PALS is proud to announce the availability of a mobile site for MnPALS Plus, the customized VuFind-based discovery interface to the library catalogs of the Consortium of MnPALS Libraries. The eagerly anticipated mobile site was received with enthusiasm when screen shots were displayed at the annual User Group meeting in October.
Last week, the following message was sent to MnPALS Plus:
Yesterday August 24th we updated MnPALS Plus. The brunt of this update was the switching of the API that MnPALS Plus uses to talk to Aleph. Before we were using the X-Services API. Ex Libris has not been doing much development on the X-Services API. Therefor it had less functionality then the newer Restful API that Ex Libris has been working on. The newer Restful API is being developed and updated extensively because it is being used by PRIMO. This is the API we switched to. A couple of features is that items that are set to be suppressed in the Web OPAC are now suppressed in MnPALS Plus. This is determined by tab15 settings. Also we can now have pickup locations for holds.
As discussed at the Fall 2010 User Group Meeting, PALS will provide discovery and access for digital resource sets by loading them directly into MnPALS Plus, bypassing Aleph.
As part of this service, PALS will load complete sets of records for digital resources into MnPALS Plus and provide unique URLs for each library as needed for authentication, adding proxy strings and account information as required. These record sets will be kept up-to-date by PALS and will not be loaded into Aleph unless needed for inclusion in commercial discovery systems.
Todd Digby, MnSCU System Director for Libraries, and Stephen Elfstrand, PALS Executive Director, have recently published an article on MnPALS Plus published in Computers in Libraries.
The article "DISCOVERING OPEN SOURCE DISCOVERY: Using VuFind to Create MnPALS Plus" explains that PALS staff members scanned the open source environment to see what was available that could provide a feasible discovery solution for our libraries. Since PALS already had experienced, highly capable programmers and systems staff, the open source option was an approach that we could comfortably take using existing resources. VuFind was modified in several important ways for use in a large Aleph consortium.