Arena 1.5:Getting Started

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About Arena

Arena transforms your library membership into a whole new experience based upon sharing your interests and discoveries

It combines information from libraries, clubs, archives, societies, records offices and special interest groups, integrating related resources in new ways that present many opportunities for library members.

You may submit and share your reviews of any library stock, and even create your own virtual library. For example, if you run a sailing club through Arena, you may build a library of sailing-related books, DVDs, pictures, plans, and records for the club.

Arena also enables you to search combined resources in one simple search, rate library items, read and write reviews.

All this exists around the library. You may use Arena to search the library, find out where items are kept in stock, and arrange loans or reservations.

By creating an account in Arena, you can take full control of your library membership, arrange and manage loans and reservations, manage fees, and more. To learn more see User Accounts.

To learn about the technical aspects of Arena, see Arena.

The Arena screen

Arena screen areas

The Arena screen is divided into five areas, each of which may almost any of Arena's features.

Arena's features are highly customizable. This means that they may appear in different locations, in different colours, and with different captions and graphics, than those described here. However, the way they work will always remain the same.

For this reason, when we refer to a feature here in the help wiki, we do not specify its location on the screen. Instead we refer to the feature by its default on-screen title.

EDITORIAL NOTE: This content is being moved to separate articles about each portlet, linked back to related how-to articles.

The language selector

Language Selector

The language selector enables you to choose the language that you want to use in Arena. You may switch languages at any time. To learn more see Language Selector.

The search tool

Search Bar

The search tool appears in the Header Area. It enables you to search Arena for items in the library, or for articles posted in Arena. The results of searches appear in the Centre Panel, where you may explore further to find what interests you. To learn more see Search

The toolbar


The toolbar appears near the top of the screen, below the Header area. It is visible at all times. It contains clickable buttons for navigating to various common features of Arena, including the following:

  • Welcome. This is the starting point for most activities in Arena.
  • Article. This is where you may view new articles.
  • Write Article. This is where you may create or edit articles.
  • My Media. This is where you my view media that you have added to your basket.
  • Profile. This is where you may view and edit your Arena user profile.
  • New Account. This is where you may create a new user account. To learn more see User Accounts.
  • Contact Library. This is where you may send a message, such as a question, request or comment, to the library.

The content of the toolbar may vary form time to time, as the range of features change.

Portlets and widgets

Tag Cloud

A portlet is usually a rectangular frame which may contain one or more widgets. A widget is an Arena feature. For example, the tag cloud is a widget which is displayed in the Tag Cloud Panel. Other widgets that you will use often in Arena are contained in the Login Panel, Hello Panel, and Language Panel. Arena includes many other widgets, too, which provide features that you will discover as you go along.

The term widget is used by software developers to describe a feature that you (the software user) interacts with directly. Widgets may be enabled or disabled, or moved around as required.

The welcome screen

The welcome screen is a special variation of the Arena screen. It is the starting point for many activities in Arena. It is the first screen you see after you have logged in. There are a several ways to reach this screen:

  • Log in.
  • Click the Arena banner at the top of any screen.
  • Click Welcome in the Quick Links Panel.
  • Click Welcome on the toolbar near the top of every screen.
Personal tools