Using the VSB MediaNet
By Alan Zisman © 2000, 2006
In the Fall of 2000, the VSB brought out a new way for staff
to search and order media materials online: MediaNet. This is a big
improvement over the old, text based VSBCat, but also has some quirks.
The aim of this tutorial is to help staff get started using MediaNet.
Note: The former VSBCat can no longer be accessed, either
using the NetTerm program, or using Telnet from school or home.
You can connect to MediaNet anywhere that you have a computer
with a connection to the Internet—school or home, using any standard Web
browser. The address is: http://media.vsb.bc.ca In most browsers, you can
leave out the http:// and still connect just fine. When you get there,
the first thing you'll see is:
You'll get a screen prompting you to log on. You're asked for
a Client Number and a Password. As the page explains, the Client
Number is your VSB Employee Number (which is on your pay stub). It is not
the same as the PIN number you use to access the SEMS system for booking an
employee on call. As explained, the password for everyone is media.
Enter the log-in information and click the green OK button. You'll see:
While there are a lot of options, in most cases you will probably want to click on the large link near the top labelled Search Full Catalog. You'll see a busy screen:
I entered the term volcano… but before rushing to click the Submit
button, it's worth checking some of the options. These all use drop-down lists
to make it easy to refine your search.
can select the maximum number of items to show, as a result of your search, with
a range of 5 to 1000 items
- Simple Search vs Advanced
Search (My opinion: it seems like you can do anything you might want
with an advanced search much easier my choosing options from the drop-down
- Keyword Search or
searching for a Title, Series, Subject (etc). The keyword searches for the word
(or phrase) you entered in the description of the item.
vs Full display. The brief display simply lists the results of your search. The
full display shows the title, description, etc for each item that matches your
criteria. This can be a nice way to read the descriptions of multiple items on a
single page. Each item gets a Pick button, letting you add it to your
- Format lets you limit to
a single format: VHS video tapes, Mac software, etc.
- Audience level lets you
choose Primary/Intermediate/Junior High/Senior High, etc
Language choices are English or French
- Collection choices are
Ministry Recommended or Fast Forward 2000
is the © date of the item—you can pick specific years or, for example,
'1987+' for anything from that year
- Acquisition Date is when
it was added to the collection—ranging from past 30 days to 2 years.
I limited my search by choosing:
- Format: VHS
- Audience: Intermediate
And clicked on the Submit button. (The Reset
button lets you start over). The results were:
Notice that there were four items listed. They are
hyperlinks—clicking on one takes you to information and description of that
item. Alternatively, you can submit a modified search. Clicking on In the
path of a killer volcano took me to:
There's a description of the item, with date, time, audience
level, synopsis, etc. As well, there are links to the series, and to the subject
area—a quick way to get a list of related titles. Since I wanted to book that
item, I clicked on the Pick button, which took me to The Media
You may want to make sure that the system has an up-to-date email address.
Enter a desired delivery date in the Show mm/dd field. (note
that you need to enter the date as a numerical month/day. You can enter a single
digit for months like September ('9'). If you enter a date when your school
doesn't have a delivery, it will automatically adjust to your nearest delivery
prior to the entered date when you click on the Test Availability
If you want to try to book it for the first available date, use the First option instead of a numerical date. Then, when you
click on the Test Availability button, it will fill in the first
available date, and add a checkmark in the Avail column.
Clicking on the "1" beside the word Any pops up a calendar to help you pick your desired date:
Be sure to Test Availability... if your item isn't available, keep at it until you find a date that works!
If you change your mind, click in the Remove box, then
click the Save Changes button. If you are done, after saving any changes,
click the Logout User button. If you want to add additional items to your
shopping cart, you could click on the Search button to start over with a
new search, Clicking the browser's Back button will get you back to your
search results, and let you add additional items to your Shopping Cart.
Your bookings are not made until you click on the
Submit button… at which point you will see a verification of the
When you're done, be sure to Logout.