• CCS

How to Prepare: PAC Customization Elements


Monday's PAC webinar reviewed a number of different customization options for PowerPAC. Today's How to Prepare outlines many of those elements. Libraries can open a help ticket to place requests.

All requests for PAC elements to be configured by CCS must be submitted prior to March 1. Work in the PAC custom folder should be done prior to April 6, when the test database will be copied over to production. Below, you'll find additional details and steps for requesting specific elements reviewed in the webinar. Libraries may want to review the PAS recommendations for PowerPAC elements to remain consistent for patrons, regardless of which library's catalog they are searching.

Banner Image and Background Color

Libraries can select their own image for their PowerPAC page header. The image should be saved in the PowerPac folder > custom > themes > your library's individual folder > images.

Once the image is saved in the PowerPAC folder, please submit a help ticket to CCS with the name of the file. Please indicate:

  • How should the image be aligned?

  • Do you want only the logo to display, or would you like the branch name to display as well?

  • What is the return url for the header image?

  • What color should the header background be?

  • If the branch name will display, what color should the text be?

Dashboard & Web Parts

The PAC dashboard is made up of different web parts. Libraries can choose automatic web parts (pre-built by the system) and request custom web parts for their PowerPAC dashboard.

The available Automatic Web Parts are:

  • Most Circulated - The Most Circulated Web part elements launch searches for popular titles, authors, or subjects in the Polaris database, based on circulation statistics for the past 31 days. Only items that are marked for display in PAC are listed. This dashboard element is updated once a month. Libraries can choose titles, authors, or subjects.

  • New Titles - The New Titles Web part elements are organized by the broad material categories Books, Videos, Sound Recordings, and Large Print. When the patron selects a category, the page displays appropriate links that launch searches for titles that have recently been added to your catalog. Only items that are marked for display in PAC are listed, and an item must have been checked in to be eligible for inclusion. This web element is updated nightly and includes items new in the last 31 days. When the PAC connection is to a branch, the patron sees only new titles for that branch. When the PAC connection is to the system, the patron sees new titles for the whole system.

  • On-Order Items - The On-Order Items Web part elements are links that launch searches for titles in the Polaris database that have linked items with a status of On Order. By default, 20 titles are listed; the title that has the linked item with the most recent status change to On Order is listed first. If more than one On-Order item is associated with a bibliographic record, the most recent On-Order item is used to order the list. Only titles that are marked for display in PAC are listed. This Web part is updated nightly.

  • IndieBound Bestellers - The following Web parts are updated automatically with content from IndieBound (formerly Book Sense, Inc.), based on sales from over 350 independent bookstores in the United States:

  • Trade Paperback Fiction, Trade Paperback Nonfiction, Hardcover Fiction, Hardcover Nonfiction, Mass Market, Early and Middle Grade Readers, Young Adults, Children's Fiction Series, and Children’s Illustrated.

When a patron selects a title from one of these lists, a search for the title is launched in the Polaris database.

Elements available for Custom Web Parts include:

  • Title Search - Links that launch searches for specific titles. Title search elements work well for listing titles for a particular purpose, such as a reading program, seasonal reading, special-interest subjects, or a teacher’s reading list.

  • URL - Links to Web sites or pages. You define the text or image that serves as the link. The link element can be formatted with basic HTML tags. For example, you can create a link to a URL that launches a search for the records in a record set created in the staff client .

  • Free text - Text that is displayed in the Web part. You can use free text for announcements, page instructions, or for introducing other elements in the list.

View other library PowerPAC catalogs for ideas. When submitting a request via help ticket for web parts, please include the order that the elements should display, and what pages you would like them to display on in the PAC.

Content Carousels

Libraries can build custom bibliographic record sets in either Leap or the staff client. The contents of these record sets can be used to populate a content carousel on the main PAC page. When a content carousel is ready to be added to the PAC, the record set ID can be submitted to CCS via help ticket. Record set content created before we go live will not be preserved during the final data load. Libraries should wait to do custom carousel work until we are live on Polaris.

A number of predefined content carousels are also available for use. They match the above automatic web parts, and include:

  • Most Circulated

  • New Titles

  • On-Order Items

  • IndieBound Bestellers - The following Web parts are updated automatically with content from IndieBound (formerly Book Sense, Inc.), based on sales from over 350 independent bookstores in the United States:

  • Trade Paperback Fiction, Trade Paperback Nonfiction, Hardcover Fiction, Hardcover Nonfiction, Mass Market, Early and Middle Grade Readers, Young Adults, Children's Fiction Series, and Children’s Illustrated.

Please submit a help ticket if you would like one of the predefined carousels to be placed on your library's PAC landing page.

Search Filters ("Limit By")

Libraries can set up search filters that PAC users can select to limit search results. PowerPAC users can select a filter before launching a quick, keyword, phrase, exact, or advanced search. For example, a patron can filter a keyword search to return only DVDs owned by that library and/or its branches.

  • Assigned Branch: Libraries can limit search results to items of a specific branch or branches only.

  • Type of material (TOM) filters - Polaris PowerPAC offers a set of standard formats/types of material and custom search filters in the Limit by list. Review available TOM filters.

  • Custom filters - Use CQL commands to set up custom filters for the Limit by list. You can combine standard type of material codes with other CQL commands to create custom search filters. Elements include:

  • Collection

  • Polaris material type

  • Language

  • Availability filters - You can also use the PAC Limit by Display policy table to set up search filters that limit search results to titles with at least one available linked item. The patron selects the filter in the Limit by list before launching the search. If a PowerPAC or Mobile PAC connection is at the system level, the search results include all titles with at least one available item. If the connection is at the branch level, the results include all titles that have at least one linked available item assigned to that branch or the other branches defined as Local in the branch’s Item Availability Display Order table.

Review the list of available Access Points. Multiple access points can be combined into one filter. For example, assigned branch(es), collection and material type can be used in one limit-by filter (ex: Hot DVDs, new DVDs, and regular DVDs owned by Niles in the Youth Multimedia collection).

Please submit a help ticket by emailing help@ccslib.org or by visiting the help desk portal at help.ccslib.org.

Branch Switching

Libraries can turn on or off the ability to switch between all CCS branches.

The default is to have branch switching turned on. If you'd like to turn this off, please submit a help ticket.

Questions? Please email help@ccslib.org.