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 (,, and which from Classic IUCAT ( by noting the referring URL, provided in the email.  Classic IUCAT URLs (e.g., 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

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, will point to the Blacklight interface. The current Sirsi interface (to be called IUCAT Classic) will be accessible at a new url:
  • Permalinks to individual records in Sirsi will be redirected to point to individual records in the new interface (eg{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVER will be redirected to the new interface – that link will look like this: http://]
  • Permalinks to searches in Sirsi cannot be replicated through redirection, so they will be redirected to, 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,, will also continue to work after May 5.
  • Links pointing to 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:
    • 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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Back to the Future with IUCAT Beta

After a little more than two years, the IUCAT Beta project is gearing up for its final phase – making the transition to becoming the primary user interface for our shared statewide online catalog. We thought it might be a good time to take a look back to the beginnings of the project to refresh ourselves on the big questions …

Wait, why are we doing this again?

In recent years, users expressed their dissatisfaction with the current library catalog interface; feedback came from a variety of sources ranging from focus groups, a 2008 LIBQUAL study, annual UITS surveys, and through other channels of communication such as comments made to librarians and staff via email or telephone, at reference and public services desks or as casual mentions. In response to this, IU Libraries made a commitment to improving the overall user experience in the catalog.

A second reason relates to the impending adoption of Kuali OLE – which, though an enterprise system which manages library business processes (such as acquisitions, cataloging, or circulation), does not include a front-end interface. Why no OPAC in OLE? OLE partner libraries will be free to select a user interface or discovery product that best meets their needs – and we all need not agree on just one set of features or vendor. Some OLE partners have, like us, adopted open source products like Blacklight or VuFind while others have gone with vended solutions such as Summon.

Why Blacklight?

The Indiana University Libraries Discovery Layer Task Force reviewed both VuFind and Blacklight, evaluating them against a rubric of desired functionality for a catalog discovery layer. (Greene et al. 2011) We had lofty dreams: a product with a more robust ability to search, browse and manipulate catalog data, capable of providing access to the diversity of our collections (including those with non-MARC metadata) with an interface comparable to those now common in widely-used commercial products. We also had pragmatic goals: finding a product that would support discovery in the most basic of senses, that is, the ability to reliably retrieve information (like a known title) from the catalog, as well as provide the ability for advanced users to conduct more complex searches, and – last but not least – allow all of us to finally just use the back button.

Ultimately, the task force recommended Blacklight which, though comparable in many ways with VuFind, seemed to offer better promise for flexibility going forward, a crucial characteristic for “one university with eight front doors,” dozens of libraries, hundreds of collections, and thousands of user groups each with their own priorities and needs.

Since then, librarians across the state have been working with each other and with UITS colleagues to implement Blacklight, steadily customizing it to be the new IUCAT.

Sources / Additional Reading:

Greene, Courtney, Barbara Gushrowski, Randall Lent, Chris Evin Long, Mary Beth Minick, Kate Banet Moore, Gwendolyn Pershing, Mary Pagliero Popp, and Susan Skekloff. 2011. “IU Libraries Discovery Layer Task Force Summary Report and Recommendation”. Indiana University Libraries.
Stay tuned to the IUCAT Beta blog for the latest news, resources and information.  Send your comments, questions, and suggestions through our feedback form.
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IUCAT Beta How-To: Tell Us What You Think

We welcome feedback with suggestions, questions, issues, and compliments on your experiences using the new IUCAT Beta interface.  We ask that you use our feedback form, embedded on the IUCAT Beta interface.  You can also access this form through the Contact Us page on this site.

Please note that the IUCAT feedback email address ( will be retired on March 8th, 2013.  This is in an effort to streamline our feedback collection process.  Please see the Submitting a screen shot in the feedback form section of this post for details on how to submit screen shots in the IUCAT Beta feedback form.

IUCAT Beta Feedback Form

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Accessing the IUCAT Beta Feedback Form

There are two ways to access this form:

  • Feedback form. You can find an in-text link on the main of the IUCAT Beta interface (in the All IU Libraries view, as well as individual campus views).  Clicking this link will take you to the IUCAT Beta feedback form.

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  • Ask a Librarian feature.  This link can be found in the task bar in the top right-hand corner of your screen, between My Account and Selected Items. This is the preferred way to send us your feedback because your submission is received with the URL of the screen you were viewing when you sent your feedback message.

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Once you have selected the Ask A Librarian link, select Report error/Ask a research question to provide your feedback. Use the screen shot below to guide you.

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Note: This example is taken from the All IU Libraries view.  You will still use the Report error/Ask a research question link in the Ask a Librarian feature within the individual campus views.

Submitting a Screen Shot in the Feedback Form

Should you wish to submit a screen shot as part of your feedback, there are two ways to do this:

  • Insert the URL of the bibliographic record in the Message section of the feedback form.  Note: The URLs of search results are not stable.  Therefore, they cannot be used to submit a screen shot of search results.
  • Insert a Jing URL in the Message section of the feedback form.  This is the preferred method for submitting a screen shot of search results screens.

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

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New Feature: Browse by Call Number

Like most libraries, IU Libraries organizes its resources by assigning call numbers and shelving the resources by this number.

Call Numbers at Indiana University

Each item in the library (i.e. books, journals, DVDs, etc.) has a unique call number.  The call number is taped to the front or side of an item and is also shown in IUCAT Beta.  You can find the call number in the holdings section of the bibliographic record.


Note: For more detailed information about call numbers at IU, visit our FAQ article on the subject.

Call numbers are helpful to find items on the shelf.  They are systematically created in order to facilitate browsing.  Resources that are related to each other are given similar call numbers so that similar subjects and topics are shelved near each other.

Browse By Call Number

IUCAT Beta offers a way to virtually browse all IU Libraries with the Browse by Call number feature.  From the bibliographic record of an item in IUCAT Beta, the Browse by Call number box appears in the left side bar.  Items that would appear next to the displayed item on a physical shelf are displayed in the Browse by Call number box.  See the example below:

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Using the Browse By Call Number Feature

To virtually browse the call numbers, there are three navigational features to help guide you.

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Item Title (yellow): By clicking on the Item Title (linked red text), you can view the bibliographic record of an item on the virtual shelf.

Previous (red): By clicking Previous, you can view the previous five records on the virtual shelf.

Next (blue): By clicking Next, you can view the next five records on the virtual shelf.

One of the advantages of the Browse by Call Number feature: it doesn’t matter in which library the item is located; the related resources are discoverable no matter the physical location.  Browse by Call Number creates a virtual shelf that allows a user to see materials in many libraries.

You can also use Browse By Call Number feature to find materials at other libraries with the IU system.  Using the Browse By Call Number feature, you can locate an item at another library and request that it be delivered to an IU library of your choice using the Request Delivery function within the item’s bibliographic record.

Additionally, the Browse by Call Number feature does not use any limiters from the original search.  This means that if you did search by title, author OR used any of the facets (e.g. publication year, format, campus), these limits are not considered as part of the Browse By Call Number feature.  For example, in the screen shot above, there are titles in the Browse By Call Number feature in Flemish, English and Dutch.  This is because Browse By Call Number only groups by similar subject.

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

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New in IUCAT Beta: What’s in a Bibliographic Record?

bibliographic record is an entry that describes the specific content of an item in IUCAT Beta.  This record, often simply referred to as the “bib record”, contains information for an item required for its identification and retrieval.

The image below illustrates what information can be found in a bibliographic record in IUCAT Beta.

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1.  In IUCAT, there are several functions within the bibliographic record.  Using these menu items, you can view and export citations (MLA, APA, Chicago Style) to RefWorks and EndNote; you can email the individual record; you can view the MARC record using Librarian view; or you can view the record in IUCAT Classic.

2.  The description section contains information particular to the item, such as author, title, format, subject headings.  In IUCAT Beta, the author name, subject headings, series title (not shown in this example), and contributors (not shown in this example) are active links.  When clicked, the link acts as a search term and produces search results.  This can be a useful way to browse.

Note: When using linked subject headings to search, click the end term for a specific search that requires all terms in the subject heading.  See the example below:

2-13-2013 11-19-13 AM3.  The holdings section of the bibliographic record contains information on where items can be retrieved.  In this example, the item has holdings at three libraries in the IU Libraries system.   The listing provides the library, call number, and location within a particular library.  You may also text a call number to your mobile phone, for ease in locating the item.

Note:  For online resources, the access URL is found in the item information section.  See the example below:

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4.  The Request Delivery function is a tool found in the upper right corner of the bibliographic record. This function allows you to request a physical item to be delivered to the library of your choice.  An IU-issued CAS login and username are required to use this function.

Note: Request Delivery does not apply to online resources.  Licenses for online library resources are specific to a particular campus.  Materials that are checked out, held in libraries that do not participate in the delivery service (e.g., Bloomington Residence Halls, Kinsey Institute, etc.), and special materials, including most videos and materials in the Core Collection in the Wells Library, may not be requested through this service.

5.  Many records in IUCAT Beta provide a Google preview.  The cover images that display in IUCAT Beta are retrieved from Google using the Google Books Dynamic Links API.  If you do not see a Google preview for a particular record, this is because the preview is not available through Google Books.  Some records may also include a HathiTrust preview.

6.  A new feature in IUCAT Beta is the Browse By Call Number function.  This function allows you to browse the virtual library shelf.  Stay tuned to the IUCAT Beta blog for upcoming details on the Browse By Call number function.

Note:  In IUCAT Beta, bibliographic records for serials differ slightly from this standard.  Watch the IUCAT Beta blog for more information on how to use serials bibliographic records.


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

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New Feature in IUCAT Beta: Selected Items

The Selected Items feature in IUCAT Beta helps manage search results. You can use this feature to select multiple search results to view as a list for emailing, citing or printing.  In order to use Selected Items, you must first select the titles from your search results that you wish to view as a list to email, cite, or print.

Selecting Items

Checkboxes are located on the right side of the screen allow you to select multiple items. Click on a checkbox to select an item. You can also use Select All to select multiple items in one click.

How to Select Items

Note: Select All will only select the results shown on the page.  Use the page navigation function to select results on different pages (see the screen shot below).

Page Navigation

Functions in the Selected Items List

Once you’ve selected the results you wish to view as a list, navigate to the Selected Items menu option in the top right corner of the screen.

Selected Items

From this page, you can perform a variety of functions:

  • View a list of citations (MLA, APA, Chicago Style)
  • Export the list of Selected Items to RefWorks
  • Export the list of Selected Items to EndNote
  • Email the list of Selected Items

The Selected Items list does not save your selected search results.  Once you close the browser window, or navigate away from the IUCAT Beta page (this includes closing a browser tab), the selected search results will be lost.

Two ohter features include clearing selected items, and printing.  You can use the Clear Selected Items to clear single or multiple results, using the checkboxes on the right side of the interface.  You may also print the list of Selected Items.  Currently, there is no default print function in the Selected Items list, but you can print a print-friendly page using your browser’s print function.

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


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