Aspen Admin Access Overview

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Access to perform admin functions on a library’s Aspen site may be requested via the support form by that library’s director (or assistant director). Admin access is applied to barcodes for individual or shared Polaris patron accounts, which should be included as part of the request, along with the level of access.

Customization permissions in Aspen are largely tiered, allowing for nuanced privileges to be applied to specific staff members. As noted above, each tier or “role” should be specified when requesting access be granted to a given account (see below). Furthermore, if a staff member has a personal library card from a different MAIN library from where they work, that card can not be used as an Aspen admin account for their library of employment and a separate staff card should be issued.

Please note, certain administrative functions, like setting up a side load or enabling Hoopla or some other integration, are handled by the MAIN office & thus not part of the permissions described here. Please place an Aspen support ticket.

Aspen admin roles further explained… at length.
The philosophy behind the above linked Aspen roles is to simplify permissions into tiers and provide duty driven levels of access. Not only does it provide the option for directors to be more reserved with which staff can modify what on their Aspen site, but from the user standpoint it can usefully limit Aspen’s many admin settings to the options that a given staff member cares about, providing for greater ease of navigation.

The core roles of Spotlighter, Curator, Designer, and Optimizer each inherit the permissions of the prior. The first two focus on promoting library collections/services with user lists, spotlights, placards, browse categories, etc. Designer access goes further into customizing the actual aesthetic of & info displayed on a library’s Aspen site as a whole and provides the ability to host additional web content right in Aspen. Optimizer is called such because it unlocks options to customize the actual search options and result output on your Aspen site. As such, extra caution should be taken as these changes can significantly alter a patron’s experience searching in Aspen.

Standalone from those tiered roles, Library Manager access is designed with less collection or design related tasks in mind. Staff such as a head of circulation, branch manager, weekend supervisor, etc. can be given access to post an Aspen closing alert or perhaps update a location’s Sunday hours (in Aspen). All of these permissions are also already included in the Designer & Optimizer roles.

The masquerade function in Aspen allows a staff member to temporarily access Aspen as if they were another patron, in order to assist them with their account, similar to the override functionality in our previous catalog. As such, the Aspen Masquerader role provides this permission exclusively from all other roles, as it involves access to patron data. For example, at a director’s discretion, Designer access might be appropriate for a library’s web developer or a local volunteer helping you with your theme CSS, but they probably (definitely) shouldn’t have access to another patron’s account unless they’re regular staff.

Additionally, all library staff cards with a Polaris patron code of “Library Staff” are provided Aspen Masquerade permissions by default so that libraries can easily self-establish staff to be able to assist patron’s with their accounts. Any local cards not meant for actual staff use should the “Patron” or “Courtesy” patron codes as appropriate.

Lastly, the Dashboarder role separates out permissions for viewing the multitude of statistical dashboards in Aspen. While this information may be of interest to some; if it is not, excluding this permission greatly minimizes the number of unneeded options on the admin screen, as illustrated below.


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