2. Adding Records to Your Catalog


Once you have created a site in Google Sites, you will begin creating a spreadsheet of item records, with separate spreadsheets for different formats of information sources (i.e. one for books, one for journals).  I will demonstrate how to set up a Google Spreadsheet, which is included in the suite of tools in Google Drive, to create a searchable catalog records.  I will also include a link to the full documentation as a website (for those who would prefer to follow a printed guide rather than a video tutorial).

You have two options:
  1. Adapt my spreadsheets with open access books, journals, websites, and commentaries and augment them, or 
  2. Create your own spreadsheet from scratch.  
With the first option, you can copy the records I created for over 20,000 open access books in theology and religion.  These books are generally classic books in electronic format from sites like Project Gutenberg and Open Library where the copyright has expired. The second option of creating your own spreadsheet is helpful if you have a print library collection. It is possible to inventory a print collection and use Google Spreadsheets to record lending books to library users. 

Using Google Sites as an alternative to an online public access catalog (OPAC) has a few limitations worth noting. Unlike traditional library cataloging with many MARC fields, the fields in the Google Sites alternative shows the fields horizontally rather than vertically.  You will note that in the records I created, I only used the essential fields (i.e. author, title, subject headings, etc.) and I concatenated certain MARC tags using a semi-colon (;) (ex. multiple subject headings are included in one spreadsheet cell separated by a semi-colon). Given that each records is displayed horizontally, I would recommend no more than six searchable access points; too many searchable access points would create too much scrolling. 

NOTE: For either option or to learn more about setting up your library catalog, please read the  full documentation for Awesome Table and especially the section on Filters.  This is a very comprehensive guide on setting up a spreadsheet and making it searchable.

Option #1: Reusing my Library Catalog Spreadsheets

With this option, you will create a copy of the catalog spreadsheets (In Google Sheets, Go to 'File' in the top right hand corner and click 'Make a Copy'). You can then embed these spreadsheets in your library catalog.  The links to the spreadsheets are as follows.  

Option #2: Creating Your Own Library Catalog Spreadsheet