Lexile Searching in Koha OPAC


As the summer winds down, and the mad rush to buy pencils, notebooks, glue sticks and new school clothes begins, why not help your local teachers out by adding a Lexile search to your koha catalog?

Setting Lexile Levels up in Koha

In order for this search to work, you will need to have the Lexile level listed in the 521 indicator 8 field of your MARC records. This search will also work if you use the DRA or other reading levels as the indexer is configured to look at the following indicators of the 521 tag:
Here are the possible values of indicator 1:

0 – Reading grade level
1 – Interest age level
2 – Interest grade level
3 – Special audience characteristics
4 – Motivation/interest level
8 – No display constant generated

Lexile score would be encoded under indicator 8.

Once that field has been populated, all you have to do is add the following javascript to the “opacuserjs” system preference (you can also add it to the “intranetuserjs” if you want staff to have this drop down).

 $(document).ready(function(){
        //add lexile to search pull downs
        $("select[name='idx']").append("<option value='lexile-number,st-numeric'>Lexile score (e.g. 600 or 550-650 )</option>");
        $("select[name='idx']").append("<option value='Interest-age-level,wrdl'>Interest Age Level</option>");
        $("select[name='idx']").append("<option value='Interest-grade-level,wrdl'>Interest Grade Level</option>");
        $("select[name='idx']").append("<option value='Reading-grade-level,wrdl'>+Reading Grade Level</option>");
    });

This will add options to both the search drop down and also in the Advanced Search. By adding this javascript you will be able to not only search for a single Lexile number (940 for example) but also for a range by entering 400-600 for example as a search term when that option is selected.

The Koha Community Bug 14277 – Search index ‘lex’ does not honor MARC indicator “ind1” will provide a breakdown of the inclusion in the 16.05 and future releases in Koha. 

Happy Lexile searching.

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