Aspen Discovery

Aspen Discovery 21.09.00 Release Notes

Aspen Discovery announced this week that the 21.09.00 release is now available. See the Release Summary here.

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

“Aspen 21.09 has something in it for everyone! Some of our favorite features in the release are increases to accessibility, more flexibility with various types of holds, and more options when creating custom pages using the built-in Aspen Website Builder”


  • Search result grouped works now have headline markup to allow users with screen readers to more easily search the catalog.
  • Several updates to the user interface to increase web accessibility with tabbing between items, link text, field labels, structural elements, and using actions without a mouse.

Account Updates

  • Fixed an issue where hold pickup location wasn't being used if bypass pickup location prompt was enabled.
  • Added OPAC_SUG authorized value to populate the "Reason for Purchase" field in Materials Request form.
  • Do not give patrons the option to change pickup location if there is only one pickup location available.
  • Add a new option to allow locations to be restricted as a valid pickup location for patrons of the parent library only.

API Updates

  • Add date updated to the ListAPI getPublicLists method.

Axis360 Updates

  • If a patron is not valid for Axis360, do not prompt them to create an account since that functionality is not available within the APIs.
  • Correct loading available holds for Axis360 to show the proper expiration date.

eCommerce Updates

  • Allow payments using the Comprise SmartPAY system.
  • Add settings for World Pay and Pro Pay

Grouping Updates

  • Uploaded PDF files in a Grouped Work will now have their titles truncated to prevent inability to delete PDF.
  • When regrouping records, do additional checking to ensure that records which were disconnected from their grouped work are reattached.
  • Updates for manual grouping to ensure selected records ungroup properly.

Interface Updates / Usability

  • Updated the main menus and custom menu items to close on click, or tap, outside the menu, instead of being based on a timer.
  • Updated the sizing of headers for one-to-many types in Library Systems to be more readable.
  • After 'Place a Hold' button has been pressed, disable it to prevent duplicate holds.
  • The icons in the main menu now align to the left side of the menu.
  • Fixed an incorrect label in the Panels section of Themes
  • Increased the font size of the copies information text
  • Updated the display of selecting a language to translate. If 3 or more languages are available, it will switch to a dropdown menu.
  • Updated Remove Filter facet image icon to use FontAwesome.
  • Updated Selected/Applied Filter facet image icon to use FontAwesome.
  • Updated Facet Lock icon to use open-panel foreground color for better visibility.

Koha Updates

  • If OPACShowHoldQueueDetails is set to None within Koha, do not show the hold position when displaying holds to patrons.

New York Times Lists

  • There's now a delete button next to each NYT list in the Admin section.
  • The date that New York Times most recently updated a list is now easily available in the Admin section and inside each list.
  • The NYT Lists Admin section will now filter out lists marked as deleted.

OverDrive Updates

  • OverDrive titles with a subject of Comic and Graphic Novel will now be identified as having a format of eComic to better separate them from eBooks and cause them to group with Hoopla eComics.
  • Index and display additional contributors to an OverDrive Record to make searching by narrators easier.
  • Improve indexing speed by processing multiple products in parallel, and not extracting product information for advantage titles that are only owned by libraries not using Aspen within a consortium.
  • Improve logging of OverDrive extract process including more information about number of products processed and products skipped.
  • Process additional date formats for publication date.
  • On OverDrive API page, show what capabilities the API credentials have enabled to better determine if circulation is enabled or not.

Polaris Updates

  • Record Payments made within Polaris.
  • Patrons can now login with their username in addition to their barcode.
  • Correct placing holds when remember pickup location is turned on
  • Show hold queue position for pending holds
  • Extract records from Polaris using multiple threads to increase the speed of indexing.
  • Update conditions to detect when indexing is finished when extracting all records from Polaris.
  • Do not delete changes if we skipped records at the start of indexing.

RBdigital Updates

  • Remove RBdigital integration now that all content is fully merged into OverDrive. Old pages will tell patrons the content is no longer available. Stats are still available in the interface.

Record Display

  • Properly determine which 655 fields are LC subjects when displaying MARC records.

Search and Indexing Updates

  • When setting a sub title for a grouped work make sure the title and subtitle do not come from different editions.
  • Update the display of records for a grouped work always shows the most available title first.
  • A publisher of Findaway in the 264 or 710 fields will no longer indicate that a title has a format of Playaway.
  • Records with a 300 field that contains kit will be marked with a format of Kit.
  • VOX Books will now override other formats when detected.
  • Allow libraries and locations to not have a search interface created for them. If disabled, scope information will not be created within Solr to have that library or location be the primary search source. Items at the library or location can still be found. This is useful for lockers, drive up windows, virtual branches, etc.
  • When looking for Braille titles based on the 008 field, make sure to check the value of position 6 within the leader.
  • Optimize storing record information for grouped works within the database.
  • Store individual MARC records in the database rather than the file system.
  • Compress Hoopla and OverDrive data within the database.
  • Increase the length of the volume id field in the database for Polaris volumes.
  • Store scope information within the item table for performance optimization.
  • Update Records Owned and Records to Include to match the entire field rather than just the start of a field by default.
  • If MARC data cannot be loaded for a record, marc it as suppressed and do not process it until the MARC data exists again.
  • Additional error messaging when viewing titles that don't exist in the index or database.
  • Add additional information to indexing log including if a full update is being done and the current id of the record being processed.

Sideload Processing Updates

  • Add a list of deleted record ids to sideload settings. These will be removed even if they exist within uploaded MARC records.
  • When a file is deleted from the server, ensure that all records within the file are properly deleted.
  • Updates for URL replacement processing for individual scopes.

Sierra Integration Updates

  • Automatically handle cases where patrons login with Barcode and PIN rather than Name and Barcode.
  • Update parsing of fines for Sierra.
  • Location name from the location map is automatically prefixed to the shelf location from the shelf_location map if Include Location Name in Detailed Location is selected for the Indexing Profile.

Statistics Updates

  • Do not track sessions started for API requests

Symphony Integration Updates

  • When a patron opts in or out of reading history within Aspen, update Symphony so they are opted in and out there as well.
  • Speed up loading reading history.

Web Builder

  • PDFs uploaded in the Web Builder are now able to be embedded or linked to as cell types.
  • The vertical and horizontal alignment options for cells are now working.
  • Web builder cells should wrap more consistently.
  • PDFs uploaded in the Web Builder now generate a thumbnail image of the first page.
  • Fixed an issue where additional code was generating with a row accordion.

Other Updates

  • Force updating all patron information from the ILS after logging out and logging back in.
  • Update display of searching the library website when some libraries in a consortium have indexed websites and some don't.
  • Date fields with pre-determined values will now populate correctly.
  • Remove PType configuration for Library and Location
  • Update base data layer to handle compressed columns, compress raw Novelist data.
  • Updated the help manual to include links to github.
  • Updated some of the output text when setting up a new Aspen install.
  • Remove unused cron files
  • Remove unused indexers

Watch the 21.09 Aspen Updates in an Instant Recording

Read more by Mark Noble