Sunday, March 1, 2009

New Catalog/Login URL: "catalog.wccls.org"

If you're trying to search the library catalog or access your patron account and you get a "Service Unavailable" message or some other error, try this:
  1. Look at the URL line in your web browser where you see website addresses. (They all start with "http://".)
  2. Does the URL begin with "http://www.wccls.org/polaris"?
  3. If so, replace the "www" with "catalog" so that is says "http://catalog.wccls.org/polaris".
  4. Try searching or logging in again.
We upgraded our library software last week--I know, I know, when it's not working for you, it feels more like a downgrade, but anyway...

Part of the upgrade process meant changing the URL. I tried to set up as many automatic detours from the old URL to the new as I could think of, but some bookmarks and Internet Favorites still slip through. So try the above. If it works, set a new bookmark or Internet Favorite.

We've also been hearing from patrons who back in the old days (two weeks ago) could go to the login page and have their barcodes and passwords entered automatically for them by their browser. It won't do that anymore. What gives?

I would've thought that when the URL changed, your browser would ask you again if you wanted to save your password for this site. (My did. Natch.)

I'm still working through this one, but with so many computers and configurations out there, it would help a lot of you would drop me a line at webmaster@wccls.org:
  • Tell me which version of whose browser you use.
  • If you're not sure, click on the Help menu at the top of the web browser window and select "About."
  • It should tell which version of whose browser you're using.
The details help a lot!

Finally, the online catalog is noticeably flaky since the upgrade, throwing lots of errors, intermittent and not fatal, but confusing and annoying. Our vendor, Polaris Library Systems, is looking into it, and I'm hoping we'll have a solution really, really soon.

In the meantime, if a wordy, strange-looking error pops up during a search, often you can just click the refresh button, say yes to posting the data again, and the search will run successfully the second time.

On the other hand, if you're putting something on hold, or renewing, or doing something else involving your patron account, it's a good idea to stop and check your account to see what really happened before you renew the same book twice.

Upgrading an entire library system is not for the faint-hearted. Thanks for your patience, and please feel free to send questions to webmaster@wccls.org.