RR Anderson, DIY Cultural Arts Specialist

May. 7, 2008 at 4:39pm

Topcat vs. Tacoma Public Library

!amcoat enigami, ONLINE

It is a small obscure thing, but often I have wished upon a star for the ability to link directly to a book housed within the virtual card catalog of the Tacoma Public Library.   

For Example

If a bibliophile/library advocate wished to write a blog post about a book he just read AND the book happens to be available at the TPL he has no way to link directly to a page like this...

this is a tragedy for the online book/library enthusiast.  

A Call to Action..

anybody find a work around or hack to this need?   Thank you.

comments [16]  |  posted under books, internet, library, public, tacoma, topcat, web


by NineInchNachos on 5/7/2008 @ 5:20pm
making hack progress with firebug... similar to the Tacoma Daily Index hack--turning form 'posts' to 'gets'

by NineInchNachos on 5/7/2008 @ 5:24pm
oh yeah... that's the sweet spot

by izenmania on 5/7/2008 @ 5:34pm
nice... I did some investigating of my own and found this: topcat.tacomapubliclibrary.org/uhtbin/cg...

Grabbing the displayed url, then going back to the search results page and finding the contents of first_hit and last_hit. Then add those, search_type=search and VIEW^1 (where 1 is replaced by the item's location in the result list)

by Erik on 5/7/2008 @ 5:38pm
oh yeah... that's the sweet spot

Must you control the entire internet?

by izenmania on 5/7/2008 @ 5:43pm
Slightly easier version:
1) do a search, click on an item
2) copy the url
3) add ?first_hit=1&last_hit=3 (numbers don't seem to matter as long as first_hit < last_hit
4) find the record's index in the search (at the top it should say "record 2 of 3 of search", for example)
5) add &VIEW^2, where 2 is the record number from above

by NineInchNachos on 5/7/2008 @ 5:50pm

by izenmania on 5/7/2008 @ 5:58pm
6) Tell TPL that TopCat is a ridiculously non-intuitive and difficult to navigate system. Mention to them friends or relatives who stick to using their TPL card at King County libraries because the search is much more usable. As a side effort, ask why 1. they have such an arrangement with King County, 2. Pierce County has such an arrangement with King County, but 3. TPL and PCLS have no such arrangement.

by Erik on 5/7/2008 @ 6:04pm
A much improved Avatar izenmania.

by NineInchNachos on 5/7/2008 @ 6:05pm
there is strange cache issue happening with the referal links though... have you checked your neverwhere link? the image and content vanishes.. ?

by Dmitri on 5/7/2008 @ 6:09pm
TPL's website is simply awful. When you search for an author, and then link on one of that author's books and place a hold, you can't go back to the author to look at other titles on that original search, without starting over. King County's is better; Pierce County's is better (of course). TPL's is wretched. Awful. Terrible. Just not very good.

That's why I go to Federal Way so often.

by izenmania on 5/7/2008 @ 6:34pm
A much improved Avatar izenmania.

I figure it's more recognizable. I'm much more likely to be seen making that face in public than wandering around with no glasses and pants on my head.

by thriceallamerican on 5/8/2008 @ 8:57am
why...TPL and PCLS have no such arrangement.

Maybe I'm imagining it, but I believe I remember hearing just the other day that TPL and PCLS were working out a reciprocal lending agreement...maybe already have?

by izenmania on 5/8/2008 @ 9:06am
As far as I know there is not one in place... I couldn't walk in there and use it right now. But I'm glad to hear that they are (theoretically) working on it. I grew up having both cards, and it was great.

by NineInchNachos on 5/8/2008 @ 9:56am
all our beautiful query string urls are broken today... is it cookie / session related? Is this happening on their server? Is there no work around?

oh Tragedy!

by morgan on 5/8/2008 @ 10:09am
Yes, it's session related. They have the same issue with their building index. REALLY frustrating! Since their tech guy just left for a gig with Seattle Public Library, now might be a good time to work with TPL for a better (more usable at least) solution. Anyone?

by thriceallamerican on 5/8/2008 @ 10:10am
Re: TPL/PCLS reciprocal borrowing...

I knew I wasn't insane.


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RR Anderson is one of the most curious characters in the UFO lore and the history of underground cartooning. He fought bizarre underground beings in the caves of Alaska, was wounded by a laser before it was invented, and had a background with the clandestine branch of the Tacoma Cartoonists Society.

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