Audience Levels in Aspen

Modified on Fri, 02 Dec 2022 at 08:30 AM

Where does the information for Audience get pulled for browse categories and searches? We're noticing that there are some books in the YA Fiction category that are not YA books. (for example)

Aspen looks first at the item category 2 in our records to determine audience.  If there is no value in the item category 2 for a library's item, then Aspen will assign the audience based on information in the bibliographic record.

Additionally, libraries may have chosen different item category 2 values for their item, such as a YA title that some libraries may consider a juvenile audience level, but others may select YA.  When Aspen groups the expression of the work, this can result in a title appearing in both the YA and juvenile audience categories.  Even if your library does not own a particular format of the work, this audience level determination will be applied because of record grouping. Additionally, audience levels can be affected by the audience assigned in digital content, like Overdrive and Hoopla (even if your library does not subscribe) because a grouped work may include this digital content.  See below for more information on how Overdrive and Hoopla determine the audience level.

Libraries don't always add the item category 2 to their items.  This is often the case with on-order records.  When an item is included in the grouped work and does not have an item category 2, then Aspen will look at information in the 006 and 008 (leader) portion of the MARC record.  

How do we fix an item that is miscategorized?

If a title is clearly miscategorized, we can fix this by adding an item category 2, if it is missing, or by updating the information in the 006 or 008 of the bibliographic record. If the incorrect information is coming from a digital content vendor, a subscribing library will need to contact the vendor to correct the issue.

Audience for eContent items

For OverDrive/Libby titles, Aspen looks for subjects that indicate Juvenile or YA. If those don't exist, it assumes Adult.

For Hoopla, Aspen looks to see if the 'Children' flag is on, then it checks the rating. If there is no 'Children' flag or rating, then Aspen checks the genres:

NRC titles have an audience of Children

NRT titles to have an audience of Young Adult

When determining audience for Hoopla titles by genre, anything with a genre starting with Young Adult is Young Adult.

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