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Linking to Library Resources: Links to Catalog Items

Linking to items in the library catalog (Polaris) - Introduction

Direct or deep links can be made to single records or groups of records in Polaris. These links can be system-wide (i.e. covering Carroll Community College and Carroll Public Library as well as McDaniel), or, more commonly, limited to Hoover Library materials only.

Deep linking is useful in any number of circumstances, as it allows for custom result lists with no user input, as well as automatic limits to collections or locations, again without requiring user input. It also allows for research guides to link to the record for a specific title, so the user can check if it is in or out and get location information without having to go back to the catalog. For example, inserting the following code into the title box in a book widget (where the ISBN and the title are changed for each specific item) will create a direct link to this title in the PAC:

<A HREF="">Functional neurobiology of aging</A>

The link can also be put into the URL box for the title (just this part: - either way will work.

A number of these links are already in use on the main catalog page:

The Faculty Publications List (using a Series limiter, &by=SE):

The DVD list (using a Collection limiter, COL=):

The types of deep links and their possible construction is detailed below. Note that for all of these, there may be multiple ways to construct a link that does the same thing using differing syntaxes.

Links to Individual Catalog Records

You can find a permalink for an individual item in the catalog from the full record of the item. When you find the item you want to link to, click on the title to bring up the full record. In the box to the right of the record, click on the email icon to bring up a new window.

Copy the URL from the bottom of the new window to paste into your application.

NOTE that if you want to link to an electronic resource that is in the catalog, it is not necessary to use a catalog link. Each item in the catalog that is in electronic format has a direct link to the resource itself:

Right click on this link and choose "Copy link address". That way, a user will go directly to the resource rather than having the extra step of going through the catalog.

You will want to verify that the item still exists before each term, however. As noted in the ebooks linking page, library subscriptions to electronic items are not always permanent.

Types of Deep Links

There are a number of types of deep links that can be created:

Boolean deep links are also possible - a guide to boolean searching in Polaris is here:

Boolean links are often necessary to limit retrieval to only Hoover Library titles (if that is desired). For each type of search, at least one Boolean example is given (as indicated by the &type=Boolean in the URL). Others can be constructed as deeply nested as logic will permit - some experimentation will likely be necessary for complex sets.

Why is my permalink not working?

There can be a number of reasons that a link does not work. The most common one is that the search is not "encoded" - this means that spaces or diacritical marks such as apostrophes cannot be interpreted by the web browser when the URL is clicked. More information on this encoding can be found here: This is most likely to occur in title and subject searches with multiple terms separated by spaces.

Most of the work in constructing permalinks is done in Excel, and there are two utilities that can automate tasks associated with this:

  • ASAP Utilities - a collection of over 300 function shortcuts for Excel
  • URL Tools Add-In for Excel - this addon for Excel provides functions for encoding and decoding text for construction of URLs.

Link by Control Number (MARC 001){control_number},{control_number}, …

Single Control Number:

Separate multiple Control Numbers with a comma:,24354

To limit to Hoover Library:

LINK BY TITLE{url_encoded_title}

Limit to Hoover Library:"Crime and Punishment")+AND+AB=19)&by=KW&sort=RELEVANCE&limit=&query=&page=0

NOTE in the above example that the Boolean stop word "and" in the title necessitates enclosing the entire title in quotes and searching it as a phrase - this applies to any search using a stop word.

Link by Series{url_encoded_series}

Link by Collection

This search can only be done via Boolean, and does not need a location limiter, as collection codes are specific to each library. The default sort (RELEVANCE) can be changed as needed.

Some collections (i.e. eBooks) are quite large, and exceed the 5000 title limit that shows in the PAC, so a direct link to those collections is not very useful. The smaller, more specialized collections, however, can benefit from a direct link.

The advantage to this method of linking is that they run a new search each time the link is clicked, thus the result list is always up-to-date, as opposed to one that is produced by a record set link (below), which is static.{collection_code}&by=KW&sort=RELEVANCE&limit=&query=&page=0

It is also possible to combine a collection level link with other terms such as subject, i.e:

The following list is encoded links to Hoover Library Collections (list accurate as of 11/2015):

Collection Code URL                          
HL Audio Cassette    158
HL Alumni Publications    159
HL Archives     160
HL Atlas     161
HL Bish Collection    162
HL Book     163
HL Popular     164
HL CD     165
HL Davis Collection    166
HL US Government Document (those that are in the catalog)  167
HL DVD     168
HL Folio     169
HL Faculty Publication    170
HL Center for Faculty Excellence Collection 171
HL Honorary/Event Publications    172
HL Interlibrary Loan    173
HL Index     174
HL Juvenile Biography    175
HL Juvenile Fiction    176
HL Juvenile     177
HL MacCornack Collection    178
HL Microform     179
HL Score     180
HL Newspaper     181
HL Internet Resource    182
HL Open Reserves    183
HL Quarto     184
HL Music LP    185
HL Spoken LP    186
HL Reference     187
HL Reserves     188
HL Richwine Collection    189
HL Periodical     190
HL Special Collections    191
HL Stanton Collection    192
HL Video (VHS)    193
HL Ward Collection    194
HL eBook     203
HL ePeriodical (an outlier - all of these are in the A-to-Z list)     204
HL Streaming Video    205

Call Numbers

Call number searching is Boolean only, and can take two forms:

DD= is a Dewey number search that goes against the Dewey number in the 082 field of the MARC record. The syntax for that search is:*+AND+AB=19)&by=KW&sort=RELEVANCE&limit=&query=&page=0

LOCAL= is the locally assigned call number in the 092 field of the MARC record. It is a more effective search, as it is more consistent. The syntax for that search is:*+AND+AB=19)&by=KW&sort=RELEVANCE&limit=&query=&page=0​

Note the presence of the "*" after the call number - this picks up everything after the last digit specified, so searches can be as precise as you need them to be (i.e. if you only want 616.23* not 616.22* or 616.24*) AB=19 limits to Hoover items only.

Also note that electronic items such as ebooks and streaming videos often do not have call numbers assigned (this is dependent on the quality of the incoming records), so they may or may not show up in a call number search, thus a different linking method would be more useful for eBooks or other electronic resources.

Bibliographic Record Set by Control Number

Library Staff Only{bibrecordsetid}

{Where bibrecordsetid is the Polaris control number for the bibliographic record set, found in staff view.}:

A live example is the new items record set that is sent to faculty and staff every month. This set can be found on the catalog main page:

Library catalog capture


NOTE that record sets are static (in that new items will not appear) However, they can be affected by deletions, so that a record that is removed from the system will also be unlinked and removed from a record set). Therefore, this linking method (and linking to a record set by name) is probably only useful on a temporary basis (i.e., if you are manually gathering a number of items with differing collections or formats for a course with a specific end date), or for a display.

If you do use this method (or linking by record set name as shown below), you must add a note to the record set indicating that it is not to be deleted and the end date, so that it is not accidentally removed (as well as removing the record set once it is no longer needed.)

Bibliographic Record Set by Name

Library Staff Only

This is functionally the same as the section above by record set number.{'bibrecordsetname'}

Where bibrecordsetname is the name of the record set, and needs to be enclosed in quotes.

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