The author list page needs to display a list of all authors in the database, with each author name linked to its associated author detail page. The date of birth and date of death should be listed after the name on the same line.


The author list controller function needs to get a list of all Author instances, and then pass these to the template for rendering.

Open /controllers/authorController.js. Find the exported author_list() controller method near the top of the file and replace it with the following code (the changed code is shown in bold).

// Display list of all Authors.
exports.author_list = function(req, res, next) {

    .sort([['family_name', 'ascending']])
    .exec(function (err, list_authors) {
      if (err) { return next(err); }
      //Successful, so render
      res.render('author_list', { title: 'Author List', author_list: list_authors });


The method uses the model's find(), sort() and exec() functions to return all Author objects sorted by family_name in alphabetic order. The callback passed to the exec() method is called with any errors (or null) as the first parameter, or a list of all authors on success. If there is an error it calls the next middleware function with the error value, and if not it renders the author_list(.pug) template, passing the page title and the list of authors (author_list).


Create /views/author_list.pug and replace its content with the text below.

extends layout

block content
  h1= title
    each author in author_list
        a(href=author.url) #{} 
        |  (#{author.date_of_birth} - #{author.date_of_death})

      li There are no authors.

The view follows exactly the same pattern as our other templates.

What does it look like?

Run the application and open your browser to http://localhost:3000/. Then select the All authors link. If everything is set up correctly, the page should look something like the following screenshot.

Author List Page - Express Local Library site

Note: The appearance of the author lifespan dates is ugly! You can improve this using the same approach as we used for the BookInstance list (adding the virtual property for the lifespan to the Author model). This time, however, there are missing dates, and references to nonexistent properties are ignored unless strict mode is in effect. moment() returns the current time, and you don't want missing dates to be formatted as if they were today. One way to deal with this is to define the body of the function that returns a formatted date so it returns a blank string unless the date actually exists. For example:

return this.date_of_birth ? moment(this.date_of_birth).format('YYYY-MM-DD') : '';

Genre list page—challenge!Edit

In this section you should implement your own genre list page. The page should display a list of all genres in the database, with each genre linked to its associated detail page. A screenshot of the expected result is shown below.

Genre List - Express Local Library site

The genre list controller function needs to get a list of all Genre instances, and then pass these to the template for rendering.

  1. You will need to edit genre_list() in /controllers/genreController.js
  2. The implementation is almost exactly the same as the author_list() controller.
    • Sort the results by name, in ascending order.
  3. The template to be rendered should be named genre_list.pug.
  4. The template to be rendered should be passed the variables title ('Genre List') and genre_list (the list of genres returned from your Genre.find() callback.
  5. The view should match the screenshot/requirements above (this should have a very similar structure/format to the Author list view, except for the fact that genres do not have dates).

Next steps

Return to Express Tutorial Part 5: Displaying library data.

Proceed to the next subarticle of part 5: Genre detail page.

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