WDS would like to announce Search Lite, the new design for the Express Stations. WDS, working with Wendy, Vicki, and the Systems Department, sought to define the function the stations should serve within the library, as well as to identify a number of problems with the former Express Station design. We then refined the design and functionality of the Express Stations to reflect those discussions.
Wendy and Vicki determined the function of the Express Stations is to perform quick catalog searches, and nothing more. No internet, no electronic reserves, not even access to our main library website.
We also identified a number of errors with the former Express Station configuration. If you've used an express station, you may have noticed all of the broken links to book cover images. Also, if a patron typed in an external address (such as google.com), the express station would time out, but provide no information as to why this was happening. Not too user friendly!
In response to these discussions, we made the following changes:
- Systems set up a special service for us to modify the look and feel of the Express Stations independent of the main catalog.
- Rebranded "Quick Catalog Lookup" to "Search Lite"
- Provide a friendly message on the home page explaining the difference between "Search Lite" and our regular terminals.
- Provide a friendly error message should a patron try to access the internet.
- Remove all links to our web sites or external sites.
- Remove the ability for Patrons to log into the WebOPAC
- Remove "Link+" Search buttons
- Remove "Add to Refworks" button
- Remove "Add a Review" button
- Remove Google Books
- Remove Electronic Access links
Overall, the new design is much more streamlined than the main catalog, and provides friendlier and more useful feedback should a patron wander off track.
For technical reasons, the problems with the express stations had prevented us from launching the Google Books service in our WebOPAC. The Google Books service checks the ISBN of the current record, and if Google has scanned that particular book into their database, a link is provided to preview its content. Thanks to Systems, we're now able to launch Google Books for all users while not hurting our Express Stations. Overall, a pretty big win!
Please feel free to leave a comment or send us an email with your thoughts on these updates!