Label substitution

Most content (i.e. the words and images) that appear on your Athenaeum web search and blog comes from inside Athenaeum (mostly from the catalogue, blog or circulation).

However, some content is "static" and is stored inside the web templates themselves, such as the label text identifying each piece of information, or the text inside the navbar:

examples of static text

Until now, you have not been able to change this static content.

Why change labels?

Wrong terminology for your library

Say, for example, that your library no longer uses the Dewey Decimal system, but rather you use your own genre based system.

So instead of cataloguing "The New Zealand Wars" by Ross Calman at 993.02, you might prefer to catalogue it under "NZ Wars" or maybe "TÅ«matauenga". In that case, having "TÅ«matauenga" in the dewey field might look funny as it is clearly not a dewey number (0-999.999999).

this looks funny because it's not "Dewey"


The Athenaeum web templates use English.

What if you wanted to adjust the labels to use a different language? Te Reo Maori? Samoan? Awarbakal?

And what if you wanted to do this only temporarily.

Athenaeum build 1272 along with updated Athenaeum web search and blog templates (build 52) introduces a labels feature that allows a level of customisation.

What this is

With this, you can:

  • change some or all of the default labels
  • add an optional set of labels in a different language that can be chosen by users or your web site
  • have some fun with your library patrons

What this is not

This is not a translation service. This feature does not do translations, it simply substitutes certain text on the web pages. The content pulled from Athenaeum is not affected. If your Athenaeum content is in English, or it uses a word that matches a label that you have substituted, it is not affected.

The substitutions make no assumptions about context nor cultural sensitivity. That is the realm of you - the library manager - to apply appropriate terminology for your situation. And as many library terms are "jargon" peculiar to libraries, you will have to decide what is appropriate.

How to get this


You will need at least build 1272 of Athenaeum.

Look at the very bottom left of the main menu to see your build number, contact us if you have no build number or you are not updated.

build number is left most number

Web search and blog templates

You also will need the latest build of the web templates (build 52).

The version of the web templates is shown in the foot

Hosted Athenaeum users have this. Hosted KAMAR users who have their web search and blog templates hosted with SumWare Consulting also have this.

We will otherwise need to speak with your IT staff to have the templates installed (this is a very quick process).

Of course, you will need a current support agreement.

Creating your substitutions

You can create 1 or more sets of substitutions.

Go to your Blog and then click the Styles button at the top:

Click the Labels button on the left:

There are no labels information so click the "Add Set" button

You must give the set a name.

Use any appropriate name. If you have multiple visible sets, then this name will appear in a drop down list.

Example 1 - change one default value.

Let's assume you want to change the link back to the library home page. Currently, the button in the navigation bar is labelled "Home".

Your page might look something like this - your colours and content will be different from the filler text and images used here:

Maybe you want to change that to "Library Blog".

To do this, we will create a set called "English", make it the default and only add an entry for "Home".

If you don't have a set called "English", then add that set now. Athenaeum adds place holders for all of the available substitutions.

empty substitutions

On the left is the name of the list "English". The middle list has the list of words that can be substituted. These are grey, because no substitutions have been entered. To the right of each word is the place to enter your substitution.

Scroll down the list until you see Home and click and type over the substitution to its right. When you click out of the field, both "Home" and your substitution will be in Black text to indicate that it will be stored.

Now click the "Default" check box next to the name of the Set:

Click the Save button at the top of the window to save and close it:

This adds two entries in the correct format into your themes:

You don't really need to worry about what is in there, Athenaeum formats the information for you.

Now reload your library home page. (You must go back to the home page to force the update. Simply reloading the page does not necessarily work.)

the name of the home button successfully changed

note: Sometimes you don't immediately see changes because web browsers (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, etc.) don't immediately retrieve the full page from the web server, but rather use their local "cache". If you see this, try quitting and restarting your web browser.

Example 2 - change multiple default values

This is exactly the same as example 1, except you can add your own substitutions.

The most obvious substitutions are in the Navbar so let's change those.

As before, click the Labels button in the styles screen to show the labels. We are going to adjust the "English" set we created earlier, so make sure "labels for English" is showing in large text at the top.

If it is not showing, simply click on the word "English" on the left.

The available substitutions are sorted in alphabetical order.

Make the following substitutions:

label substitution
Home Library Blog
Quicksearch Fast Find
Detailsearch Power Search
Login Log on

note: in the screen shot below, the unused entries were deleted to save space here - it doesn't matter if you delete empty values or not

Click save and then go back to the home page of your library web site. You should see:

Example 3 - Use your updated navbar, but don't make it the default

The previous two examples set a default that changed the labels unconditionally. If you want to give your library patrons choice, you can uncheck the "default" check box AND change the name to something other than "English" by clicking on the word English and overtyping.

Here, it has been renamed "Alternate":

Click the save button and the go back to your web browser and reload the home page:

"Labels" appears in the navbar and you now have the "Alternate" label option to choose from and you can reset the labels back to their default. Library Patrons can switch between the two.

Example 4 - add some additional language labels

You can have multiple label sets, which might be languages used in your library environment or maybe you wish to encourage a few language terms.

In New Zealand, you might have English, Maori and Samoan choices, if that is appropriate.

Note that there may not be translations for every label, because many of the labels are library "jargon". For example, "ISBN" is an abbreviation of the English words "International Standard Book Number" and is likely the same in many languages.

To add a language, click the labels button, click "add set" and enter a name for the label set.

The name that you add is what appears in the drop down menu, and upper/lower case is preserved.

Now, you can add each substitution as appropriate. The examples here are not definitive, just a best guess for this documentation:

When you click save and reload the web site home page, your new label options are available.

note that case is always preserved - here the label substitutions were entered as lower case - you need to decide if that fits with the appearance of the rest of your web site

Right to left languages

Athenaeum is quite flexible with text entry. So not only can accent characters like Macrons be used, you can also use right-to-left languages such as Arabic.

Example 5 - It's the end of the year

Let's say it's end of year or maybe April Fool's day and you want to have a bit of fun.

You could load cryptic labels or random words just for fun. The buttons will all still work just fine, though your library patrons might have trial and error a bit.

just a bit of fun

Miscellaneous Notes

Default label set

This does not have to be the "English" set (though the web page will try and process an "English" label set in a particular way if it is the only set).

Deleted labels

If you accidentally delete a substitution by clicking the red "x", click the "add default labels" button at the top to restore the missing default labels.

List of substitution labels


  1. "blog" is a term that appeared in 1999 and is a contraction of "web log" (that is, I'm posting my daily log to the web) and refers to a website that contains online personal reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks, videos, and photographs provided by the writer to their audience. 

  2. the popular link that used to be in the navbar is now deprecated and replaced by the optional custom lists menu. If necessary, it can be re-instated with a "navbar=" or a custom "widget=" blog post. 

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