Athenaeum is a library management program predominantly for schools, first introduced in 1997 and has been in continual development - driven largely by the user base.
In 2018, Athenaeum was completely rewritten using modern FileMaker and programming techniques with a view to: - creating a "lighter" solution, - optimising performance over wide area networks, for Hosted ("cloud" based) Athenaeum, for FileMaker Cloud, and access from mobile devices - creating a new foundation upon which to add new features.
There have been many internal structural changes and it is now a single file solution*. However, there has been a lot of effort to make the transition from long time users of Athenaeum Pro as easy as possible.
And we now are just calling it "Athenaeum" and dropping the "Pro" moniker. Internally, this version of Athenaeum is version 26 (wow!).
Below is a non-exhaustive list of the changes, in no particular order.
The benefits of a single file—down from 8 (excluding the bar code file) are many. The most obvious benefits to the user are:-
note that we have left the bar code file separate so that your changes are maintained through version upgrades
This is a totally optional feature. If you don't want to specify multiple libraries, Athenaeum will not trouble you additional options.
You can now easily define multiple libraries within a single instance of Athenaeum. Previously, you had "Library" and "not library" or had to define multiple libraries by some arbitrary field such as Location.
"Libraries" are more pervasive and powerful. You may define as many as you like. You may define which libraries are searchable by your library patrons and don't show up in their views. Or, you may restrict your searches and reports to constrain by a specified library.
Libraries are pertinent to:
If no libraries are defined, the the library filters do not appear and are ignored.
Library filters are pop-up menus that are available at the:
Pressing the shift key when initiating Title reports will add a page break by Library.
Any report in title, copy, archive, stock take, issue, history that uses the found set, will already be constrained to the library when the filter is applied.
The catalogue consists of titles and copies. For example, you may have 7 copies of the title "Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix". The library administrator can also catalogue information, such as relevant web links and keep no copies.
Individual copies of a particular title may have their own issue restrictions (not for issue, restricted issue period, restricted to particular types, etc.). Also, all copies of a particular title do not have to belong to a single library.
Athenaeum Pro in the past has generally hidden the Title/Copy relationship.
Athenaeum does not and explicitly exposes these components. You can choose to more easily work with either.
Searching is by title by default, and you can search copies via the title views or the explicit copy views.
When you press the "c" single-key shortcut (to go to the catalogue) you can configure Athenaeum to go to either the Copies list or to the Title list view.
For example: - issues list now has with Return, Extend, Lost, Add fee - copies list can issue, return directly - history list allows you to choose to navigate to the title or the copy
A new explicit Keywords field means you no longer have to use one of your custom fields for this purpose.
The Subjects_copyright field is a subjects field used in default searches but may not be displayed on external views for copyright reasons. E.g. SCIS subjects go here.
Reading level field makes a re-appearance (separate to the borrowing level field) and is intended as an advisory field only.
Each "copy" of a title has its own 4 custom fields.
The start of your year does not have to be 1 January. This will suit northern hemisphere libraries where the school year starts at the end of the northern summer and also provide reporting options to suit accountants preferring to have information starting 1 April, 1 July, etc..
Some filters and reports show fiscal year options IF you specify a year start date that is not 1 January.
note that When you specify a Fiscal Year not starting on 1 January, you can still create calendar year based reports
When running Hosted Athenaeum (our cloud server version) or with your own FileMaker Server (which is what we recommend for local installations), you can configure the server to automatically generate emails first thing each morning. There are a variety of emails, such as:
Each of these can be configured to be generated a specified number of days before or after the due date and can be sent to either email address 1 or 2.
Advanced users can also create their own letter templates and have them sent at the predetermined time before or after the due date
The web search results have been updated reflecting the changes in the structure of the catalogue.
New controls over the styling of the web site accessible directly from Athenaeum rather than having to change a "css" theme located on the web server.
The "blog" (the home page for the web templates) has additional styling options.
You can also add messages
Optional Category filters can show next to the home button, filtering your blog posts by the specified category.
Save your favourite style settings and content for various components and apply these with just a few clicks.
There are no longer default passwords. Everyone gets unique passwords. Sorry.
Configure custom pop-up menus for ratings of reviews. - set ratings to be out of 6,7,8,10 or whatever (was fixed to out of 5 previously) - Instead of a plain number or plain stars, you could use dots, plus signs, emoji, if you like
This is a placeholder for future features.
It's now easier and more obvious how to add multiple genre to a title.
The add genre button pops up a window with your list of genres.
Click the genre you want to add (selected genre are highlighted in red) and click again to deselect the genre.
If there are too many genres to fit in the visible area, simply click the genre and the selected genre will be "checked".
You may now "?" search for copies during issue (however, this can be a bit slow sometimes).
Issuing of items can be triggered in more places - when you are viewing an item you can often directly issue that item.
Default Overdue letters sent by email include a text version and an "html" version which include book cover images of your items.
Most devices can see these images, though some do not show images in emails for security reasons.
Note that the circulation reports "Borrower with overdue header" and "Borrower with recall header" look like personalised letters but are not saved. These can also include book images.
When setting privileges for borrower types, you can now define your own privilege sets. Add privilege set names to convey more obvious and flexible meanings. Extend beyond Fiction/Non-Fiction/Senior Fiction/Senior Non-Fiction/Resource/Other/Audio Visual if you wish. Or reduce the list to something more manageable or appropriate to your installation (e.g. your Sports database doesn't need all of the privilege sets).
For example, you might create privileges like "Adult Fiction", "Restricted Language Resource" or "Chromebook". You can then assign title entries these privileges and then configure your borrower types appropriately.
You can also change the name of existing privilege sets, which updates the borrower type and title privileges automatically.
New Filter menu for reserve lists: - new "due expire" button - "In" filters lists reserves that are back from circulation - "Out" filter lists reserves that are still out
Can now be generated for: - all time - last month - last 3 months - last 6 months - last year
depending upon your network, it is possible for some of the quick stats to be not so quick 😀
The menus across the top of each module have been enhanced. The issue commands from the Athenaeum menu have been copied down to an explicit issue menu.
On the circulation toolbar, the email options have been broken out into a separate menu.
The Navigation menu accessible most places by pressing the "N" shortcut (not just from the main menu).
The fee popover in the circulation list easier to track one or more fees generated by an issue. It is now more obvious if creating additional fees for a particular issue.
The duplication feature has been streamlined.
Click the widget next to the copy you wish to duplicate and click the duplicate button.
Then specify the number of copies and the starting bar code number (if the prompted bar code start is not correct).
Bar code generation and printing for both of the catalogue and borrowers are moved to a separate utility file
You can specify two default bar code print layout for both catalogue and borrowers, making it quicker to select your favourite layouts.
This utility file can be used by multiple copies of Athenaeum.
Just for fun, you can embed the web search on the desktop client search screen! ↩
The borrower privilege does not define the item as “fiction”, “non-fiction”, etc. Rather it makes the statement: “when issuing this item, Athenaeum will count it as the specified type and compare it to the number of that type that the borrower is allowed” ↩
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