Aspen Discovery

Aspen Discovery Announces 20.01 Release & Notes

Aspen Discovery announced this week that the 20.01 release is available. This major release includes 99 improvements, 20 bug fixes, and 20 system updates.

Mark Noble, Aspen Discovery Developer, recently commented on the release:

The improvements in this release are a direct response to the needs of our partners and we enjoyed the time working with them to refine and enrich current functionality to best meet the needs of their patrons.

Release Notes

Browse Category updates

  • Reorganize browse categories into groups so sets of browse categories can be reorganized for multiple libraries and locations
  • Make the user interface easier to edit categories and subcategories
  • Browse categories can now be created from searches that have multiple values selected for a facet
  • Font size is not increased when the browse category is selected to avoid display issues

CARL.X integration updates

  • Fixed loading patron summary information
  • Updates for placing holds

Cloud Library integration updates

  • Update availability even if a bib record has not changed
  • Automatically place a hold or checkout Cloud Library materials if the status has changed since the last index
  • Add additional checking for if a title is on hold based on differences in documentation
  • Correct incorrect UTF8 encoding for titles
  • Updates for loading cloud library holds
  • Caching of Cloud Library circulation information
  • Provide format information as iTypes for faceting

Collection Spotlight updates

  • Rename List Widgets to Collection Spotlights
  • Remove additional links for list widget lists (they were never used)
  • Add the ability to define Collection Spotlight Lists similarly to how browse categories are defined to make it easier to update them.
  • Collection Spotlights can now be created from searches that have multiple values selected for a facet
  • Updated default facets based on what most sites normally do

Cover updates

  • Allow covers to be uploaded by staff with opacAdmin or cataloging permissions
  • The source of a cover is displayed in staff view for the record
  • Fix caching for lists, website pages, etc

General Account updates

  • New switch for whether or not to display the forgot password link even if the ILS supports it
  • Sorting of ratings and not interested lists are correct
  • The current hold location is shown when changing pickup location for a hold
  • Filtering reading history that provides no results will now allow the user to change their filter

General Administration updates

  • Remove configuration from config.ini and move the settings to the administration interface for NoveList, Syndetics, ContentCafe, Google APIs, New York Times API, DP.LA, Converting Lists from ILS
  • Allow administration settings to be compared to more easily identify differences.
  • Administrators can now be added without needing to have them login before setting them up if the ILS supports looking up users by barcode.
  • Update Admin Home page to show the status of all Solr cores
  • Cleanup and reorganize administration menu and library and location pages to make them easier to navigate
  • Add a display option for timestamp fields

Grouped Work Display updates

  • Extract Grouped Work Display settings into a separate table so they can be reused between libraries and locations and to make configuration of large consortia easier.
  • Extract Grouped Work Facet settings into a separate table so they can be reused between libraries and locations and to make configuration of large consortia easier.
  • Create default settings for different types of libraries to make initial configuration easier.
  • When showing search results, make the format a button and if there is only one record for the format take the user to the record when clicking the format button.

Grouped Work Indexing updates

  • Grouped Works can be merged using title and author authority information.
  • Grouped Works can be scheduled to be indexed at a specific time
  • Force reindex will update the work and regroup all associated records on the next index
  • Titles are reindexed immediately after ratings are applied
  • Administrators can specify in library use only materials by status and format within Indexing Profiles
  • When using status override, make sure a work is reindexed when the status override expires

Grouped Work Merge/Unmerge updates

  • Grouped Works are merged using title and author authority information rather than by ID.
  • New interface in search results as well as staff view to merge works
  • New button in staff view for a record to unmerge a record
  • When records are merged, all enrichment information is automatically moved to the new work
  • Merge information is displayed within staff view

Hoopla integration updates

  • When hiding Hoopla records, only hide them if all copies in other eContent source are checked out

Koha integration updates

  • Patron information is read only if profile updates are not allowed in Aspen
  • Messaging settings cannot be changed when profile updates are disabled
  • Aspen will respect the MaxOutstanding value and not allow holds if the user has higher fines than the value
  • Improve messaging for checkouts with auto renew turned on
  • Add a note to the payment when recording a payment in Koha after paying with PayPal

OverDrive updates

  • Extract OverDrive settings into Scopes to make it easier to administer and apply the same settings to multiple libraries in a consortium.
  • Update OverDrive admin menu to be consistent with other menus.
  • Add OverDrive magazines as a valid format
  • Remove OverDrive as a separate search source because the functionality has been replaced with better functionality.

RBdigital updates

  • New switch for whether or not RBdigital accounts can be found by email


  • Multiple pages of recommendations can be shown for the browse category

Search updates

  • Update availability toggle to record a value for Entire Collection
  • Allow libraries to define the default availability toggle so they can have users default to their local collection
  • Advanced Searches by Publisher are now case insensitive
  • Added a new facet for Publisher which is disabled by default
  • Additional normalization of publisher data
  • Searches by Start of Title work better in more cases
  • Searches with embedded colons are handled properly
  • Trailing punctuation is trimmed from the search
  • Updating scoping of user lists for consortia
  • eContent collections are shown as shelving location within facets
  • If iType is not provided, use the format for facets
  • Advanced search will display the value as blank rather than Any when not selected so the user can more easily tell what is set
  • Advanced Search will automatically open the Optional Filters section if facets have been applied
  • A specific error page will be shown if the user search is longer than allowed

Sideloading updates

  • Properly process MARC tags to determine if records should be included or excluded
  • Properly process URL rewrites so individual libraries can apply proxies.
  • Properly process MARC records that use an ISBN as the unique identifier to account for spaces within the ISBN
  • Display the size of MARC records within SideLoad interface
  • MARC records can be downloaded from the server by administrators
  • Uploaded records can be deleted
  • Streamline administration interface

Sierra integration updates

  • Update data extract to be fully runtime so all changes to bibs, items, and volumes are detected in Sierra and applied to Aspen in near real time.
  • Update all account integration to use new Aspen structures
  • Don’t export due date fields from Sierra
  • Improve speed of exporting data from Sierra especially volume information.
  • Holds can be frozen even if the user is first in line.
  • Display patron messages to the patron
  • Single records can be extracted for testing
  • Serials issues and check in grid display properly
  • Reset PIN functionality uses new Aspen workflow

Translation updates

  • In translation interface show untranslated strings as blanks
  • If the default text for a term changes, mark the translation as needing update
  • When everything is translated show a message
  • Translations and translation terms are case sensitive

Theming updates

  • Allow additional css to be added to a theme
  • Allow additional colors to be customized including: browse categories, sidebar highlight, all button colors, footer
  • Custom fonts can now be uploaded for headers as well as body text
  • Logos can be uploaded to the theme for display in the footer for branding purposes
  • Button radius can be controlled to allow square corners
  • Browse categories can be automatically capitalized
  • Header text uses the header foreground color
  • Remove gradients in several areas for a more consistent display

User List updates

  • When creating a list, give the user more information about what public lists are
  • Generating citations for a list will generate all citations

Bug/minor fixes

  • Cleanup layout of search bar at small and medium resolutions
  • Make covers clickable within user lists
  • Labels within explore more can be clicked
  • Fix loading covers from Content Cafe for movies
  • Don’t show DP.LA results if no search term has been entered
  • When placing a hold via the API, validate that the hold location is valid
  • Update display of table of contents from Syndetics
  • Correct the display of descriptions with diacritics within lists
  • Improve display of records that a library does not own within the series view
  • Allow translation maps to be downloaded as INI files
  • Series information is trimmed when adding it to the index to prevent invalid values in facets
  • Applied filter is displayed properly when a search is shown in a different scope
  • Increased the maximum length of the user display name field
  • Hide the Borrower Reviews panel if no borrower reviews exist
  • Add ILS type to account settings to make it easier to customize functionality based on the active ILS
  • Updates to OAI harvesting to better determine the correct ID to use
  • Updates to OAI cover generation
  • Add ByWater support to footer
  • Updates for IE11 compatibility
  • Additional error trapping in numerous cases to display better messaging to users

System/internal updates

  • All APIs have been updated for Pika compatibility
  • Material requests can be imported from Pika
  • Setup cron so it can be run based on a symbolic link for easier updates
  • Cleanup error logging to avoid logging spammy content
  • Standard Logging for all ILS and eContent extractions
  • Display text areas properly in oneToMany form
  • Improvements for recovering from invalid MARC records within a file
  • Nightly database backup script updated
  • Check to be sure as backups are being created as part of the getIndexStatus API
  • Update memory cleanup for database objects
  • Standardize which data object are stored within cache, which are runtime fields
  • Standardize and how data objects are cloned
  • Make data objects methods easier to understand
  • Do not update location information from Koha on import so values can be different
  • Cron will update reading history entirely within PHP to ensure consistency
  • Clean up unused database fields
  • Cleanup whitespace
  • Cleanup unused files
  • Add some IDE files to github to make it easier to setup new systems
  • Remove old documentation from the user interface

Read more by Jessie Zairo

Tags Aspen, Aspen Discovery