IUCAT Classic to transition to search-only interface

Concurrent with the transition to the upgraded interface for IUCAT on December 21 (more information on upgrade), IUCAT Classic will transition to being a search-only interface.

What does this mean?

All search functions within IUCAT Classic – keyword searching, and Begins With (Browse) searching –  will continue to function as they currently do.

Users will be able to access personalized services requiring a login via IUCAT (http://iucat.iu.edu), including:

  • Accessing electronic resources from off campus
  • My Account:
    • Renewing checked-out items
    • Reviewing checked-out items and delivery requests
  • Requesting delivery of items to their preferred library (more information)
  • Sending catalog record information via email or SMS (read our previous post)
  • Asking questions or reporting errors

ALF Delivery functionality will continue to be available via IUCAT for affiliated and unaffiliated patrons.

The My Lists functionality in Classic IUCAT will no longer be available; it will be replaced by a new service in IUCAT that will enable logged-in users to keep items for use in later sessions; this new service will be launched early in the new year.

Why make this change?

IUCAT Classic is a legacy system and no further development is planned during the interim period prior to OLE migration, currently projected for December 2015.

As we have improved services and functionality available in new IUCAT, there’s been an increasing divergence between the level of service we can provide in new IUCAT versus what we now provide in IUCAT Classic; for example, the streamlined single-button Request This workflow now available in IUCAT. Discontinuing login-based services in IUCAT Classic will eliminate confusion to our users occasioned by similar services with widely varying processes; and offering services through a single interface will allow us to focus the efforts of the development as we gear up to migrate to Kuali OLE.

As always please feel free to contact us with any questions.

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Public preview of upgraded new IUCAT available this Sunday October 19th

The upgraded new IUCAT interface will be publicly available beginning Sunday morning October 19th at

Highlights of improvements in this new interface include:

  • Updated look and feel:
    New responsive design is compatible with mobile, tablet and desktop platforms
    Streamlined, cleaner interface for improved ease of use
  • Better functionality for IU-affiliated, logged-in users:
    Logged-in users will be able to save searches and bookmark records for later use
    Comments, questions, error reports? Share your feedback freely! No more CAPTCHA for logged-in users
  • Interface improvements for “My Account”

There will be a banner message on the new IUCAT announcing the availability of the preview and linking to the public preview site. We encourage library staff to make use of the upgraded interface and to publicize its availability to users.

Should you find problems or errors, please report them using the preview site feedback form, linked from the header and footer of each page.

Beginning Sunday December 21st, this upgraded new IUCAT interface will be available at http://iucat.iu.edu. The transition will occur during our regular catalog maintenance window (approx 6-10a). There should be little to no downtime; following the change users will simply be taken to the upgraded interface.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.

Read more about the coming changes on the new IUCAT blog in our earlier post: Coming This Fall, Changes to New IUCAT.

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WorldCat & FirstSearch: Searching IUCAT by OCLC Number

Improved indexing of standard number data in new IUCAT means that you can search by OCLC number (as well as ISSN and ISBN). This will enable better direct linking from OCLC products such as WorldCat Local, Worldcat.org, and FirstSearch.

In the screenshots below (of Worldcat.org and FirstSearch interfaces, both viewed from IUB), we’ve highlighted the direct link into IUCAT.


Worldcat.org and direct link to IUCAT


FirstSearch and direct link to IUCAT

If a patron clicks on either of the direct links above, a search against the OCLC number is executed; for items we own, they are taken to an IUCAT screen like the one below.


Results of an OCLC number search in IUCAT

If you are responsible for customizations for OCLC products on your campus – WorldCat Registry or FirstSearch administration – there’s an easy change you can make to enable direct searching of IUCAT by OCLC number for patrons from your campus.

FirstSearch Customization
(screenshot illustration below)

  1. Log into the OCLC FirstSearch Administrative Module.
  2. Click on the tab, Linking.
  3. Click on the left hand menu option, Web Library Catalogs.
  4. Under the heading Library Catalog Search, replace the URL in ISBN Search Results URL, ISSN Search Results URL and OCLC Number Search URL with the following URL:http://iucat.iu.edu/catalog?search_field=advanced&ISBN=
    Note: This string will direct each of these searches against our ‘Numbers’ index which includes ISSN, ISBN, and OCLC information. The shorthand name for the index is ISBN, but it does include the other standard identifier information.
  5. Check the box ‘Yes’ for the option “Add leading zeros to the OCLC Number search term.’
  6. For OCLC Number Prefix, select the first option, ‘Do not add prefix to the OCLC Number.’

It is recommended that you test the changes prior to saving.

FIrstSearch Customization options for OCLC search of IUCAT

FIrstSearch Customization options for OCLC search of IUCAT

WorldCat Registry Customization
(screenshot illustration below)

  1. Log into OCLC Service Configuration.
  2. Click on the left-hand menu option, WorldCat Registry.
  3. Choose the sub-menu option, Online Catalog.
  4. Under the heading Online Catalog, replace the URL in Online Catalog Direct to ISBN, Online Catalog Direct to ISSN and Online Catalog Direct to OCLC Number with the following URL:http://iucat.iu.edu/catalog?search_field=advanced&ISBN=
    Note: This string will direct each of these searches against our ‘Numbers’ index which includes ISSN, ISBN, and OCLC information. The shorthand name for the index is ISBN, but it does include the other standard identifier information.
  5. Check the box ‘Yes’ for the option “Add leading zeros to the OCLC Number search term.’
  6. For OCLC Number Prefix, select the first option, ‘Do not add prefix to the OCLC Number.’

It is recommended that you test the changes prior to saving.

WorldCat Registry Customization options for OCLC search of IUCAT

WorldCat Registry Customization options for OCLC search of IUCAT

If you prefer, you can also opt to direct searches against your campus view by replacing the term ‘campus’ in the URL string with your campus identifier, ie


Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have!

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Coming This Fall: Changes to new IUCAT

We’ve been working for several months on a system upgrade to the new IUCAT, our shared statewide online library catalog. This updated version is scheduled to be released during the fall semester. 

A preview site is now available for staff review.

Please refer to this week’s library newsletters (Between the Lines or IUL News) for the link to the preview site. We will also be circulating this information directly to all campuses via email.

We are still working to finish up a few items, so be aware that at the present time:

  • The search box is truncated due to some styling problems.
  • ‘Bookmarks’ (selected items) generates an error for users who have not logged in. If you are logged in, Bookmarks works properly.
  • For users who have not logged in, an error is generated when trying to save a search.
  • Search History occasionally shows blank entries.

We are maintaining a full list of Work In Progress/Known Issues for this new release of the new IUCAT while it continues in its development phase.

You’ll notice some major improvements, including:

  • Updated look and feel:
    New responsive design is compatible with mobile, tablet and desktop platforms
    Streamlined, cleaner interface for improved ease of use
New IUCAT home screen

The new home screen reflects current IU branding, and we’ve streamlined it in response to feedback.

New IUCAT home screen - smartphone

The new responsive design will re-size automatically for optimal use,  regardless of device size.


New IUCAT - Detailed bib, desktop

We’ve re-aligned the elements on the detailed bib screen to make better use of the space.

New IUCAT: detailed bib, smartphone

The screen will resize based on the device – here, see the detailed bib display on a smartphone.

  • Better functionality for IU-affiliated, logged-in users:
    Logged-in users will be able to save searches and bookmark records for later use
    Comments, questions, error reports? Share your feedback freely! No more CAPTCHA for logged-in users
New IUCAT - Saved Searches

Logged-in users will be able to save searches to be re-run in future sessions.

New IUCAT - feedback form

IU-affiliated users will be asked to log in prior to sending feedback, eliminating the need for CAPTCHA.

In addition, watch for the following changes, expected to roll out before the end of the calendar year:

  • Interface improvements for “My Account”
  • Ability to limit by item location (eg Reference) [Coming soon: expected for November 2014 / updated 10/15/2014 cgm]
  • ‘New titles’ available via new IUCAT.[Expected for early 2015 / updated 10/15/2014 cgm]
    Quickly & easily review new titles added to the collection according to your interests, and filter by date range or by any existing facet (library, subject, etc.) or keyword search.
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Coming Soon: Changes to New Titles Service

The IU Bloomington Libraries will soon be migrating their website from a locally developed content management system to Drupal. Effective June 15, concurrent with the move to the new website, the New Titles service currently hosted on the Bloomington Libraries’ website will no longer be available. As the New Titles List is a shared, statewide service, it will be made available via the new IUCAT in the near future, but it will not be ready for use by mid-June.

Until the New Titles List can be developed within the new IUCAT, we wanted to point out a number of options that already exist within IUCAT for approximating a new titles search. Feel free to share this information with any end-users who may be affected.

First, execute the desired search (e.g. Books in the Herman B Wells Library published within the last year). Then, depending on how you’d like to present the data you have two options:

  1. RSS feed: IUCAT generates an RSS feed link for every search.
  2. Re-executable linked search: Simply copy the URL from the browser bar. It can be placed in an email or web page. When a user clicks on the link, the search will be re-run. (Note: We recommend using a URL shortening service to make these links easier to use; options include http://go.iu.edu or bit.ly or tinyurl).

Example: Specific campus, titles within the last year

We will look at IU Kokomo for this example.

  1. Select the Kokomo campus view
  2. Under the Publication Year facet select “This year”
  3. Results will include titles published in the last year located at Kokomo


Re-executable linked search URL: http://iucat.iu.edu/iuk?f%5Blibrary_group%5D%5B%5D=Kokomo&f%5Bpub_date_group%5D%5B%5D=This+year

Example: DVDs, specific library, within the last year

This example demonstrates a search limited by format to a specific library.

  1. Select the Indianapolis campus view
  2. Select “Videodisc” under the format facet
  3. Select “This Year” under the Publication Year facet
  4. Select “Indianapolis – IUPUI University Library” under library facet

NewDVDsRe-executable linked search URL: http://iucat.iu.edu/iupui?f%5Bformat%5D%5B%5D=Videodisc&f%5Blibrary_facet%5D%5B%5D=Indianapolis+-+IUPUI+University+Library&f%5Blibrary_group%5D%5B%5D=Indianapolis&f%5Bpub_date_group%5D%5B%5D=This+year 

Example: Keyword search, union catalog, within the last year

This technique will also work with any kind of keyword search.

  1. Navigate to the main IUCAT home page to search all-IUCAT/union catalog
  2. Type in Literature in basic search box
  3. Select “This Year” under the Publication Year facet

newKeywordSearchRe-executable linked search URL: http://iucat.iu.edu/catalog?commit=search&f%5Bpub_date_group%5D%5B%5D=This+year&q=literature&search_field=all_fields&utf8=%E2%9C%93

Example: Specific campus, eBooks from the last year

Bear in mind that not all e-book records include usable publication dates – some vendor records just include the value “9999” in the date field – so this type of e-book search will be even more approximate than some of these other examples.

We will use IU East for this example.

  1. Select East campus view
  2. Check “Online Only” and hit “search”
  3. Select “This Year” under the Publication Year facet
  4. Select Book from the format facet

EastNewEbooksRe-executable linked search URL: http://iucat.iu.edu/iue?f%5Baccess_facet%5D%5B%5D=Online&f%5Bformat%5D%5B%5D=Book&f%5Blibrary_group%5D%5B%5D=East&f%5Bpub_date_group%5D%5B%5D=This+year&q=&search_field=all_fields&utf8=%E2%9C%93

As always, if you have questions please let us know via the feedback form.

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Changes to email and text-a-call-number functions

Effective March 13 March 27, we will be implementing changes to email and text-a-call-number functions in new and classic IUCAT, detailed below. These changes are necessary in order to comply with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and draft IU IT policy IT-21 (Use of Electronic Mail):

Unless an individual or an organization has explicitly solicited anonymous input or comments, all communications sent using any Indiana University technology service or facility must clearly identify the actual sender by a valid address in the basic header (From:) or in the message text. Forged communications are prohibited under any circumstance.

  • Classic IUCAT

Because Classic IUCAT is a legacy system, email and text-a-call number functionality will be discontinued. Users will still be able to print and save records.

  • New IUCAT

In new IUCAT, email and text-a-call number functions will require CAS login (either IU or IPFW). Upon selecting either option, users will be directed through a login flow similar to that initiated to view My Account – a lightbox offering IU or IPFW login, following which they can enter an address to which the record(s) should be emailed or texted.


Emails and texts sent via IUCAT will include the preferred email associated with the logged-in user’s account.



Information about items emailed will not be retained in our logs; that information is available on the mail-server logs themselves.

Please share any questions you might have via the IUCAT feedback form .

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Request This! New IUCAT Gets Smarter in the New Year

Over the years, we have had many reports from faculty and from library staff that they are often confused or frustrated by our two separate IUCAT request workflows:

  • Request Delivery: a Sirsi process which handles requests at the bibliographic record level; and
  • ALF Delivery: which is managed by the ALF inventory system and must, because of the nature of large-scale offsite storage, handle requests on an item level.

For some time it has seemed as if “never the twain should meet” … but no longer!

We are very pleased to announce that we have worked to streamline the request process in New IUCAT.  Beginning on January 5, 2014, new IUCAT users will see just one button which can be used to place both Request Delivery requests and ALF Delivery requests.

Request This button

The new “Request This” process will parse the items associated with the bibliographic record, and thus, will be able more intelligently route users to the appropriate request flow.

If a record has only ALF items, the user will be forwarded into the ALF Delivery flow (now redesigned to mirror the new IUCAT interface).  If a record has only items that are eligible for Request Delivery, the user will be forwarded into the existing new IUCAT Request Delivery flow.

If a bibliographic record has both items that are eligible for request delivery and items eligible for ALF Delivery, upon clicking the “Request This” button, the user will be asked to choose whether they prefer Request Delivery or ALF Delivery; there is no way to automate this choice, as we cannot make assumptions about which volume someone might need, for example. Depending on what they choose, they will be routed through the standard Request Delivery or the ALF Delivery flow.

Request This: ChooseAs they do currently in Classic IUCAT, the redesigned ALF Delivery screens in new IUCAT will continue to support authentication for both the IU and IPFW logins, for patron barcode, and for unaffiliated patrons.

Another great advantage of this new process will be that users with multiple accounts (proxy, office delivery account, etc) will be able to simply login using their IU or IPFW credentials and designate which of their identities they wish to request ‘as’ for ALF Delivery as they currently can for request delivery – meaning, office delivery for ALF items will be less cumbersome.

Request This: ALF DeliveryThis improvement will also largely circumvent a problem where patrons might accidentally select Request Delivery for an ALF-only item, resulting in an unnecessarily long delay for certain items and certain users (Bloomington users, for example, can receive ALF items much more quickly by using the ALF Delivery process).

There will be no changes to the request process in Classic IUCAT.

Detailed help for requesting in new IUCAT and in Classic IUCAT will soon be available via the KB: At IU, how can I get materials from another IU library or the Auxiliary Library Facility?

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Classic IUCAT: From ASK to Ask a Librarian

Within the new IUCAT, we now have the ability to route patron questions directly to library staff at each campus (more on this in a previous post). We are pleased to let you know that this improvement in service will now be available within classic IUCAT as well.

Effective Friday December 13, all users who click on the ASK button inside Classic IUCAT will be directed to the same form used in the new version of IUCAT.  This form allows users to ask a reference question that is routed directly to the appropriate campus reference department based on the user’s home campus. Classic IUCAT does not generate a large number of questions and reference departments will see little increase in traffic.

Two notes for Reference staff on questions generated by Classic IUCAT:

  • Staff should easily be able to tell which questions originate from new IUCAT (iucat.iu.edu, www.iucat.iu.edu, new.iucat.iu.edu) and which from Classic IUCAT (classic.iucat.iu.edu) by noting the referring URL, provided in the email.  Classic IUCAT URLs (e.g., http://classic.iucat.iu.edu/uhtbin/cgisirsi/Jb7HslsqjP/B-WELLS/119782008/9) are session-based and will not work outside of the user’s current Classic IUCAT session, unlike the URLs from the new IUCAT. Thus, the referring URL within Classic IUCAT included in email form will not work to show the screen from which the user sent the question.
  • Users of Classic IUCAT must log in at the time they connect to the catalog in order to access many electronic resources.  The new version of IUCAT prompts for login when the user clicks on the link in the record.

We welcome questions – please send via our feedback form and we’ll be glad to get back to you.

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New Staff Training Materials for New IUCAT

The Training Group for the new IUCAT has developed staff training materials to help staff in IU libraries around the state to prepare their colleagues for the new catalog.

Click on the link to Staff Resources to find them.

You will find seven sets of PowerPoint slides that you can download and combine, edit, and use in your own training.  An additional set is coming in a week or so.  The slide sets are:

  • General Features
  • Basic Search
  • Advanced Search
  • Managing Search Results
  • Bibliographic Record
  • My Account
  • Browse by Call Number

We will revise, update, and add to these over the next few months as we learn more about the catalog and its new functionality.  Please send comments and suggestions to Mary Popp at popp@indiana.edu.

In addition, we will sponsor an overview of the new catalog later this month using Adobe Connect.  Watch for scheduled times!

Stay tuned to the New IUCAT blog for the latest news, resources and information.  Send your comments, questions, and suggestions through our feedback form.

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Flipping that big switch in the sky: transition to new interface May 5

Following our public beta this spring semester, we will be transitioning to the new discovery interface as the primary entry point to IUCAT on Sunday, May 5.

Important information:

  • After May 5, iucat.iu.edu will point to the Blacklight interface. The current Sirsi interface (to be called IUCAT Classic) will be accessible at a new url: http://classic.iucat.iu.edu.
  • Permalinks to individual records in Sirsi will be redirected to point to individual records in the new interface (eg http://www.iucat.iu.edu/uhtbin/cgisirsi/x/0/0/57/5/3?searchdata1=6290898{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVER will be redirected to the new interface – that link will look like this: http:// iucat.iu.edu/catalog/6290898]
  • Permalinks to searches in Sirsi cannot be replicated through redirection, so they will be redirected to iucat.iu.edu, the new interface home screen.
  • Sirsi will continue to be available until we transition to Kuali OLE sometime next year.
  • The current URL for the Blacklight-based interface, new.iucat.iu.edu, will also continue to work after May 5.
  • Links pointing to iucat.iu.edu do not need to be changed. However, any links pointing to advanced search screens or those that set default locations will need to be updated, eg: http://www.iucat.iu.edu/uhtbin/cgisirsi/x/SIRSI/0/57/60/1173/X?user_id=WEBSERVER
    • Please check your campus website as well as your library website. In some cases the campus level websites include links that default to specific locations; you will need to communicate with your campus webmaster to arrange for the changes on the appropriate date.
  • Super, super important: We ask that you not implement any edits (changing the URL on your library or campus home page, adding links to IUCAT Classic, etc) prior to May 5 when the switch takes place.

Everybody hold on! Here we go! :)

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