Preparing for the onslaught

So the relative blog silence has been brought on by the frenzied preparation for the beginning of the semester. We’ve updated our ILS, which brought about a TON of unforeseen changes (doesn’t it always?). Our vendor, VTLS, pointed out time and time again that our installation was a bit odd…it was originally done by someone very familiar with the software, and he took lots of liberties with the install. This means a LOT of things don’t work for us…directory structures are all wrong, so stuff just often falls apart when you try to run it.

As a consequence of moving to a more standardized install, the URL for our catalog changed.

I’ll say that one more time. The URL to our catalog changed.

Do you have any idea how many freaking things depend on that URL? I certainly do now.


By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

4 replies on “Preparing for the onslaught”

Yep. I know *exactly* where you’re coming from. Get this — when we launched our new endeca-powered OPAC earlier this year, we *chose* to change the URL. That’s right, we did it on purpose. And now, in the mad dash to get our website up-to-date for the Fall, I’m dealing with the ramifications of that choice. So, yeah, I feel your pain.

Yikes! That ranks right up there with changing ISPs – and thus one’s IP range. I do know how many things depend on the URL to your catalog and I feel your pain too!!!!

Rule #1 with VTLS — always update your test server before proceeding to update the production box. It looks like is humming along just fine; I’m guessing it wasn’t updated?

Suggestion #2 — Check the VTLS installation notes I left behind.

Specific suggestion #3 — Two paths that need to be updated with a VTLS upgrade: 1) a symbolic link to the new directory (in /www I think) and 2) check the path in httpd.conf, then restart Apache.

Hope this helps!
A recovering systems librarian

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