changes in the ILS Integrations settings, settings related to Languages & Translations and any other global settings to make adjustments prior to them going live on your production server. You also get all the benefits of using a test catalog such as testing out things like Theme, Layout, Browse Categories, Placards, Facets, Grouped Work Display and Web Builder settings.

Once built, we will copy over your current production server onto the new test server. There is no connection between your production server and you Aspen server (exp: I updated a setting in Aspen production, that setting remains unchanged in Aspen test).

Aspen code updates will be pushed to your Aspen test server 1-2 weeks prior than the production release, giving you earlier access to test new features and bug fixes.

Updated 2023-07-21 km bws
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