We're really excited about our updates for Aspen LiDA this release, especially how great Linked Accounts in the app will be for our patrons with families or multiple accounts. We're also releasing a number of tools for library staff to use to help make Aspen better, including a search and relevancy testing tool, and the ability for Aspen administrators to rank their most important development requests directly in the staff side of Aspen Discovery!" - Jordan Fields, Aspen Product Librarian, ByWater Solutions
In the 22.03 release, we have continued our work on Aspen Discovery's companion app, Aspen LiDA. Our goal is to continue to increase the functionality within the app to include the most popular features available in Aspen Discovery. We want the Aspen Discovery experience to be seamless for your patrons and staff! In this release, we added the "Where is it?" function (great for users and roaming reference staff within the library) to help users more easily locate materials. For the late night library browser, we are allowing users to conveniently switch between light and dark mode. Another popular design feature change is the pop out "drawer" style My Account menu. The My Account section now clearly shows patrons the information most important to them, including checkouts, holds, fines, and preferences. Finally, LiDA now includes the popular Linked Accounts option in Aspen. Linked Accounts allows users to link to other users (if they have their password/pin) in order to keep track of library usage. This is perfect for families and caregivers keeping track of their checked out items and holds.
In the Aspen Discovery interface, we spend so much time developing features that add functionality that this release brought the welcome surprise of removing functionality! One of our favorite things about developing Aspen is the breadth of libraries that we support. As we move into supporting more special libraries, like prison libraries, we needed to add the ability to turn off functionality that would generally always be turned on for other types of libraries. So, now all libraries have the option to turn off reading history for users, disable saved searches, disable style guides/citations, and turn off staff view if they choose.
In every release so far in 2022, we have continued our commitment to further increasing relevancy and search functionality in Aspen. In this release, we worked on areas such as possessives, stop words, case sensitivities, and updates to advanced search. In addition, we built a new Search Tests tool within the Catalog/Grouped Works menu. With this tool, libraries can test searches with a pass/fail result. When libraries put in a support ticket they can reference the Search Test dashboard. When new releases are pushed, libraries can rerun all their searches to track which searches were update. This also helps us further pinpoint searches that aren't working as expected and continue to make your Aspen catalog the most relevant for users that it can be.
Finally, we wanted to highlight a new functionality available for our ByWater Solutions' supported partners. We renamed the Aspen Discovery Help menu Aspen Discovery Support and we built a Request Tracker Settings tool. The Aspen Team will be setting these up for our library partners this week. Once active, Aspen libraries will see the View Active Tickets option where they will be able to quickly view and search (by using CTRL+F) any active tickets. They will also see Set Priorities where they will be able to choose from a dropdown list their top 3 development and/or bug priorities. This will help us gather data from our libraries on what is most important to them to work on.
Overall, we are excited about the progress already in 2022 and can't wait to see what libraries and users think of the 22.03 enhancements.
About Aspen Discovery
Aspen is a full-featured Discovery System that integrates with eContent and other third-party providers, giving your patrons comprehensive access to all of your materials in one place. Aspen combines your library catalog with e-content, digital archives, and enrichment from all major third-party providers. It also improves relevancy and ease of use, provides native reading recommendations, displays all formats of titles within one result (record grouping), and much more. With included features like web builder and mobile app (Aspen LiDA), Aspen was created to give users an improved experience over other Discovery systems, with less impact on library budgets.
For more information about Aspen please visit https://bywatersolutions.com/projects/aspen-discovery.