Monday, 22 March 2010

Mobile access to the catalogue

Ever been on the bus, out shopping, or attending a sporting event when you suddenly had the urge to find out if the library has a book in stock? Well with our new AquaBrowser catalogue help is at hand. The accessible text-only option also seems to work very well on a number of mobile devices and being text-only it loads very quickly which is handy if your connection to the internet is not very strong.

We would be very pleased to hear any comments about using mobile devices to access the catalogue this way. Please note that if you want to place a request on an item that is out, or want to look at your record you will be passed to the old-style catalogue which is not mobile friendly.

The full URL of the accessible version is : http://mlib51.lib.bbk.ac.uk/ablbirkbeck/accessible.ashx but there is a shortened version which might be easier to enter on a device without a keyboard: http://bit.ly/jratL (please note that this is case sensitive).

We will be working on the new catalogue interface over the next few weeks so would welcome any comments about that as well. There is a feedback form linked from the standard version of AquaBrowser or you can go straight to it here: http://bit.ly/dx9Ox9

Easter disruption - update

Well as the more observant of you will have noticed the library system is still very much working today with full access to the catalogue. Due to some issues encountered in testing the migration to our new server the work has been delayed for a week in order to make sure that when we do move over it all goes smoothly and with as little downtime as possible. The work is now scheduled for Monday 29th March.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Easter vacation 2010

Having seemingly only recently got through the Christmas vacation we are now looking forward to Easter, and with luck an improvement in the weather.

First the good news - we will continue to be open from 08:30-23:45 each day. The exceptions to this will be over the Easter weekend when our hours will be as follows:
  • Thursday 1st April 10.00 - 20.00
  • Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday 2nd - 5th April CLOSED
  • Tuesday 6th April 10.00 - 20.00
Please note that the College is officially closed from 18:00 on Wednesday 31 March 2010 to 09:00 on Wednesday, 7 April 2010. Full details of the official dates are at: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/about_us/termdates

Now for some news about disruptions to services.

We are replacing the server that runs the library management system, the system that controls the catalogue and the circulation of material plus many other things besides. The current server is now some six years old and is on borrowed time. The scheduled date for the migration to the new server is Monday 22nd March. We hope that the process will be relatively straightforward but we have been advised by our suppliers to be prepared for the work to take two days. During this time we will be using a back up system to issue items and although we will try to keep the catalogue going it will inevitably start to be less accurate with regard to the loan status of items. Renewals and requests will not be possible, but we will not charge any fines on those days. As the work progresses we will keep readers informed about progress.

There is also going to be some work carried out on the Costa Coffee counter in order to make it safer for staff working there. This will create some noise which will affect the library, although we have been informed that this will be kept to a minimum. The dates we have been given for this work are: Wednesday 31st March, Thursday 1st April and Tuesday 6th–Thursday 9th April from 0700 – 1600. Rooms 151, 152 and 153 have been booked on 1st–6th April for readers who wish to study away from the noise.