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The Library Simplified platform provides support for External Catalogs via the Circulation Patron Web (CW) catalog application and MARC Record Export feature of the Circulation Manager.  The Circulation Patron Web application is required as an integration path into 3rd Party Catalogs and content discovery applications via an MARC Record 856 record URL.  This URL resolves to the CPW titles Book Detail View in the CPW app so. that a patron can borrow or download content. 

ILS Limitations

Traditional ILS systems and Discovery platforms that provide a Web Catalogs require metadata ingest via MARC Records as opposed to more programmatic ingest from platform APIs or open protocols such as OPDS (the protocol used by the SimlyE App and Circulation Manager).  Therefore the Circulation Manager accommodates the use of MARC records as a metadata exchange format for content aggregated by SimplyE so it can be included in a libraries discover interface or ILS Catalog application.


Install and configure the Circulation Patron Web application.  See installation guide.

Next set up a external Storage Service.  See How-to Article - Admin - Storage

Now you can set up an External Catalog integration via MARC record Export.

Configure External Catalog Service

To export MARC Records from the circulation Manager, you’ll need to set up an `External Catalog` service using the protocol “MARC Export”. This is how the Circulation Manager thinks about your ILS: an external service with which it never interacts directly, but for which it’s supposed to regularly generate MARC files.

Here’s a configured External Catalog service:

An External Catalog service has an optional field called “MARC Mirror”. Set this to point to the Storage service you created in the previous step.

Even though we’ve created four Storage services in this example (“marc storage”, “second marc storage”, “cover storage”, and “book storage”), the only options in the screenshot above are the two Storage services with a value for “MARC File Bucket”. You can’t associate a Storage service with a MARC export if there’s nowhere for the MARC files to go.

Configuring individual libraries

An External Catalog service can have any number of libraries associated with it. You’ll need to add each library whose MARC records you want to be uploaded to the Storage service. Otherwise the External Catalog service won’t know which libraries need their MARC records generated, and it won’t do anything.

When you add a library to an External Catalog service, you’ll have the opportunity to set some optional configuration fields. You can configure how often MARC records should be regenerated for that particular library, and customize what data should go into the MARC records.

When does the export happen?

A script that runs once a day at 1 AM local time goes through each configured External Catalog service, generates any MARC files that need to be generated, and uploads them to the configured Storage service for that External Catalog service.

This means that the first night after you configure a new External Catalog service, MARC records for each associated library will be generated and uploaded to your Storage service. MARC files for each library will be regenerated as necessary. If you use the default update frequency of 30 days, the script will still run once a day, but twenty-nine days out of thirty it will do nothing.

If you need to run the script manually, you can find it as `bin/cache_marc_files`. Note that this won’t force MARC records to be regenerated. If you want to force MARC records to be regenerated and re-uploaded, pass the `--force` option in to `bin/cache_marc_files`.

MARC Organization code

If your library has a MARC organization code (, you may include it to identify your library as the originator of the MARC records.

If you want patrons to be able to borrow and download from your ILS, you’ll need to configure a base URL for the web catalog. The web catalog is a separate application [documentation link needed]. Once this URL is configured, each MARC record will have an 856 field with a link to a page where a patron can borrow the book.

Other MARC fields

You can optionally configure the exported records to include summaries in the 520 field. You can also include Library Simplified genres in the 650 field. Note that Library Simplified uses a custom set of genres that are optimized for browsing, and we don’t currently support more standard subject headings like LC or BISAC.

Downloading the files

You can download the most recent MARC files generated by your Circulation Manager by taking the base URL for your library and appending `/marc`. This will show you a list of links to the MARC files as hosted in the S3 bucket you configured.

As an example, see on NYPL’s Circulation Manager. (NYPL doesn’t use the MARC Export feature, so there are no MARC files for download here; this is just to show you what the URL looks like.)

[screenshot needed]

The page has two types of MARC files - full exports and incremental exports. The full exports will contain MARC records for every book the library currently has, but the incremental exports will only contain books that were added or updated since the previous export. Separate files are available for different lanes, or for the full library.