In Populi Library, a Resource is information about a particular item available in your Library. They cannot be checked out, reserved, transferred, etc. To loan out resources, you need to add copies or digital resources—say, MP3 files to a music resource, or a PDF to an article resource.
Copies are the actual, physical artifacts available somewhere on your shelves, whether available for loan, reserve, transit... or not at all. Resources can exist without particular copies (digital assets like photographs, for instance), but copies cannot exist apart from a particular resource.
Adding new resources
To start adding new resources, go to Catalog > Add Resources. Adding resources is designed to let you quickly enter basic resource information—such as Title, Author, Type, ISBN, etc. Once a resource is created, you can easily add any of dozens of other information fields by going to the resource page. There are three ways to enter new resources:
- Use a barcode scanner to enter a standardized code (ISBN, UPC, etc.) and search various resource databases
- Enter the resource by hand
- Import a MaRC record
Before you add resources, make sure you've set up your Libraries and Locations first. Your resources need a home!
Search/Scan for a New Resource
Enter one of the accepted codes (or scan a barcode with such a code) and click Search or hit your Enter key. If Populi Library can locate the code among the the various databases it searches (usually Amazon.com, unless it's disabled), it will produce some basic resource information. After that, you can begin uploading digital resources and entering copies.
Enter the Resource by Hand
If you're entering a resource by hand, at minimum you'll need to enter a title. You can also upload an image, select the type, and enter a replacement price.
If you have a MaRC record to import...
- Upload the file.
- Review the imported resource information. Populi sometimes needs a few minutes to crunch through large MARC files; once it's done, it will email you a link to the review screen.
- Select a location to which you'll import these resources.
- Check/uncheck resources you'd like to import.
- When you're ready, click Import Records.
- After the records are imported, you can begin adding resource copies on each item's resource page.
Once you've created the resource, you can add copies, information fields, and modify existing information fields by hovering over them and clicking edit.
Images: Hover over the resource image and click Edit. Choose a file from your computer (Populi accepts image files with the .jpg or .png extension) and Save.
Digital resources: Click Upload Files. Choose the file(s) you'd like to include and click Done. After uploading files...
- Your patrons can view/play and download the files.
- Your patrons can download a .ZIP file of all of the files.
- Re-order the files: click Edit next to Digital resources available and drag the files into the order you'd prefer.
Deleting: If you need to, click Delete Resource to erase all records of the resource. This includes:
- All resource copies
- Any digital resources you've uploaded to it
- The resource history—including loans, holds, fines, and reviews
Your students and other users at your school can recommend this resource, read and post reviews, and place holds.
- Go to the resource page. Under the digital resources and any existing copies, click Add a copy.
- Enter the Call #, scan/enter the Barcode, and enter a Purchase Price. If barcode auto-generation is enabled (check Library Settings), Populi will auto-fill the barcode field with the next available barcodes. If this resource was imported from a MaRC record, some of this information may already be filled in.
- Next, select the Home Library, Location, and Status.
- When you're done, click Save.
Repeat these steps for each copy. Each copy gets its own page, where you can...
- Leave notes
- Edit the copy's details and information
- Mark it Lost or Damaged
- Delete the copy
Using a Barcode Scanner
While you can manually fill in any field in Library, a barcode scanner makes entering and checking Resources a lot simpler. They have two main benefits:
Speed: Scanning an item takes a second; typing and searching might get tedious—especially with a pile of Resources to take care of.
Accuracy: Scanning an item keeps keystroke errors from slowing you down (or causing problems later on).
Populi works with USB keyboard emulator scanners. Your computer regards such devices as a keyboard; their inputs are entered into Populi just like a fast, accurate typist was sitting at the keyboard. There are numerous makes and models starting around $40 apiece. For what it's worth, we use a Unitech MS180 barcode scanner for our internal testing purposes. If you can't find this exact model, there are many similar entry-level devices you could use instead.