Explore More in Aspen Discovery

On the Aspen Team we often talk about the goals of Aspen Discovery. Our main four goals are:

Maximizing patron usage of all materials and resources is my absolute favorite goal that we have within the Aspen team. We all know how much time and energy y’all put into providing content, resources, events, information and countless other things for your patrons so we want to respect that by ensuring your patrons know about those resources and are easily able to discover them. One of the awesome features that allows us to accomplish this is the Explore More feature in your catalog.

What is Explore More?

The Explore More box is an informative box that displays beneath the second search result when there is an applicable resource or list elsewhere in Aspen that the patron may find interesting or useful based on what they are searching.

How does the Explore More box work?

Essentially whenever you do a search in the catalog (or any other search), if you were to do the same search in any of your other other indexed searches that are integrated into Aspen Discovery and results would return then we will display those results in the Explore More box. For example, in Arlington Public Library’s catalog when I do a search for ‘Four Winds’ the Explore More box shows me several staff and New York Times lists related to Four Winds.

These lists are displayed because when I do the same exact search - ‘Four Winds’ in their list search, I will find lists that are applicable. You can click on the image on the next page to see the search results.

The content in the Explore More box is randomly generated based on all of the different content that may be applicable to your search. If there are more than four results to display, you can scroll through all other results in the box.

Where is the Explore More content coming from?

The Explore More will display results from any of your indexed searches. Indexed searches are anything that have their own search category when you click the down arrow next to ‘in Library Catalog’. So if you had every single integration enabled in Aspen Discovery, the Explore More could contain catalog results, EBSCO EDS results (Articles & Databases), Lists, Library Website pages, History & Archives (digital or open archives), and genealogy records.

For more information on these integrations, click on the previous editions of Aspen Weekly!

Connecting to Local History

EBSCO Integration

Using Lists as a Staff Member

Where does the Explore More live?

The Explore More box is always going to show below the second result in any of your searches. Although we typically associate the Explore More box with catalog searches, the Explore More box can show on any of your indexed searches. For example, when we were searching in Arlington Public Library’s lists for ‘Four Winds’ the list results displayed an Explore More box with applicable catalog results!

How do I customize the color of my Explore More box?

The Explore More box gets its border color from the ‘Primary Background Color’ in your theme. The text color comes from the ‘Primary Text Color’ in your theme.

Are there other custom options in Explore More?

The Explore More box is currently all automatically (and autoMAGICally) generated so you and your staff do not need to be concerned with adjusting the content. Since Aspen Discovery is an open source discovery layer, our developments are all community driven and we are always increasing the ways Aspen can be customized.

Explore More’s Intention

The reason we have the Explore More box throughout Aspen Discovery is so your patrons can discover and find all of the additional resources, content, and information they have access to in your discovery layer. Again, we want to ensure that we are maximizing patron usage of all materials they have available to them through your library.

Other Tools to Increase Usage of Materials

Aspen Discovery has several other features and tools that are driven by our goal to increase usage and awareness of other resources. For example, we have placards which are a great way to showcase events, resources, and countless other content. The biggest difference between a feature like the Explore More and Placards is that the Explore More is a system generated feature whereas the placards are entirely created and driven by you and your staff!

You can learn more about placards here:

Aspen Weekly: Promotions with Placards

How can I make my Explore More functionality more robust?

The main way to ensure your Explore More has great content and a lot of it is by adding in indexed sources and adding content to those sources. You can begin by creating reading lists and sharing those in your list search results. If you aren’t yet pulling in your Library Website pages into Aspen, check out our tutorial on setting that up. Consider adding in the genealogy functionality or indexing a local history archive! The more information you pull into Aspen, the more the Explore More will display leading to patrons discovering all sorts of information!

Read more by Addie Van Salisbury