Aeon Email Addon Sends MSSA Greater Efficiency

Over the past few months, Library IT worked with Manuscripts and Archives (MSSA) to implement an Email Addon to Aeon. This feature was added to both instances of Aeon. The Email Addon allows MSSA staff to email patrons when requested materials are in. The emails can be sent out using a batch process providing MSSA staff with a level of automation that allows them to communicate with a large number of patrons in a matter of minutes, quickly and easily. Staff can still use a manual method for emailing patrons for those situations that require special circumstances.

Example of the batch emails to patrons
Figure 1: Example of the batch emails template sent to patrons.

Each item is still scanned by an MSSA staff member in order to trigger the email, preceded by a number of steps that involve monitoring transactions as they move through notification queues, then rerouting them to their final destinations. The Email Addon automates the routing rules that govern the sending of the email so staff does not have to manually send one to each patron for each request.

Since the MSSA Reading Room is the only monitored reading room in Sterling Memorial Library, restricted materials patrons request are sent to this location.  The volume of materials being delivered and processed at MSSA is substantial, sometimes receiving as many as 60 boxes with multiple deliveries in one day. The Batch Process helps MSSA keep track of their materials more efficiently making it easier to return materials to Library Shelving Facility (LSF) thus limiting the time materials are at risk. Once notified, the patron then has 5 days to come in and use the materials before it is returned to the LSF.

The benefit to patrons is the quick notification of when materials are available. Access to this information helps to eliminate some of the mystery patrons experience between requesting materials and receiving them. The notifications allow patrons to better plan for their trip to the Library, as some patrons are coming from a distance.  Having an awareness of when materials will be available and in what format helps patrons with their planning, especially if only partial orders are received. Ultimately with this new functionality, MSSA is able to manage patron expectations of hold times from the moment an item is put on hold.

The Email Addon has in place since March 1st and has been working very well. MSSA hopes to explore more batch processes in the future.

Two Buildings, One Workflow – Multi-Site Delivery for Beinecke Materials

The Beinecke library’s major renovation will impact all areas of service as the historic building is shuttered between May 2015 and September 2016. Both patrons and staff depend on reliable access to the unparalleled rare materials collection, and therefore need a reliable requesting mechanism to get offsite materials delivered to either the temporary public reading room (located in SML) or the new Beinecke Technical Services space at Science Park.

Special collections stored at the LSF have historically only been deliverable to the owning collection – further movement is handled by the collection’s staff. Changing this to allow for two formal delivery locations required a change to Aeon, the software used by special collections to manage requesting, and to the scripts used by the LSF to process incoming requests. Working with Beinecke and LSF Staff, Enterprise Systems and Services personnel were able to identify an unused field in the Aeon application and use it to store the desired pickup location. The Aeon and GFA applications responsible for integration were then modified to recognize this field and use it to represent a new “drop code” for Beinecke materials. Staff can now populate this field from a radio button in the web request form or through direct entry in the staff client – no other changes to the request are necessary.

Patron requests are automatically designated for the public reading room without staff intervention. With the first test requests processed successfully, Beinecke’s staff at the new technical services headquarters will be ready to continue work uninterrupted after their move. This solution also opens the door to requesting across special collections – allowing readers to view materials at the reading room most convenient for them. While there are many policy, safety, and preservation concerns to be addressed, this project has helped to ensure continuity of service for Beinecke patrons while opening the discussion for more convenient material access for special collection patrons in general.

First Library Tech Talk Lightning Round

Today LIT did its first Tech Talk Lightning Round. In this format LIT staff give a very brief five minute update and then take ten minutes of questions and discussion. Feedback about this talk was very positive, and we hope to do another in April with the same format. Please send us suggestions for updates and project overviews you would like to hear about at the talk.

This time staff presented

  • Quicksearch beta
  • Aeon
  • Libguides 2
  • EZproxy Pilot

For those of you who could not make the talk here are the slides and some very rough notes from the discussion.


Quicksearch beta (Kalee Sprague) 
  • went live with public beta on Feb 6
  • traveling information sessions to different departments
  • draft bookmarks to hand out
  • continuing new development – new features through fall 2015
  • dynamic display of Morris statuses 
  • goal is to have stable  release for fall 2015
  • Quicksearch becomes prominent on the library’s home page in January 2016. This does NOT mean Orbis is gone, just takes a step back in prominence.
  • Demo’ed a search for justice resnik. Facets can be used to include or exclude material (using IS NOT). Is not functionality has been requested for years.


  •  MARC for eresources are loaded to Orbis/Morris – what deduping will there be in QS? Will we cease loading e-records?
    ANSWER from cataloging – we do coordinate with Law library on ebooks. After some discussion there was some agreement that all records should continue to be loaded in catalogs, we can dedupe at the point of ingest to Quicksearch.  Noted also that occurrence of duplication between Law and SML is rare
  • Will search Articles+ be replaced?
    ANSWER- we are focusing on making Articles+ work with QS beta now
  •  When we will push to students?
    ANSWER  It’s public beta and some staff are teaching or showing QSbeta, but others are waiting until Fall 2015.
    There was another comment that Articles+ is very helpful for some students, especially date limits, and it should continue to be prominent (not just in Quicksearch).
  • Finally, LIT staff are looking for feedback from RIO and other groups, please invite us to speak and demo!
Aeon (Melissa Wisner)
Overview of changes scheduled for Aeon, including the expanded use by the Lewis Walpole and Cushing/Whitney Medical Historical libraries.
  • Aeon is expanding – patron registration now available at all YUL Special Collections Libraries
  • Go to website, connect to link and be prompted to create account
  • TOU agreement (privacy, id type, security)
  • Staff approves request for access to materials
  • Once the user is approved, she can now request from any collection!
  • Showed Special Collections LibGuide
  • All Yale community members need to self-initiate registration in Aeon


  •  Right now, a patron can’t go to one interface to say they want items from multiple collections- is there an interest in simplifying that process?
  • ANSWER Routing from the different discovery places happens per item (because each special collection has its own Aeon instance) Unification for multi-collection requests might be further down the road.
    It was noted problem requesting things by location/instance because you need to physically go to the location to view or pick up. YFAD does do cross collection search
  • Do you have to register twice –
    ANSWER No just once!
  • We are interested in using same authentication for all services for people who are not Yale community members, I think Steelsen is working on that.
    ANSWER: It would be nice to be able to manage patrons universally for the Library across services.
  • Michael Dula noted we are moving towards using Aeon as the way to manage non-Yale people’s authentication.
Libguides V2 (Steve Wieda)
Overview of the project to upgrade to a new version of Libguides, the software behind library subject guides
  • Implementation project going on now until summer
  • New features – responsive design. professional look and feel, improved authoring interface
  • Responsive design – mobile versions are automatically created.
  • There is a more professional look rightout of the box, without any customization.
  •  Huge improvement is spell check as you type!
  • Timeline and milestones – LG2 implementaton group meeting regularly
    • roadshows in March and April
    • training in June
    • roll out on July 31st


  • Is there integration with online learning systems?
    ANSWER: not so much, but tighter with other Springshare 2.0 products, still having links into Classesv2 via LTI
  • Andy S. – will migration take whats existing now an dput into new guides? will you need to do much cleanup?
    ANSWER some box types are no longer supported so these may need some cleanup (TOC, feedback, etc). There will be doco for this before that time comes.
  • Is the migration only going to take published guides?
    ANSWER published and unpublished both will migrate.
  • Will there be changes in A to Z list of databases (provided in Libguides)?
    ANSWER: Permanent will be available, subject tagging and database content type tagging.
  • Will there be data about traffic through guides still available?
    ANSWER Historic data needs to be downloaded before migration. looking at new solution for getting data from guides – Libguides stats dashboard coming soon.  Watch for an announcement coming later next week about training and a new dashboard for Libguides use data.
EZproxy Pilot (Ray Frohlich)
Preview of the upcoming pilot of EZproxy at Yale . EZproxy is a tool many schools use for providing access to restricted e-resources.
  • We use VPN, which works for most, but not all, Yale patrons. It is a particular problem for the medical school and affiliated hospitals, and occasionally for some students and faculty abroad.
  • Medical maintains a squid proxy, but they are phasing it out. 
  • VPN does not provide fine-grained access control to services. It is an all or nothing service. EZProxy can introduce more granular control.
  • VPN may also not install correctly on some computers/mobile devices.
  • Purpose of pilot is to test if these use cases can be solved by EZProxy.
  • We are partnering with ITS on this as part of largerauthentication project.
  • In phase one the test team will discuss roles of staff support, etc and will configure the EZproxy.
  • Phase 2 is rollout, targeted testing with faculty staff and students


  • How does this dovetail with ITS dual factor authentication?
    ANSWER:ITS wants to roll out two step authorization for VPN and hen CAS?Outlook on web is Phase 2.
  • Does that mean better cell service in bass?
    ANSWER no idea!
  • Do you have lists of test users, or are you open to suggestions?
    ANSWER we are open to suggestions/ideas for test cases. We are interested in user populations  and testing different types of resources.  Specifically let us know about resources that use exotic tech or may be problematic in other ways.
  • What does this mean, do you have to install it?
    ANSWER no, we are looking at providing EZproxy access through plugin in browser that will employ EZproxy. Such plugins exist, but we would like to start a project with ITS to improve the plugin so that the user only turns the plugin on once and then links are automatically routed through EZproxy.
  • There are ebook databases that requires individual logins, despite VPN. They say to use EZ proxy to get around this. Should I send?
    ANSWER Yes, sounds like it might be Books24x7, which is on the list to test.
  • Have you heard about EduRoam
    ANSWER will look into this

Other Information about EZproxy

It doesn’t solve ALL of our offsite access problems. Look for a fall implementation. It was pointed out by several in the audience that new people come to some schools in the middle of the summer, particularly impacts medical and CSSSI. We need to be ready for the mid-summer turnover.