3.4.10 Spider Report Procedures


The HBLL spider report runs monthly. Generally it is delivered via e-mail to Virginia Watson, Lee Richards, and Carla Kupitz on the fifth day of each month. Ranny has set up the report to run automatically. The report was written by Bernardo Gomez at the Woodruff Library, Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

Many university libraries use a spider report. Some academic libraries do not have the manpower to deal with a monthly report and rely solely on feedback of broken links from their patrons. We are trying to make a conscientious effort to fix the links and offset patron frustration. With Ashley’s help, the time spent on the reports is minimized and becomes more manageable.

The spider reports are broken down by Unicorn Libraries (Spec Coll, Internet, Lee, etc.) Generally over 10 individual reports are compiled and received via e-mail each month.


Each month Virginia receives the reports and forwards them on to Ashley Barber with the exception of the reports for the Music Library and Government Documents, which are sent directly to Janet Bradford and Liz DeGoyler for reconciliation. In the event that Virginia is out of the office for an extended length of time during the delivery of the Spider Report, Carla attempts to distribute the files according to the outlined procedures.

Files larger than 3 MB are reviewed first by Virginia. These very large reports have generally been those with all TOC links from the Library of Congress. It was decided that these links are seldom broken, but for whatever reason they appear on the report. A concerted effort is made to review these items. Virginia sends one or two pages of this report to Ashley. Ashley checks the links on a random basis. These reports are checked only once a semester and once during the Spring/Summer terms.

Ashley checks the Spider Report links by using the Title control numbers. She checks them first in WorkFlows and if they are bad, she checks them in iLink. The reason for this is that some links don’t work in WorkFlows, but they do work in iLink.

Virginia reconciles links for databases and electronic materials related to journals, serials, etc. Carla reconciles broken links related to e-books and other monographic materials. It should be noted that regular monthly lists of ebrary deletes are handled by Peggy Robertson. These links seldom show up on the Spider Report because they are handled through the ebrary password protected website.

Spider Report e-mail files are deleted after they have been reconciled.

Ideas for the Future:

It would be helpful to investigate the usefulness of other spider reports. The current reports are not conclusive. The current Spider Reports also reports “dated” dead links while missing the more recent, or “fresh” dead links. Of the links checked by Ashley, an average of 15 percent are actual problems.

Maintained by: Carla Kupitz

Last Updated: August 2009

Location / Hours

The Catalog Department is located on Level 6 of the Harold B. Lee Library. The Department is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.