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Webbin' Rebels

Help test our new site search!

By Brian Egan on March 12, 2009 1:53 PM | Permalink

UNLV Libraries Google Custom Search

One of the problems the Usability Committee uncovered, highlighted by the recent Summit on Discovery, is our site search. Currently, the search we provide sends our patrons to a search engine set up by the University. While this search returns reasonable results, it does not include all of our resources, and most notably excludes subject guides. Furthermore, as the search engine includes all University resources, patrons tend to get results that are not relevant, and these results may be more prominently displayed than our own resources. Finally, forwarding the patron to a generic University page leaves them no library navigation to return quickly to our site other than the “back” button, breaking a fairly important usability rule of providing consistent navigation.

The Summit on Discovery: Continuing the Conversation

By Alex Dolski on March 4, 2009 8:35 AM | Permalink

At the recent Summit On Discovery, thoughts on our present information delivery model were strong. Most would acknowledge that there are problems with regard to discovery in the libraries (why else would we have a summit to address them?), but feel, perhaps, a little bit overwhelmed at the prospect of delivering or even imagining any kind of comprehensive solution. There are a variety of factors in play that all coalesce into a big, indiscernible, difficult "thing" that nobody wants to touch.

It must be said that from a pure technology standpoint, we certainly have the capability to deliver a vast improvement over our current information design and retrieval model. The dilemma that we are facing is not exclusive to our library and has been substantially addressed, if not more-or-less solved, elsewhere. We should keep in mind at all times that it is not only doable, but our responsibility as a library to do.

At the conclusion of the summit we were invited to a "demonstration conference" on discovery in April which will feature the following themes, verbatim from the invite: