IGeLU 2016 conference – Initial thoughts and perspectives

I am on my way back from IGeLU 2016 conference and developers day which was held in beautiful Trondheim, Norway. For those of you who are not familiar with IGeLU conference, it is the largest conference of Ex Libris users in the world (apart from North America) with almost 500 participants from around the world. I was representing Lancaster University Library along with my colleagues John Krug (who is the coordinator of the Analytics SIG and our Systems and Analytics Manager) and Liz Hartley (Assistant Librarian – User Services). In my opinion, there was a definite shift in the focus of IGeLU this year. There were a lot more sessions on Alma, Leganto, campusM and Primo (especially on the new Primo User Interface) and far fewer on Aleph, Voyager, SFX and other products. This also highlights the direction in which Ex Libris wants to move forward and it was clear that Ex Libris has intentions to be a stakeholder in almost all institutional activities related to teaching and learning, research and user engagement. The next area of interest for them is research data management and open access which is an area close to my heart too. At this time, Ex

Continue Reading

Hydra as a Digital Asset Management System

We are currently looking for a solution to store the different forms of digital objects/assets that are generated by various researchers/academics/departments/faculties at Lancaster University. The traditional repository model does not feel like it is best suited to accommodate the ever expanding range of digital assets. We are talking about Research Data, Digitised objects, Open Educational Resources, Video and Audio files, Software packages, etc. So we started looking into other appropriate solutions. From my previous experience, I remember Fedora was designed for this very purpose. The hint is in the name, Flexible Extensible Digital Object Repository Architecture. We are really keen on the flexible and extensible aspects. However, experience has also taught me that Fedora can become very complex to manage very quickly. Something, we at Lancaster, can’t afford at this time with our limited resources. At the same time, we are also looking into two wrappers/solutions on top of Fedora, aptly named as Hydra and Islandora. Hydra is based on Rails (Ruby) whereas Islandora is based on Drupal (Php). Considering we have expertise in neither (we are primarily a Django/Python shop), we are open to both solutions, or something else completely. Between Hydra and Islandora, however, it seems like Hydra

Continue Reading

IGeLU 2012 – A brief perspective

The 2012 International Group of Ex Libris Users Conference (IGeLU 2012) was hosted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (ETH, Zurich) from the 11th to the 13th of September 2012. I had the pleasure of attending the conference, the pre-conference meetings, and the post-conference PWG meeting. During the hectic schedule of these meetings, I also had two talks to give, for details, see the Talks page. The conference itself was very useful, both from a personal and professional growth point of view. It clarified to us Ex Libris’s vision, the direction they are heading towards as a company, and how Oxford systems fit in their vision. It also gave us the opportunity to see Alma in action, speak to people who are moving towards Alma, and understand what we need to work on to have a smooth transition to Alma when the time comes for it. The other great thing about the conference was that I finally got to meet a lot of people in person that I knew virtually before. Another great component of IGeLU 2012 were the excellent talks given by numerous people. This included the excellent keynote speeches and the individual presentations on different topics. One of the things

Continue Reading

Parsing XML with lxml in Django – Multiple Namespaces and XPath

A few days ago, I was trying to figure out how to parse XML with multiple namespaces and get information using XPath in Django. I came across lxml which I think is really good. You don’t have to csrf_exempt this procedure as it is GET based and thus safe. I am doing it for consistency with the rest of my code. I am using Primo Webservices basic search here as an example, but you may not be able to open this URL as it is a protected URL. Also, this may not be the best way to do this, so if you can think of improvements, please let me know. from django.http import HttpResponse from django.views.decorators.csrf import csrf_exempt import simplejson as json import urllib from lxml import etree   @csrf_exempt def brief_search(request):     errors = []     if request.method == 'GET':         searchTerms = request.GET.get('query')         bulkSize = request.GET.get('pageSize')         indx = request.GET.get('start')         if indx:             indx = int(indx) + 1             DEFAULT_NS = 'http://www.exlibrisgroup.com/xsd/primo/primo_nm_bib'             query = 'any,contains,' + searchTerms             url = 'http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/PrimoWebServices/xservice/search/brief?institution=OX&onCampus=false&dym=false&highlight=false&lang=eng&query=' + query + '&indx=' + str(indx) + '&bulkSize=' + bulkSize             content = urllib.urlopen(url)             xml = etree.parse(content)             docset = xml.getroot().xpath('//sear:SEGMENTS/sear:JAGROOT/sear:RESULT/sear:DOCSET', namespaces={'sear': 'http://www.exlibrisgroup.com/xsd/jaguar/search', 'def': DEFAULT_NS})             totalhits = docset[0].get("TOTALHITS");             docs = xml.getroot().xpath('//sear:SEGMENTS/sear:JAGROOT/sear:RESULT/sear:DOCSET/sear:DOC/def:PrimoNMBib/def:record', namespaces={'sear': 'http://www.exlibrisgroup.com/xsd/jaguar/search', 'def': DEFAULT_NS})  

Continue Reading

Primo Central – Oxford’s Experience

Many of us working on the library systems side already know about Primo Central index. For those who don’t, here is an excerpt from Ex Libris’s official site. The Primo Central index is a mega-aggregation of hundreds of millions of scholarly e-resources of global and regional importance. These include journal articles, e-books, reviews, legal documents and more that are harvested from primary and secondary publishers and aggregators, and from open-access repositories. Ex Libris works with the world’s leading providers of global and regional information to benefit its customer community. The Primo Central index fully exploits the richness of the underlying data to facilitate fast and easy search. Oxford went live with Primo Central in September 2010. We made Primo Central index part of our resource discovery platform SOLO based on Ex Libris’s Primo, and introduced it as a new tab called “Journal Articles (beta) [Now called Articles & More]” . We tagged it as beta, because we still believe that there are areas where Primo Central is not as comprehensive as it could be, e.g. Law resources. We also provided a brief description of the limitations and the advantages of Primo Central on SOLO’s home page so that people don’t think

Continue Reading

Primo Enrichment Plugin for Nielsen Data

Primo, the Ex Libris resource discovery platform, provides an architecture to write plug-ins on top of it. One of these plug-ins is the Enrichment plug-in. I have recently written one of these plug-ins, which enhances Oxford’s resource discovery platform called SOLO (based on Primo). The plug-in searches Nielsen data against every record in Primo and enriches the record (more precisely record’s PNX) with table of contents, short descriptions and long descriptions (whichever available). The enriched data is displayable and searchable. Nielsen data is indexed in Apache’s Solr search server and request for the data are made through a web service call from within the plug-in. More details about the plug-in along with source code and installation instructions can be found here. http://www.exlibrisgroup.org/display/PrimoCC/Nielsen+Enrichment+Plug-in+for+Primo

Site Footer

Sliding Sidebar

About Me

About Me

Strategy, Leadership, Innovation and Code Monkeyism

Social Profiles

Latest Tweets