Convenient Searching In Library Catalogs

An ongoing concern for librarians is the ease at which a user can search a library catalog. If the search is too convoluted, researchers will generally resort to resources that they are comfortable using, such as Google and Wikipedia, and forego the use of the library catalog and library resources.

To that end, "Yale Library Information Technology will beta test a new search system called Quicksearch, slated to replace the current Orbis catalog in September 2015. According to library administrators, the new platform will streamline the different search engines available across schools into a unified Yale library site. Library administrators said they hope the new system will resolve inconveniences in searching for texts. 'The library always had a multitude of systems that don’t necessarily talk to each other,' Chief Technology Officer for Yale Libraries Michael Dula said. 'We are aiming to pull the resources available at Yale under one umbrella, starting with main library catalogue and law library catalogue.'"

This is a wonderful improvement and makes a search in the library catalog much more convenient. The new platform will have a search window that "will appear as a split-screen, in which one column will display the merged catalog results and the other column will show academic articles accessible and licensed through Yale." This type of federated searching allows researchers to see all of the resources available to them and alleviates the needs to individually search separate catalogs or separate databases.

Yale noted that it used code created from Columbia University library to create the database. But the baseline code was specific for Columbia and had to be revised to make it work for Yale.

One Yale law student said that since he does not use the library catalog to search for law documents, he's not sure that the change will impact him. This bring to light the fact that not only do libraries and librarians need to create these type of catalogs, they also need to go a step further and promote the use of the catalogs. Once students understand that the library catalog will generally vet out reputable information automatically, they may see the importance of using it as a resource.


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