NEWS: Vega Discover Project Updates - February 9, 2023

Action: Informational

Project Updates

PrairieCat staff have regular bi-weekly meetings with the Vega Discover team from Innovative, which includes our project manager, trainer, and the Discover product manager.  PrairieCat will post regular project updates to provide the membership with a summary of the issues/questions that are being reported by libraries and staff that are discussed at the Innovative project meetings. 

Below is a summary of the meeting we held with the team on February 9.  Further summaries will be provided as we move forward. If you have more questions or find other issues you would like us to investigate, please let us know by putting in a helpdesk ticket under the “Vega Discovery” topic. Visit the Vega Discover page on the support site for ongoing Project Updates and other Vega information. 

Summary of Innovative Project Meeting, Febuary 9, 2023

Issue: Age facets:

Since the age facet in Vega is derived from the age encoding in the MARC record, we are seeing some inconsistency here.  In the past, juvenile records (if they were encoded for age) were all encoded “Juvenile”. Now, newer cataloging specification has broken age further out into “preschool”, “Primary”, “pre-teen”.  In addition, records with no encoding at all show up as “general audience”. 

During the call, we looked at London Public Library’s solution to this.  They are doing global updates to move the more granular facets of “preschool”, “primary”, etc into Juvenile, and doing this as maintenance on a regular basis.  They then show three age facets: adult, teen, and juvenile.  I don’t know what they are doing with “general audience”, but the suggestion is to combine our juvenile materials into “Juvenile” (while keeping the other encoding information in a 9xx tag so it is not lost). 

The Technical Services / MARC  committees at PrairieCat are now analyzing our best way forward with this.  More information to come.  (I did remove the very confusing “age range” numbers from the labels on each category per recommendation from the Resource Sharing Committee.  It was felt that they were overlapping and didn’t make much sense).

Issue: limiting searches to Fiction/Non-Fiction:

This was discussed and various solutions were put forward.  Innovative is looking into this issue and is trying to ascertain the correct way forward to make this easier to do.  They have heard this from other libraries and are considering a few options.  PrairieCat prefers that they investigate the use of the 008/ 33 “Literary form” field.  This was noted.  Samantha (the project lead on Discovery) did say that this will take development and is not currently timelined. 

Another library who has been a development partner with Vega and thus “live” for a while (London Public Library) has created a material type for Fiction and Non-Fiction books, and then they “rollup” these two material types into “book” tabs for display.  This would work as an interim solution, however it is not standard cataloging and we fear to go down that road, as introducing non-standard cataloging isn’t a very good idea.

For now, the suggestion is that you can limit searches using the “concepts” facet, and search for non-fiction or fiction there.  These are derived from the subject headings of the records, so if you search for the terms “non-fiction” or “fiction” and they occur in the MARC records, it will limit to those subject headings.  Innovative is working on making all the facet boxes scrollable and putting each subject on a separate line so they are easier to read.  For now, if you mouse over the subject heading it will bring up a box that allows you to see the whole statement. (They are working on this for all facets, including locations, so shortly we won’t have to search within these to pull up what we want, we will be able to scroll through them).  They are also planning to introduce the “Genre” facet, which has fiction and non-fiction specifications (this is the only place I see this in Encore but let us know if you have another way to limit a fiction/non-fiction search in Encore currently).

Issue: Displaying MARC records in Vega:

This is an issue that has been brought up many times by other libraries.  They expect this to be done this year.

Issue: Series searching (and weirdness we have seen there):

We have seen some strange results when using series to search, sometimes books in the series do not come up when the series statement is clicked, etc.  They realize this is a problem and it comes from the search apparently not specifying the series statement in the MARC correctly. Currently, when you select the series statement it does a keyword search.  They have this on the timeline for Q3 (third quarter of the year) to address. Series information is available in Syndetics, of course, until this is worked out and we can use the information from the MARC record.

Issue: Video Game Rollups:

Innovative has heard from several libraries on this as well.  They plan to create separate tabs for video game version (Xbox, Playstation, etc). This is roadmapped for development in Q2 or Q3.

Issue: Animated and Live Action films rolling up on same record if they have the same title and same publisher/producer:

This one is a bit more difficult to find.  This was reported to us by a library, and when we brought it up to the Innovative team said they were aware this could be an issue.  Further refinements to rollups are planned to resolve this, but until then they suggest we modify records to make the animated stand out so they don’t match the live action exactly in the 245, 264 or 130 tags.  Any change to those tags will correct the issue.  We will take that back to cataloging for further review.

Issue: Cookie warning:

Libraries have reported patrons questioning the cookie warning at the top in Vega.  This is in place to comply with the new EU laws on cookies and cannot be removed.  We will, however, be able to change the verbiage by the end of this quarter.  Regarding the information collected, I received the following information from Innovative:

The type of cookies that are used by Vega are:

  1. Cookies related to a guest or user session that help optimize a user's experience while navigating the site during a session. (My note: Session cookies are used to keep track of things during a session, such as things in a shopping cart or your “My Account” information):  

“Session cookies are cookies that last just for a single session that starts when you open a website or app and ends when you close them. Session cookies are also called transient cookies, non-persistent cookies, or temporary cookies. They are only stored temporarily and are deleted after you leave the web page. Many websites use session cookies for essential website functions.”

  1. Cookies related to our analytics tracking that associate clicks and usage actions performed by patrons in your catalog with your particular Vega Discover site.  No PII (personally identifiable information) is collected for analytics and all user sessions have a randomized ID that cannot be tracked to a patron account. 

Issue: eMaterials Integration:

PrairieCat is testing with Princeton Public Library’s Overdrive collection currently.  We have set up a separate Vega collection site to test with. We had it working but it then broke their Libby, so had to roll it back while Overdrive does the needed work on their end.  Next steps are to report out all the existing patron barcodes and their associated Sierra Patron IDs.  Overdrive needs this in order to bring over the existing patron info from Overdrive into Vega (so holds, checkouts, etc show up in Vega).  We also learned that all our libraries who wish to have Overdrive integrated will need to us the Innovative API for patron authentication.  A few of our members are currently using patron barcode prefix to authenticate, so PrairieCat will need to reach out to those libraries and make sure they are aware of the requirement to switch over.  This shouldn’t be an issue, but we will speak with each of them.  We will also then need to produce reports on their current patron barcodes and Patron IDs for each library.  We need to plan how to do this-we will most likely need to bring these libraries on in “batches” so we can handle the work.  More information will be forthcoming as we continue to test.  We will also begin testing eRead Illinios/Axis360.  Hoopla will be tested last, as Innovative has advised us that the Hoopla integration is the most complex.

Other updates:

We recently made two changes to labels in Vega to hopefully create clearer language for patrons.  We have changed the following:

Original: “On shelf at one or more locations”

New label: “Available for checkout at one or more locations”

Original: “No copies available”

New label: “Not available for checkout”

(of course, the “place hold” button then appears at the side of the screen, so the patron knows to place a hold if it is “not available”).

This second change was made to try to clarify situations where reference materials are in the library but don’t circulate.  In Encore, the “in library use only” label is attached to the item, but right now that isn’t possible in Vega without expanding the edition information.  Hopefully with upcoming refinements to the call number and location displays, we can work something like that out.  (Call number/location display refinements are listed on the roadmap as “up next”, so probably Q2).

We are always open for suggestions on simplifying labels or language used in Vega.  If you have suggestions that you think should be considered, please put in a helpdesk ticket and we will discuss in our User Experience and Resource Sharing committees.

Issue: Call number display:

This has been reported widely by Vega development sites and PrairieCat has weighed in, as well.  Refinements to the call number/location displays are on the roadmap for “next”, so hopefully we will see improvements here in the short term.  It appears that Innovative will be giving libraries some ability to customize these displays based on their needs. PrairieCat would like to see a reduction in “clicks” to find the call number on an item in the collection sites.

Links that might be helpful:

Vega enhancements for 2022:

Vega products roadmap:

Reminder: We would love for you to share your Vega catalog with your users. 

We would love to get feedback from patrons by having members share their Vega catalog address on their website. A link to “Try our new catalog” is enough to drive patrons to try the new interface and hopefully give us some feedback.  You can find your library’s Vega addresses by following the directions on our Vega support page here: