East Asian Library-developed “Parallelogram” available worldwide

An example of parallel text generated by the app.  In the yellow rows, the app generated the romanized script, and in the green

An example of parallel text generated by the app. In the yellow rows, the app generated the romanized script, and in the green rows, the app generated the Japanese script.

Ex Libris, a cloud-based solutions organization that supports libraries, officially released the Princeton University Library (PUL)-developed “Parallelogram” cloud app for Alma. Developed by Thomas Ventimiglia from the East Asian Library (EAL), “Parallelogram” allows Librarians using the Alma platform to create bibliographic records with multiple scripts.

“Parallelogram” was designed to improve item discoverability by allowing patrons to search the catalog using their preferred writing system. The foundation for the program was built by Ventimiglia years ago, when he developed tools for adding Chinese romanization to records in MarcEdit and OCLC Connexion Client.

“I had received some requests at the time to create something similar for Japanese, but because of the nature of the language—and the fact that I don't know much Japanese—this ended up being a much more challenging task,” Ventimiglia said.

After tinkering with the program, Ventimiglia developed a general process that supported the inclusion of other languages and scripts in Library records. His findings even went as far as allowing him to generate non-Roman text from Romanized script.  

When Princeton started migrating to Alma last summer, I found out about its Cloud Apps platform, and saw this as a good opportunity to develop a public version of this tool,” Ventimiglia explained. He admitted that while there was a learning curve involved in developing a Cloud App, his colleagues were supportive in the troubleshooting and debugging processes.

“Adding parallel text to records can be a tedious and time-consuming process, so hopefully this tool will be a time-saver for library staff who work with non-Roman text,” Ventimiglia said. In addition to PUL users, “Parallelogram” is available to the entirety of Alma’ global user base. Other globally accessible tools developed by EAL support the addition of romanized Chinese  to WorldCat and MarcEdit records, as well as the Korean romanization tool “K-Romanizer,” developed by Korean Studies Librarian Hyoungbae Lee.

Related: Add the Pinyin plugin for MarcEdit and OCLC Connexion Pinyin Conversion Macro

Published on September 16, 2022

Written by Brandon Johnson, Communications Specialist

Media Contact: Barbara Valenza, Director of Library Communications