Getting Started with Classification Web

ClassWeb is an integrated cataloging tool that assists with the assignment of Library of Congress classification numbers for bibliographic content. ClassWeb is accessed over the Internet using a standard Web browser and is kept up-to-date with the latest LC classification and authority data.  In addition to extensive cross referencing thoughout the system, there are links to external library OPACs.  You can configure your ClassWeb account to select from a list of pre-defined OPACs as well as set up a custom link to an OPAC that is not already in the list.

Most pages in ClassWeb have a help link or button that will take you to the on-line documentation for that area of the system. In addition, most links and buttons in ClassWeb have a short help message that pops up when you hold your mouse over the link or button.

Logging In
There are three ways of logging into ClassWeb:

Manual Login
Most of the ClassWeb menus are configured for manual login. If you send a request to the server and you are not already logged in, you will be prompted for a "User name" and "Password". Each account may have up to two passwords: a regular password which has administrative privileges (the ability to update your account preferences and create local notes) and a read-only password. The only way to change the regular password account is by using the login screen. If you check the "Change password" box when you log in, you will be prompted to change your regular (administrative) password.

The read-only password is optional and is configured using the Preferences link found near the bottom of the main menu. When a user logs in with the read-only password, they cannot change any of the settings for that account or edit local notes (although they can view them).

Auto Login by IP Address
Auto login by IP Address can only be configured for computers that use one or more static (non-changing) IP addresses (for example, a campus that has been assigned a block of IP addresses for its computers). To configure this feature, use the Preferences link found near the bottom of the main menu. Additional documentation is available on how to configure this feature.

Once your account is properly configured, use one of the Auto Login menus to access ClassWeb. Your computer will be automatically logged in to your account with read-only access priveleges (the same as if you had manually logged in with the read-only password). Users that log in automatically cannot update account preferences or edit local notes. Even if you configure your account to allow auto login, you can still use the regular Manual Login menus to login with a password in order to have administrative priveleges.

Auto Login by Registered Computers
In addition to automatic login by IP address, you can also configure your account so that individual computers can be registered to automatically login for read-only access. This is useful for institutions that don't have static IP addresses and for situations where computers are being used outside of your usual network (i.e. off site).

First, to enable this feature, use the Preferences link found near the bottom of the main menu and select the option that reads: Enable automatic login by registered computers. After you click on the Update button at the bottom of the preferences page, a unique registration number will be assigne to your account.

Then, for any computer you want to register, use that computer to log into ClassWeb, making sure you have checked the box Register this computer for auto-login on the login screen. This will store your account's unique registration number as a permanent cookie on that computer and will allow that computer to login automatically via the Auto Login Menu.

You can disable this feature at any time by unselecting the same checkbox on the preferences screen and then clicking on the Update button. This will prevent any registered computers from logging into your account automatically -- they will need a password. The next time you enable this feature, a new registration number will be created to identify your account. All previously registered computers will need to register again to receive the new number.

Logging Out
It is always a good idea to log out of ClassWeb when you are finished for both security reasons and to release your session for someone else at your institution. All sessions automatically time-out (expire) after one hour of inactivity, effectively logging you out. For solo-user accounts that have a monthly time limitation, you are not penalized if you forget to log out -- the length of your session is based on the last request you submit.

Although you might have more than one ClassWeb window open on your computer, once you have logged out from any of them, you will be logged out of the server -- you don't have to log out of each window.  Also note that closing a window does not log you out of the server. Neither does exiting your browser or turning off your computer. If you return to ClassWeb within an hour, you will still be logged in unless you clicked on the Logout button or link.

Windows and Tabs
Most (if not all) web browsers support "tabbed browsing" in which multiple web pages are displayed in separate tabs instead of separate windows. ClassWeb makes frequent use of this feature and, as a result, includes a Close button on all of its screens. Clicking on the Close button will generally close that tab (or window if there is only one tab). However, ClassWeb can only close a tab or window that it opened. If you click on a ClassWeb Close button and nothing happens, it just means you opened this tab or window and you will have to close it by hand.

A number of options can be set for your account using the Preferences link at the bottom of most ClassWeb menus. These settings affect everyone who logs in to your account. Some of these options (like the number of records to return on the search screens) can be overridden but the values on your preferences screen is the starting or default value for that option.

Pass-through Options
Many of the options that you select on a given ClassWeb page (like the number of records to return at a time and which classification subsets you are using) are passed from screen to screen as you navigate through the system. To reset these values to the defaults for your account, return to any menu and proceed from there. Note that this will only affect the current window or browser tab and that any additional windows or tabs that you have open will continue to use their existing settings.

Because of the way ClassWeb passes information between your web browser and the server, you can bookmark most of the web pages returned to you in order to return to that exact location in the future. The only exception is the classification browser (unless you are using the non-frames version of the browser). When you use the classification browser, the address bar of your web browser is not updated with every request you submit. There is a bookmark making tool to assist you in making bookmarks for starting ClassWeb in different configurations.

A link to the bookmark tool can be found near the bottom of the main menu. It will launch ClassWeb with the options you select and you can bookmark that page. If you are asked to log in, do that before creating a bookmark.

Web Browser Requirements
ClassWeb supports most (if not all) major web browsers (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.) that support JavaScript, cookies and style sheets. Please note that JavaScript and cookie support are required to use this site. Most web browsers allow you turn off these features on and off for particular web sites. They must be turned on for ClassWeb.

ClassWeb uses web browser cookies to identify you after you have logged in and to keep track of certain preferences. These cookies are stored on your computer. You are free to remove these cookies if you are not logged into ClassWeb but it is very important that nothing interferes with these cookies during an active session.

ClassWeb supports the full range of characters available in the Unicode display. While vernacular language data will be added to areas of the classification database over time, any records that include diacritics will display in a more visually pleasing manner when using Unicode.

Microsoft Internet Explorer
For best results displaying Unicode data, customers using Microsoft Internet Explorer are advised to change their browser font to Arial Unicode MS, provided it is installed on your computer. If you don't have access to Arial Unicode MS, the Lucida Sans Unicode font is not as complete and is bold faced but users may prefer it over the default font of Arial.
To change display fronts in MSIE:
  1. At the top of the browser window on the MSIE menu, click on Tools and select Internet Options....
  2. Near the bottom of the dialog box, click on the button labeled Fonts to display your font choices.
  3. In the drop down box titled Language script make sure that Latin based is selected.
  4. Select a font from the list in the box on the left hand side of the dialog box. The best choice is Arial Unicode MS. If that selection is not displayed, it means that the font is not installed on your computer. In that case, try Lucida Sans Unicode.
  5. Click on the OK button on each screen to save your choices and return to main web browser display. The font change will be immediate.
Netscape, Mozilla and Firefox
The Arial font has proven to be very good at displaying a wide range of Unicode characters and diacritics.

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