Events Integration in Aspen

As any librarian will tell you, books are just a part of all the amazing things a library can offer to its community. Libraries are information, activity, and neighborhood hubs. They offer books, of course, but also offer a wide range of activities and events through the library that help strengthen, nurture, and connect the people of their respective communities. What would a children’s section of a library be without storytime? A teen services section without gaming events?

One of the lesser-used but highly useful functions of Aspen Discovery is the Events Integration. One of the main goals of Aspen is to make all of your library’s content (including the programs you put so much effort into creating!) available to users through various innovative functions such as the placards, menu links, content integration outside of the catalog, and the Web Builder. The Events Integration is just another way to bring your content to your users.

Once events have been set up and indexed by Aspen, your patrons will be able to search for events through the search function. The events will show up in the Explore More section of the catalog search, in an events search, and in the combined search view. Patrons can also view your library’s calendar events through Aspen.

An Event Listing in Explore More

An Event Showing in the Search Dropdown Menu

An Event Showing in Combined Search

How Events Appear in Search

Like Open Archives and Website Indexing, event information is brought in through an API from a third party. Currently, Aspen has the ability to bring in event information from LibraryCalendar by LibraryMarket, and additional calendar capabilities will be included in future releases.

Once enabled through the Modules section of System Administration, all you need to do is fill out the information for the connection settings provided LibraryMarket in the Events module and Aspen brings in all the event information and organizes it according to the age group, program type, branch, room, category, reservation state, if registration is required, and the event type. These facets are generated from the information provided by LibraryCalendar.

You are also able to create events collection spotlights or browse categories just like you would with any other search. All you need to do is select “Events” from the search category drop-down menu, define your search, then scroll to the bottom and click on “Create Spotlight” or “Add To Browse,” just like you would when creating a collection spotlight or browse category from a regular search. If you would like to highlight a particular event, you can also make a placard as well.

We are always looking for ways to make all aspects of your library more visible through Aspen. If your library is currently using a different calendaring system, we would love to know! Is there something that your library offers that isn’t currently displayed in Aspen? Can you think of a better way to integrate it than it currently is? Let us know or bring it up at the next Aspen Gathering!

Read more by Emily Fowler