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Technical News

As the preferred, state-of-the-art print and digital educational resource provider, we are constantly striving to enhance your experience at Mackin every time you visit. Look here to read the latest on what’s new on Mackin.com and MackinVIA.com.

MackinVIA Updates

03/21/17
Notebook, Ratings, DOGObooks and More

MackinVIA.com

Notebook Improvements – In a previous release, updates were made to the Notebook feature. This release includes more refinements of the redesigned MackinVIA Notebook including:

  • Dynamic search filter for searching within notes
  • Print and export options added back to Notebook page for Google Drive, OneDrive
  • Sync tool refreshes Notebook to include newly taken notes
  • “Show More” or “Show Less”  allows user to view or hide portions of longer notes

 

notebook

Ratings Filter – Users will have the ability to filter MackinVIA resources by Rating, including an option to view resources with DOGObooks Reviews.

ratings filter

DOGO Shortcut – Resources with DOGObooks Reviews are clearly indicated in search results with a linked icon. Clicking it will open the Reviews tab on the Title Details page to allow easier access to the DOGObooks content.

DOGObooks shortcut

 

Assignments Sort Options – Students who have redeemed assignments have more sort options on their Assignments page. Author A-Z, Author Z-A, Oldest Assignment and Newest Assignment (based on start date) have been added.

assignments-sort

MackinVIA Admin

Integrations Page – As we continue to add integration options for MackinVIA, the Integration information formerly found in the Integrations Panel under General Settings has been relocated to its own new page under Settings.

Integrations page

Reading Information – We have received many requests for the ability to add reading information to resources added to MackinVIA using the Add/Edit feature. This is now possible using a new panel containing fields for the following: Interest Grade Level, Reading Grade Level, Lexile Code/Level, and Fountas & Pinnell.

Reading Information panel

01/17/17
Notebook, Usage, Widget, Clone and More

 MackinVIA.com

Notebook – The highlight of this release is the reorganization of the MackinVIA Notebook. Rather than present a list of resources that contain notes and require the user to drill into the resource to view the notes, the new Notebook lists all of the notes in a single view. Three new filters allow notes to be organized by color, date or resource.

notebook

General Note – Users may also create a General Note, which is a note that is not associated to a highlight in a Mackin-hosted eBook. This can be a note added about any type of resource including Mackin-hosted, publisher-hosted, a website or even a printed resource.

general note

My Notes & Highlights tab – The More Info page for resources has a new tab for viewing, editing and adding notes to the Notebook. A General Note created on this screen will be associated to this title.

my notes and highlights

Other – Two enhancements in this release will help to streamline the login experience:

 Clever “Admin” role – For districts using Clever SSO, we’ve made an adjustment to recognize “Admin” users and treat them as teachers. Previously, these login attempts failed.

 “Select a School” – For districts using any OAuth2 SSO solution (Clever, ClassLink, Google, Destiny, etc) users with role of Staff will be placed into the school account to which they are associated. They are free to switch schools as needed using the “Change” link in VIA. This is a correction to the bug that always placed Staff into the first school in the subdomain alphabetically.

MackinVIA Admin

“All Resource Types” Usage – When running Usage reports, a new option exists to select all resource types in one report. This will make it much easier for administrators wanting to assess combined usage for all materials in their VIA account.

all usage

Widget – On the General Settings page, we’ve made the Widget feature smarter. It now recognizes subdomains and also adds a code to preselect the school.

widget

Clone Assignment – For group managers and administrators wanting to easily duplicate assignments, a new “Clone” feature is available. Clicking the “Clone” button preselects the resource, number of copies and instructions for a new assignment. Dates will still need to be selected.

close

Please note, the members of an existing assignment are NOT cloned to the new assignment. A new code will be created for the cloned assignment. It is not possible to reuse codes.

clone form

Other – Two changes were made to reduce confusion for administrators: 

  • Suppress Delete and Edit buttons – when full administrators are managing groups, Delete and Edit are no longer visible. There was concern that displaying those buttons gave the wrong impression that deleting and editing was in the context of the group, which is not the case.
  • Deleting images – When we implemented the ability to upload images for self-added titles and also for groups, there was not an easy way to delete the image once it was uploaded. Now it can easily be deleted.

delete image

11/07/16
MLA8, Deep Discovery Search, Assignments, Google Classroom and More

MackinVIA.com

Change your MackinVIA – For districts integrated with a single sign-on solution, staff members with access to multiple accounts can easily move to another MackinVIA by clicking the “Change” link next to the school name. A dialog window will open containing links to the other MackinVIA accounts within their district/sub-domain. This feature is available now for access through the browser. Access from the MackinVIA app is coming soon.

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Availability Filter – This new Advanced Search filter eliminates unavailable titles from your search results. It’s a quick way to see the titles available for opening or checking out.

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MLA8 Citation format – EasyBib recently began offering this new citation format. MLA7 also remains in use. EasyBib explains the difference between the two formats here: https://www.easybib.com/guides/citation-guides/mla-8/mla-7-vs-mla-8/

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Export to Office 365 OneDrive – Similar to the Export to Google Drive feature, Export to OneDrive gives patrons the option to save notes to their Office 365 OneDrive account. Office 365 applications are offered free of charge to students and staff. Learn more here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/education/products/office/default.aspx?v=2

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Scroll position and back-to-top arrow –The scroll position refers to the experience of clicking on “More Info” to see the title details, clicking the back arrow and returning to the previous position on the page. In the past, users would have been taken back to the top.

Also, to make it easier to get to the top of the page after loading more resources, users will notice a small green arrow on the right side of the page. Click it to return to the top to access searching and filtering options.

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Deep Discovery Search on the Links page – Deep Discovery Search is now available on the Links page. This will allow users to search the contents of popular sites such as Khan Academy and DK Findout! We’ve made an effort to build connectors for all the free links that are available in the Free Resource Links promotion. Our current connectors include:

  •  www.awesomestories.com
  •  www.biography.com
  •  search.credoreference.com
  •  www.dkfindout.com
  •  eric.ed.gov
  •  www.findingdulcinea.com
  •  www.howstuffworks.com
  •  www.khanacademy.org
  •  www.nationalgeographic.com
  •  www.ted.com
  •  www.schooltube.com
  • www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/

Volume Number in a series – We’ve enhanced the Title Details screen to display the Volume Number for titles in a series. Volume Number indicates the title’s number in a series. In the example below, this particular title is volume six in the series “The Boxcar Children Graphic Novels.”

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Group image – It is now possible to upload an image to a Group. Whether it is a picture of the teacher or an image of a rocket for the NASA group, a new Group image uploader is available in the MackinVIA administrative tools. Once uploaded, the image displays alongside the Group Name on the Groups page.

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Instructions images – The Instructions editor within the MackinVIA administrative tools has been enhanced to support images. When images are uploaded into instructions for Groups or Assignments, they display for students when they access those instructions in MackinVIA.

MackinVIA Admin

Google Classroom Share button – For those schools utilizing Google Classroom, MackinVIA administrators can enable a new integration. Go to Settings > General, and click on the Integrations panel to enable this integration. Once enabled, Full Administrators and Group Managers can post MackinVIA resources, Groups, Assignments and Categories to their Class Assignments and Announcements in Google Classroom. After clicking the button, the user will be prompted to log in to Google Classroom and select their class.

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Availability Filter – When looking at listing of resources, click the “Available” advanced search filter to narrow your search results to available items or unavailable items. Please note: This is different from the patron experience on mackinvia.com where the filter only narrows to available items.

Deleted Resources – Full Administrators now have the ability to delete resources from their collection and view a list of deleted resources that may be eligible to restore to the collection. To delete a resource, click the red Delete button and confirm the action in the warning dialog.

To restore a resource, go to Resources > Deleted Resources. Click the Restore button.

Please note: if the resource was self-added, it cannot be restored. Usage information will be lost.

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Go To Student VIA – We’ve restored the ability for Group Managers to access the Go To Student VIA option in the menu on the top right of the screen.

Volume Number – The Volume Number has been appended to the Series Title to indicate the title’s position in a series. In the example below, Blue Bay Mystery is number six in the series.

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Deep Discovery Search options – Full Administrators have control over Deep Discovery Search by going to Settings > General and clicking on the Search Options panel. Here we distinguish between eBooks and Databases and Links. The Deep Discovery Search feature is disabled by default

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Assignments option –Assignments is now enabled for all accounts and so an option to deactivate is in place. Full Administrators must go to Settings > General and click on the Display Options panel to deactivate this feature.

Learn more about Assignments here: https://www.mackin.com/corp/mackinvia-assignments/

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Fetch Data button – When adding a link or video to MackinVIA, a “Fetch Data” button will appear next to the Resource URL field. Click this button to initiate a metadata scan of the site. Our system searches for pertinent information to fill in the fields on the Add New Resource screen. It’s a great shortcut for easily adding new resources to MackinVIA. In the example for Project Gutenberg, the Fetch Data function collected the title, publisher, description, several keywords and an image.

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Not Assignable – Now that Assignments has been rolled out to all customers, we wanted to make it clear which resources could be assigned. When choosing a resource for an assignment, the system will either display the “Assign It” button or the words “Not Assignable” for resources that are not eligible such as 26 Checkout titles.

Learn more about Assignments here: https://www.mackin.com/corp/mackinvia-assignments/

Embed Video option – When adding a video resource to MackinVIA, if video is on a platform with supported embedding (e.g. youtube.com), an option will be displayed to embed it on the title details page (choose Yes) or open in a new window (choose No). Current supported video platforms are YouTube, Vimeo, SchoolTube, and EduVision.

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Images for Groups – Images can now be uploaded to go along with your Group. Students will be able to see it next to the Group when accessing it on MackinVIA.

  • New Groups: click Create New Group, fill in the fields, then click on the Group Image panel to choose the image file and upload
  • Existing Groups: click the Edit button for the appropriate Group and click the Group Image panel to choose the image file and upload

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Images in Instructions – The tool used to create instructions for Groups and Assignments now includes an image uploader. This will be very useful for instructions that require a visual aid.

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Platform License Agreement – This document is now linked in the footer menu of the Administrative tools. It describes how MackinVIA and the resources in it are intended for educational use.

08/30/16
DOGOnews Feed, Database Deep Search, Embedded Video and More

MackinVIA.com

DOGOnews Feed – We are excited to unveil this new service, a complimentary offering from our partners at DOGO Media. The DOGOnews feed is the leading source for news and non-fictional content for Science, Social Studies and Current Events. Vetted news articles and new original content is added daily by the DOGOnews editorial staff. Please note:  The feed will be available by default to all customers on the Home screen. It can be deactivated by an administrator.

0816_01

Database Deep Search- (Beta) –Searching through educational databases on MackinVIA is easier than ever with this new feature. Entering a search term on the Database’s page directs the system to submit that query to all participating database products purchased through Mackin, to simultaneously and display the result count. This saves the end user many steps if they were to visit each of those databases and execute searches.

Here’s how Database Deep Search works:

  1. Log in to your MackinVIA account
  2. Go to the Databases page
  3. Enter a search term in the “Search Inside Databases” field – for example, “Ulysses Grant”
  4. The system will submit that search to all participating databases. At this time, the feature works with Britannica products and ABC-Clio products. Rosen databases will be added soon.
  5. The result counts begin to display as they are returned from the database search endpoints
  6. Click “Show Results” to view a sampling of articles that match the search
  7. Clicking on an article title will open that database article in a new tab

Please note:  Database Deep Search is “Inactive” by default. It cannot be activated unless the MackinVIA account contains database products that participate. Migrated databases do not work with Deep Search.

0816_02

eBook Deep Search ‘Best Match’ – We’ve improved the eBook Deep Search experience by adding a Best Match sort option. This ensures the top results are the most relevant. The system will always default to that sort when Deep Search is activated. Please note:  eBook Deep Search, which offers the ability to search within the text of eBooks, is now available to all MackinVIA accounts. It has been in beta testing for several months. Activating this feature can be done in the Administrator program.

0816_03

My Notebook ‘Newest’ – A new sort option is available in My Notebook that brings the titles containing the newest notes to the top of the page. This makes it much easier for students to quickly access their most recently added notes.

Embedded Video – For certain video hosting platforms such as Vimeo, MackinVIA supports embedding the video player directly on the Title Details page as opposed to opening a new browser window or tab.

0816_04

MackinVIA Admin

Managing the DOGOnews Feed – The DOGOnews feed is available to all MackinVIA accounts. However, it must be activated to display on the Home Page. Its position and audience can also be adjusted. Go to the MackinVIA Administrator program, go to Settings > Home Page.

0816_05

Search Options Panel – New search options have been added to MackinVIA, so a new panel was created to consolidate those options into one section. Go to Settings > General, and click on the Search Options panel.

eBook and Database Deep Search Options – Included in the new Search Options panel are new options to enable these options. Please note, if the MackinVIA account does not contain databases that are currently integrated with Deep Search, the option will be disabled.

0816_06

Backpack Management for External Authentication Customers – We’ve made two changes to ensure Backpack data for customers utilizing external authentication (LDAP, SAML, Google, etc.) cannot alter the data. First, the backpack import option is hidden on these accounts. Second, the Backpack data cannot be edited except for the Email and the Language preference.

Homepage Customization Available for All Customers – Formerly in beta testing, this feature is now rolling out to everyone. Go to Settings > Home Page to see the various options available to create, activate and arrange the carousels for a custom display of the Home Page.

07/21/16
LTI Integration, Improved Design Features, Compatibility and More

MackinVIA.com

LTI Integration – MackinVIA is now positioned to make our resources available in learning management systems such as Schoology and Canvas. The programming is complete. Within weeks we will be officially LTI compliant through a certification process conducted by IMS Global. More details and training opportunities coming soon!

Load More – Rather than paging forward and backward with arrows, users will click or tap the “Load More Resources” button to see the next set of resources in their MackinVIA search result.

0716_01

DOGObooks Ratings and Reviews – DOGObooks has agreed to remove both the “Buy Book” and “Borrow Book” buttons from their website for visitors from MackinVIA.com. This will eliminate any possible confusion.

New Back Arrow Button – When opening a group or category, and viewing a full record of a resource within that category or group, a new back arrow button is displayed and the name of the group or category remains at the top of the page.

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MackinVIA Reader

Improved Synchronization of Notes – When users add, edit or delete notes in the reader, changes will now flow more quickly and reliably to the Notebook on MackinVIA.com. The reverse is also true. Changes made in the Notebook will flow more quickly and reliably to the Reader.

Support for Spanish Language Interface (Web Reader Only) – This release includes changes to support a Spanish Language version of the buttons and labels in the Reader interface. We are still working on the translations, but they should be ready by the school year. This will mean that users who opted to change the MackinVIA interface to Spanish will see the same language preference in the reader interface. Please note: this does not mean the text of the resource will be rendered in Spanish, only the buttons and labels of the reader.

Windows App Compatibility with Destiny Integration – Toward the end of the school year we learned that the Windows app was not accessible for MackinVIA users authenticated by the Destiny integration. This release includes a fix for that issue.

MackinVIA Admin

New menu – More and more features and management screens have been added to VIA Admin over the last two years. This new feature makes it more logical and more scalable.

Notable changes include:

  • New Circulation tab is first on the menu
  • New Classroom tab includes Assignments and Groups
  • Subscriptions menu item is under the Reports tab, along with Usage
  • New Marketplace tab contains links to renewing expired subscriptions as well as purchasing product on Mackin.com
  • Settings tab has been relocated to the far right of the menu
  • Help has been relocated to the top right corner next to Logout

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Resource Type display names – Do you prefer “Ebooks” to eBooks or “Research Sites” to Databases? Administrators will now have the option to change the display name of resource types on the General Settings screen in a new panel, “Resource Types.”

Default Sort options by resource type – On the same panel as resource type display names can be changed, administrators can adjust the default sorts for each resource type.

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Integrations panel – Administrators can find important integration information in a new “Integrations” panel on the General Settings page. It contains Referring URL information, LTI information as well as the Renaissance Place ID field needed to enable the Accelerated Reader integration.

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English/Spanish Backpack Setting – Administrators now have the ability to set the Language preference for an individual Backpack User.

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05/10/16
Tile View, DOGObooks Ratings & Reviews, Related Resources and More!

MackinVIA.com

Tile View – Users can now click or tap a button to toggle from List View to Tile View when viewing results. Many of our customers believe showing more cover images on the screen is more attractive and enticing to students.

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DOGObooks Ratings and Reviews – Through a partnership with DOGObooks, we are introducing student reviews to MackinVIA. These can be found on the bottom of the Title Details page for applicable resources. Administrators have the option of enabling this feature in the MackinVIA display settings.

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Spanish Language view – This new feature allows users to change the MackinVIA interface from English to Spanish. The setting is found in the user’s Profile. It affects buttons, labels and navigation, but it DOES NOT change the resource information or the language of the resources. The intention is to make the site easier to use for Spanish speakers.

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Users can also change the language displayed on the login page. However, this does not change after logging in. Please note, administrators have the option of selecting Spanish as the default language, which would affect the Guest login and any Backpack user who did not already select a language preference.

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Available Copies – A common request from customers has been to bring back the number of available copies for single-user titles in MackinVIA results.

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Related Resources – It is now possible for administrators to add related resource links using the Add/Edit feature. Related links can be websites or activities, anything with a unique URL. When those related links are added to a resource, they will be displayed on the Title Details page.

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MackinVIA Admin

Delete Expired Subscriptions – Expired subscriptions cluttering up the Subscription Manager page can now be deleted. An “are you sure?” message is displayed alerting the user that deleting the subscription cannot be undone.

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DOGObooks option – Administrators that prefer to display the DOGObooks Ratings and Reviews can do so on the Settings page in the Display Options panel.

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English/Spanish Default Setting – Administrators that prefer to set the MackinVIA interface to Spanish Language can do so on the Settings page in the Display Options panel.

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Add/Edit Related Resource – This feature allows helpful related resource links along with friendly text to be added to title information. The links will be displayed to patrons on the Title Details page. Mackinvia.com links are not allowed. Please note, the friendly text for the related links is indexed for searching purposes.

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Provided By Column, Field and Filter – On each resource in MackinVIA it will be indicated which entity provided the resource.

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Usage also includes a sortable “Provided By” column.

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There is also a new filter to narrow results by the provider.

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District Column on Usage Reports – This new column indicates the district of the VIA account for “All VIAs” Usage Reports.

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Notifications “On” by default for Full Admins – To make sure Full Administrators are aware of Subscriptions and Added Resources, the Notifications feature will be turned On by default when new administrators are added or group managers are elevated.

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04/27/16
Admin Notifications

Notification of New Resources Added to MackinVIA

If this notification is enabled, you will receive an email at the start of each week with a listing of the digital resources that have been added to your school’s MackinVIA during the previous 7 days.

Subscription Expiration Notification

If this notification is enabled, you will receive an email at the start of each month highlighting which of your digital subscription resources are approaching expiration in the coming months, or that have recently expired.  This allows you to stay on top of expiration dates for the resources purchased from Mackin and plan for renewals and request renewal quotes.

Notifications

04/14/16
Mackin Signs Student Privacy Pledge

Mackin Educational Resources, a long-time advocate of teachers, librarians, and students, recently signed the Student Privacy Pledge sponsored by The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).

By doing so, Mackin reaffirms its commitment to “safeguard student privacy regarding the collection, maintenance, and use of student personal information.” It joins several other K-12 education technology companies that also share the same concerns and responsibilities.

  • The Student Privacy Pledge signees are held accountable to:
  • Not sell student information
  • Not behaviorally target advertising
  • Use data for authorized education purposes only
  • Not change privacy policies without notice or choice
  • Enforce strict limits on data retention
  • Support parental access to, and correction of errors in, their children’s information
  • Provide comprehensive security standards
  • Be transparent about collection and use of data

More information on the Student Privacy pledge can be found at https://studentprivacypledge.org/.

03/15/16
Export Notes to Google Drive, New Login Page and More!

MackinVIA.com

Login page

The MackinVIA login page has a fresh look with rotating background images, new logo, footer menu and link to more information about MackinVIA. To comply with regulations on educational software, we’ve added links to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

mv-login-screen

Footer navigation menu

The footer navigation menu has been updated with a new design.

mv-new-footer

Export to Google Drive

To take advantage of the ever-growing popularity of Google Apps in school districts everywhere, the MackinVIA Notebook now has an Export to Google Drive feature. With a single click, students can create a document in their Google Drive account that contains their notes for that particular title.

SaveToDrive

Clicking “Save To Drive” creates a copy of the user’s notes for that particular title. Please be aware that an initial login to Google may be required.

google-drive

MackinVIA Admin

Graduation Year field

To prepare for future classroom features, we’ve added a new field to the Backpack – Graduation Year. This will be used to determine the grade level of the student (e.g. Graduation Year 2016 = Grade 12.) This field is also supported in the Backpack import tool.

graduation-column

Copies column added to Subscription Manager

subscription copies

Footer navigation menu

A small footer menu has been added to the Admin program, including a link to our Live Chat service (except within the apps.)

adminfooter

02/09/16
Updated Details Page and More!

MackinVIA.com

Details page

We’ve introduced a fresh design to the Title Details page. Users can launch searches by clicking the bold title attributes. For example, in the screen shot below, click on “Drew, Bernard A” to view a result of other titles in your collection by this author.

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Resource Type Icons

We introduced these new icons last month with the Home Page release. Now they will be displayed across the site, not just the home page. They replace the  old vertical resource type labels.

Old Way:

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New Way:

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01/07/16
New Homepage and Admin Features

MackinVIA.com

Homepage

Since the early versions of MackinVIA were first introduced in 2010, a common request has been to include a page where certain materials could be highlighted in sliders much like Netflix. The new MackinVIA Homepage not only highlights resources in the collection, but it also provides an attractive start page alternative to the All Resources Page.

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Home page features include:

  • Green “Home” button above All Resources
  • Three content sliders featuring Newest, Highest Rated and Top Resources
  • “Newest” slider contains the 12 most-recently added resources
  • “Highest Rated” slider contains the 12 resources with the highest star ratings
  • “Top Resources” slider contains the 12 resources with the most views in the last 30 days
  • Clicking on these labels generates a search result (e.g. click on Newest to see resources sorted by the Date Added, newest to oldest)
  • Badges display on the lower left corner of each cover to indicate resource type
  • Hover over each cover image to display options: More Info, Add to Favorites, Open Now and Checkout

Resource Type Icons

We’ve updated the icons for the five resource types in MackinVIA. These match the badges displayed on Home Page covers.

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MackinVIA Admin

Home Page display settings

Full Administrators can decide if they’d like to display the Home Page for their MackinVIA accounts. They also have the option to set it as the Start Page. Go to Settings > Display Options to access these new controls.

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Please note:

  • The default state for the Home Page will be INACTIVE for existing MackinVIA accounts, and ACTIVE for new accounts.
  • The contents of the Home Page sliders are built nightly, not dynamically, so Newest really means newest as of yesterday.
11/03/15
MackinVIA Destiny Authentication, Viewing Groups, Playback Speed, Creating Groups and Assignments

MackinVIA.com

Destiny Authentication – Technically our code was released in August, but we are finally at the point of announcing this integration is available at no additional charge for Destiny customers. In order to qualify the district should be:

  • Updated to Destiny 13.0.4
  • Utilizing the Classic or Universal Search interface. (Destiny Quest is not supported.)

If you have interested customers that meet these requirements, please instruct them to call Destiny Technical Support at 800-323-3397 to get started. We know from our discussions with the Destiny team the integration cannot move forward until the district returns a signed agreement allowing Destiny to share student data with Mackin. You should also notify eServices so we have time to ensure all accounts and contacts are set up in our system.

Viewing Group Instructions – One of our development goals this year was to build features that would create opportunities for librarians and teachers to interact more with the students. Group instructions is a good step in the right direction. Administrators and Group Managers can enter instructions or directions pertinent to the Group they’ve created. Then students in MackinVIA can view them inside the Group by clicking or tapping on the collapsible “View Instructions” bar.

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Viewing Assignment Instructions – Similar to the Group Instructions, students can also view Assignment Instructions on the Assignments page. Assignment Instructions, as long as they are “Showing,” become accessible for students who enter the code to become members.

1Untitled

 

MackinVIA Reader

Playback Speed for Digital Audiobooks (iOS only, downloads only) – This exciting new feature increases the accessibility of our digital audiobooks by allowing the listener to speed up or slow down the playback. By tapping the speedometer icon, the speed can be adjusted by the following increments: .75x 1x (normal speed), 1.25x, 1.50x. 2x (twice the normal speed.)

Divergent

Playbook

MackinVIA Admin

Creating Group Instructions – When creating a Group, Administrators and Group Managers will now have the opportunity to enter instructions or directions to display to students who access the group. Simply click on the collapsible Instructions pane to access a simple editor. When they are ready to make the instructions visible to the students, they click the Showing/Hidden toggle button to “Showing.” If they are not ready to display the instructions, they must make sure the button is set to “Hidden.”

Please note: The editor has very basic styling options. Pasting text from other documents will result in the loss of styles and hyperlinks. At this point, the Instructions editor is intended for basic step-by-step directions or notes as opposed to elaborate layouts with images, charts and tables.

edit

 

Creating Assignment Instructions – After creating an assignment, administrators have the option of entering instructions or directions to display to members of the assignment. Once the assignment is created, clicking the orange “Instructions” button for that assignment opens a page containing a simple editor. The Instructions are visible immediately to all members of the assignment unless the toggle button is set to “Hidden.” As previously noted, the editor is intended for basic directions and notes.

Instructions

11/02/15
Mackin Integrates with Follett to Create Open Content Repository for PreK-12 Districts

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 2, 2015 – Follett continues to expand its market leading Destiny solution to be an open agnostic discovery tool for print and digital content that supports PreK-12 classroom and curriculum needs. Another major step in that direction was announced today when Follett unveiled new product integration with Mackin Educational Resources.

The announcement coincides with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Conference, which starts Thursday (Nov. 5) in Columbus, Ohio.

The product integration ensures that once users have logged into Destiny, they can access MackinVIA content without being presented with another separate login prompt from their platform. Students and staff can easily access the content from Destiny with a single click of a consistent open button, further negating the need to remember multiple usernames and passwords.

“We recognize our customers utilize content from multiple vendors and are seeking a single login solution easy to use for all their print and digital resources,” said Nader Qaimari, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Follett School Solutions. “It’s important we all work together to provide teachers and students a more seamless browsing experience and minimize barriers, such as multiple logins. We are pleased to work with vendors, such as MackinVIA, to more easily access content from Destiny with a single click.”

According to Randal Heise, President and CEO of Mackin Educational Resources, “This is a pivotal day for thousands of our mutual customers who have trusted that the MackinVIA and Follett Destiny products would one day be aligned in a ‘customer-first partnership’ to provide convenient one-click access to students and teacher resources. The key to advancing education in a digital world is unrestricted access and this integration puts us all on the right path.”

Qaimari noted Follett will be expanding this “open approach to education” strategy to support integration with other PreK-12 solutions, such as learning management systems, and access to open educational resources (OER) to ensure teachers and students have access to resources where they need them and when they need them.

09/22/15
Interactive Ratings and Admin Updates

Ratings – There is an exciting new interactive feature on MackinVIA.com that allows patrons to rate resources, one star being the lowest and five stars being the highest. As long as students are logged into their Backpacks, they can select a star rating by going to the Full Record page.

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It’s easy to see how other users have rated the resource. Just click on the yellow stars to see a breakdown.

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For unrated resources, a “Rate this!” link is displayed.

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Here are a few things to keep in mind about the new Ratings feature:

  • Ratings are tabulated across the entire MackinVIA platform. They are not limited to schools or districts.
  • Ratings are anonymous, but the system does remember what rating each user gave to each resource and displays it to them on the Full Record.
  • Users get one rating per resource, but they can always change their mind and re-rate.
  • All resources regardless of type can be rated, including migrated resources.
  • The Ratings feature is enabled by default on all accounts. It can be disabled on the Settings screen.
  • There is a new option to sort results by “Highest Rated.”
  • If a user is not logged into their backpack, they can still view ratings. To give a rating, they must log in first.
  • It is not necessary to check out an item in order to rate it. However, when training students to use MackinVIA, please recommend they read a resource before rating it.

Help Page – Users can access a new Help page inside MackinVIA that contains our most helpful student-focused videos and frequently asked questions.

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MackinVIA Admin

Add/Edit  – When adding or editing a resource, users can indicate Fiction or Nonfiction in the Classification pane.

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Ratings – On the Settings page, in the Display Options pane, Administrators can decide if Ratings should be Active or Inactive for the MackinVIA account. Please note:  the Ratings feature is Active by default.

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Admin Display Results – A new setting as been added to the Display results pane on the Settings page. Administrators can indicate how many results per page they would like view while working in the Admin program.

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08/11/15
Critical App Update, New Circulation Feature
Required MackinVIA App Update!

Mackin’s developers have been hard at work over the summer to bring new and exciting features to MackinVIA! As the oldest versions of the MackinVIA app are retired, you will need to update your device to the newest version of the MackinVIA app. If the device you use is administered at a building or district level, please contact your administrator to request an update to the app. Old versions of the app will no longer be supported.

New Circulation Feature

Now you have even more control over your MackinVIA collection! The Circulation screen gives you a snapshot of current activity in your MackinVIA every time you login to the Administrator program. It allows librarians and administrators to see which MackinVIA users have current checkouts, requests or holds, as well as assignments and online reads. If a particular eBook is urgently needed, but it is already checked out, simply look it up on the Circulation page and cancel the checkout.

Circulation

07/02/15
Security, Design and Feature Updates

1. Search your digital collection by additional parameters: Fiction, Nonfiction, Single-user, and Multi-user.

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2. MackinVIA will now be a secure site – The MackinVIA website is now using https for the best encryption. This is the industry standard for K-12 education applications due to requirements to protect student data. Current links without the https will redirect users to secure site.

MackinVIA Admin

1. School level usage reports will list License Type.

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2. District/Consortium level usage reports will show Total Views, Total Checkouts, and Total Requests.

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05/28/15
Clever Instant Login Partnership

MackinVIA has a connector available for Clever’s Instant Login product. Instant Login is a free application available to any and all K-12 districts and provides a way for schools to easily link their learning technology applications to students in a secure environment with strong encryption and third-party audits – requiring only one login and password to access all of their applications in one place. If your district uses Instant Login and would like to enable the MackinVIA connector, please fill out the request located here: https://clever.com/signup/mackinvia

03/24/15
SirsiDynix Integration

Mackin has developed an integration with SyrsiDynix to offer a MackinVIA solution with eResource Central, a central place for librarians to manage digital resources from multiple providers. The partnership between Mackin and eRC will allow school libraries to dynamically update their local title metadata and will let students download, preview, and see available eResources all from the library catalog. For more information about eResource Central, visit: http://www.sirsidynix.com/products/eresource-central

01/13/15
Interface and Administrator Updates

MackinVIA Interface

Hold Alert

The user will see a notification on the Backpack image when a title is on hold for them.

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MackinVIA Reader Apps
Hold Alert – The user will see a notification on the Backpack image when a title is on hold for them

MackinVIA Admin

Add / Edit Record

Administrators have the ability to create new records in their collection as well as edit, delete or restore existing records.

Please Note: 

  • Only Full Administrators can use this feature
  • Create new records, edit existing records, reset Mackin-loaded records to their original form, and delete user-added records
  • Users can create subscriptions
  • All user-created titles are considered “multi-user” and pub-hosted, so cannot be checked out
  • Mackin-hosted Resource URLs cannot be edited
  • Resources can only be edited if purchased on a school level
  • Citations are available for user-created titles
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Subscription Manager

Allows administrators to see subscription items in their collection. Renew buttons will take the user to Mackin.com where items can be re-ordered.’

Please Note:

  • Anything with an expiration date will appear in the listing of titles
  • Expires column can show either a date or remaining checkouts (example 30 of 52 for a Harper Collins title)
  • Usage column contains number of clicks of “open now” button on the resource
  • Clicking on the Renew button opens the Mackin.com full record for the item in a new window. Packages open to the splash page for that publisher’s product.
  • Some titles will not have a Renew button. Reasons: Title is out of print OP, Title is unavailable for purchase from Mackin PRD, Title is purchased by another entity, Title was added by Admin
  • For titles that can’t be renewed, an info icon is displayed. Clicking or tapping opens a window with a brief explanation.
  • Subscription packages are listed as a single line item. A good example is Tumblebooks. It is purchased as a package but we display multiple ebook titles in VIA. These types of materials, display “Package” as a resource type.
  • For database packages such ABC Clio, each database has its own line item.

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Miscellaneous Fixes

Changes to filter dropdowns, Permissions page and others

Mackin.com Updates

03/21/17
My Lists Archive

Mackin.com

My Lists Archive – Mackin.com users now have a way to organize and archive lists! For lists that are no longer active, but should be preserved, they can now be moved into a new Archive area. These lists can easily be restored to current status with a couple of clicks.

My Lists Archive

 

Key points:

  • Both submitted and un-submitted lists can be archived
  • When a list is unarchived, the pricing and availability is dynamically updated to show current title information
  • Users must unarchive a list to see the titles
  • The system will archive all lists that have not been modified in the last 14 months. Users can unarchive older lists if they wish

The Archive feature is only available on the new My Lists page. It is not available on the existing page. To see the new page and the Archive feature, go to “See All Lists” and click on the “Preview New Look!” button in the upper right corner.

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01/17/17
MackinFunds/Funds4Books, Publisher Carousel and More

Mackin.com

Publisher Showcase Carousel – This rotating banner on the default page features our Publisher Showcase partners. Clicking on the publisher logo takes the user to Publisher Showcase.

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Other: 

  • Send Order Wizard – The interface of the Send Order Wizard has been significantly improved on iPads and Android tablets.

Funds4Books.com

Rebranding – Funds4Books is now MackinFunds.

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New URL – www.mackinfunds.com. Please note, users who navigate to www.funds4books.com will be redirected here.

11/07/16
Teacher Guides, My Profile, Parameter Updates and More

Teacher Guides – In an effort to make Teacher Guides easily available, we are releasing four new features:

  • Search Parameter – Narrow your search to just titles with teacher guides
  • Full Record – Easy to open teacher guides from the full record page
  • Upload Page – Enter your control number or invoice number and get a file containing all the teacher guides from that order
  • Order History – Orders that contain resources with teacher guides will display a download link

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eBook Platforms on My Profile – In My Profile, users can choose to include or exclude certain eBook platforms from their search results.

Assignable Search Parameter – On the Advanced Search page, narrow your search results to include only assignable items.

Brief Print Format for Mackin.com lists – This new print format saves paper because each title is compressed into one line. All the fields are truncated and the space between lines is minimized. There is also a new option to exclude the cover page.

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Digital Summary Info – Platform and assignability have been added to the Digital Info tab of the List Summary feature.

08/30/16
EBSCO eBooks, Advanced Search Update and More

EBSCO eBooks Coming Soon – Mackin will soon be prepared to offer a wide variety of EBSCO eBooks to broaden our selection. These titles are hosted on the EBSCO Host platform, much like Capstone Interactive or Lerner Interactive titles are publisher hosted. EBSCO eBooks are available in three license types:  Single User, Multi User and 3 User (the equivalent of purchasing 3 copies of a single user title for a slight discount.)

0816_07Preview Button – On search results and list details, the preview button has been relocated from the Title area to just under the title image. The Preview button is also available on the Full Record page.

Advanced Search – This page has been completely restyled to bring it up-to-date. In addition, the layout is responsive to tablets and smaller screens.

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Notice that new search filters have been added to the digital section of the form to allow users to narrow their searches by platform and interactive eBook products as Arbordale Interactive or Lerner Interactive. Please Note:  to include all the interactive products in your search, click “All Interactive.”

Registration Page Restyled – The same new style that was applied to the Advanced Search form has been applied to the Mackin Registration page. Furthermore, new registrants will be required to accept the Mackin Terms and Conditions.

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Secret Question Required – If a customer has never set a secret question and answer, they will be required to do so when they receive a password reset link from Mackin Customer Service. This is another system security measure we must enforce.

07/21/16
New Order Wizard, List Forwarding, HTTPS and More

Send Order Wizard – Submitting an order on Mackin.com now requires fewer steps, plus the interface has a fresh new look.

  • Users do not need to select Standard or Secure when beginning the process – the entire process is always secure
  • The Credit Card option is fully integrated with our new payment gateway
  • Customer Service can easily send a duplicate receipt

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New site to pay invoices – Customers now have an option to visit pay.mackin.com to remit payment for an invoice, multiple invoices, partial payment, or simply put funds on an account. As part of our program to increase our data security standards, customers who call Mackin to give credit card information will be directed to this secure site.

Forward List to multiple recipients – Mackin.com users can now share a list with multiple recipients in three easy steps.

  1. Enter the valid email of one recipient
  2. Click “Add More Recipients”
  3. Type or paste emails of more recipients in the field provided – addresses must be separated by a comma or new line

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School Library Connection – Library Media Connection, a review journal from which Mackin has been licensing reviews for several years, has changed its ownership and name. It is now called School Library Connection.  We have updated the page that displays these reviews. You can access it from the main menu. TITLE LISTS > Review Journals > School Library Connection

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52 Checkouts OR 2 years – To support Pottermore eBooks unique license type, we’ve added the ability to limit searches by 52 Checkouts OR 2 Years on the Advanced Search page.

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Mackin.com is HTTPS – Mackin.com, like MackinVIA.com and Funds4Books.com, is fully secure SSL encrypted throughout. Please note: this does not apply to the marketing side of the site, only the portion where users are logged in.

05/10/16
DOGObooks Ratings & Reviews, Print Options and More!

DOGObooks Ratings and Reviews – To assist our customers on Mackin.com, a new column is available for search results and list details called “DOGObooks.” It contains ratings from students registered at www.dogobooks.com. Clicking on the ratings will bring the user to the site to read student reviews. This feature is also displayed on the full record page.

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Custom List Request Email – Customers who successfully submit a Custom List Request will receive an email with details about their request.
Booklist Reviews – Mackin is now licensing full-text reviews from Booklist. A new page that displays these reviews by issue is available under TITLE LISTS > Review Journals > Booklist

Print Specs – Users can print a brief copy of their specifications by going to the OPTIONS menu on the My Specs page. The output looks like the specs displayed on Mackin Maintenance.

Print Filtered List – Printing a filtered list is now possible. This was not allowed in the past because we were afraid they would be submitted as printed orders. To prevent confusion, the print header clearly indicates the list is filtered.

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Summary fixes – We’ve improved the pie chart percentages and fixed a bug in the display of summaries of filtered lists.
Move/Copy Status – A Status column has been added to the Move/Copy screen.

Shop Mackin – Our Mackin.com corporate site now recognizes when a user is already logged in, in which case a welcome message is displayed and the label “Shop Now” is displayed in place of the Login button. The “Home” button has been removed from the menu because the Mackin logo serves the same purposed.

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03/15/16
Sale Price and Savings, Genre Search and More!

Sale Price and Savings

To support our new Promotional Sale program, we’ve added the ability to display a sale price on search results, and savings amount on lists and submitted orders.

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The Mackin List Price is crossed out and the reduced Sale Price is displayed in red, along with the date the sale ends. Total savings is calculated in the list information box. Sale Ends indicates the first end date that will occur for reduced price items on the list.

Sale search parameter

On the Advanced Search page, users can limit their search results to include only Sale titles. This parameter will not display if there are no current promotion sales.

Sale search

Genre search parameter

Genre, which was added as a column in our last release, is now a search parameter on the Advanced Search page.

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Genre Summary

Genre is also a new tab in the List Summary tool.

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02/09/16
Genre Column, Attribute and More!

Mackin.com

Genre Column

Genre is a new column on search results. This is an attribute assigned by Mackin’s staff librarians.

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Genre Attribute

Genre and Alt Genre are  new attributes on the full record pages.

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Genre in printouts and exports: Genre will be included in printouts and exports of lists.

Please note: Genre will be added to the Advance Search page in our March release.

Select All

To make it easier to quickly select all the deselected items on a list, we’ve added a Select All option to the List Details page.

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12/15/15
Custom List, Help Guide Link & MackinFunds

Mackin.com

Custom List Request Menu Item

The new Custom List Request form, for which we’ve had training sessions the last few weeks, is now accessible in the main Mackin.com menu under TITLE LISTS.

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Help Guide Link

Not a big change, but it should be pointed out that the Help link has been relocated to top left near the Live Chat link. Help is indicated with a small life preserver image. Clicking here will take the user to the redesigned help guide, help.mackin.com.

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MackinFunds Clone Campaign

Frequently requested by customers who run annual MackinFunds programs, this new feature allows Campaign owners to copy the design of a previous campaign to their new campaign.

 

 

 

11/18/15
The List Summary feature on Mackin.com

The List Summary feature on Mackin.com has an updated layout, new styling and offers more information about the Digital titles on your list.

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There are three ways to generate a List Summary.

1. From the Summary links on the My Lists page:

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2. From the OPTIONS menu on the List Detail page:

 

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3. From the List Totals page:

 

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09/22/15
Search List of ISBNs

Search list of ISBNs – On the Advanced Search page, users can enter or paste a list of ISBNs into the search field and return a result. First, select “List of ISBNs” in the Search By dropdown. Then enter the ISBNs into the field. They can be separated by commas, spaces or line breaks. This can be a big time-saver for customers who have been compiling ISBNs from multiple sources.

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World Wide Rights (WWR) – It is now possible to search with this parameter for Online Databases and Digital Audiobooks.

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07/10/15
Login Security Update

Please note, our security settings have recently changed. Passwords are now case sensitive and must be entered as originally created.

07/02/15
Security Update

In an effort to further protect your Mackin.com information, a new security question & answer system will be implemented. You will be able to create your own security question/answer which will be used in cases where a password is forgotten or needs to be reset. The following prompt will be shown upon login. The prompt can be bypassed but will continue to be shown until the security question & answer are updated. At your convenience, please take a moment to update this information in your Mackin.com account.

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01/13/15
Update Features
 Custom List Request Form

This form has been totally redeveloped into a four-step wizard with HTML output in the Mackin Maintenance program.

Cover Image Column

This optional column displays the cover image in the Search Results and List Details grid pages.

Default Columns

Cover Image, DOP, ISBN and IL will be activated for all customers and by default for new customers.

ISBN Search

The Search Type will automatically change to ISBN and execute the search accordingly when the user enters something that appears to be an ISBN and execute the search accordingly.

Retain Last Search Type

When a user changes the Search Type from the profile default, it will be retained for the duration of the session.