Summon 4 HN — bits o' code

As part of the JISC Summon 4 HN project, we’ll be releasing some chunks of code that I’ve knocked together for our Summon implementation at Huddersfield.

The code will cover these areas:

  1. updating Summon with MARC record additions, updates and deletions from Horizon
  2. providing live availability information from Horizon without resorting to screen-scraping the OPAC
  3. customising 360 Link using jQuery

In theory, the first 2 might also be of interest to Horizon sites that are implementing an alternative OPAC (e.g. VuFind or AquaBrowser) where you need to set up regular MARC exports. The latter might be of interest to 360 Link sites in general.

Keep an eye on the Project Code section of the Summon 4 HN blog for details of the code :-)


I couldn’t find a relevant photo for this blog post, so instead, let’s have another look at those infamous MIMAS #cupcakes from ILI2009 :-)

ili2009_013

Here comes Summ(er|on)

It’s probably a sign of getting old and decrepit, but this year has just flown by — it doesn’t seem like two minutes since we kicked off our implementation of Serials Solutions’ Summon and now it’s gone fully live (it actually went fully live halfway through the Mashed Library event we ran the other week).

woods_004

The bulk of the implementation was done and dusted by early January 2010, and the majority of the implementation time was spent populating 360 Link (the Serials Solutions link resolver) with our journal holdings — a task our Journals Team found much easier than when we implemented SFX back in 2006.  As the plan had always been to run Summon in parallel to MetaLib during the 2009/10 academic year, it meant we had lots of time to play and tweak. 

We flipped the link resolver over from SFX to 360 Link in late January and then formally “soft” launched Summon during the University’s Research Festival in early March.  Throughout the academic year, usage of Summon has been growing and the vast majority of the feedback has been positive :-)

As part of the JISC Summon4HN Project, we’ll be documenting the implementation and releasing chunks of code that we hope might be of use to the community, including:

  • code for automating the export of deleted, new and updated MARC records from Horizon so that they can be imported into Summon (or VuFind, AquaBrowser, etc)
  • code for creating “dummy” journal title records (so that known journal titles can be easily located in Summon, e.g. American Journal of Nursing)
  • a basic mod_perl implementation of the DLF spec for exposing availability data for library collections
  • details of the various tweaks we’ve made to our 360 Link instance

Also, as part of the roll out of Summon, we’ve been revamping our E-Resources Wiki to provide a browseable list of resources — as with the journal titles, we’ve been dropping dummy MARC records into Summon so that known resources can be located via a search (e.g. Mintel Reports).