All posts by Kalee Sprague

Findit Digital Collections now in Quicksearch

The Quicksearch Implementation team  and Library IT are happy to announce that collections from the Findit digital repository are now available in Quicksearch!

You can view digital collections in Quicksearch by going to the library front door at, or directly to the Quicksearch main page at, and searching for a term like “Andy Warhol”.

Three result bento boxes now display, Books+, Articles+, and Digital Collections:


Clicking on the “See xxx results” link in the bento box, or the “Digital Collections” facet in the left hand menu, will bring you to the full Digital Collections page.  The Digital Collections page provides facets that match the facet functionality in Findit.


A few other additions and bug fixes were added in this Quicksearch update:

  • Serial fields like Summary Holdings, Indexes, and Supplements now display using an accordion, in order to streamline users’ initial view of holdings.
  • MARC tag label definitions that were causing duplicate displays have been cleaned up
  • Additional functionality to manage large amounts of traffic from a single source has been added

My thanks go to the User Experience Advisory Committee, Findit stakeholders, and the Beinecke User Experience group for their testing and feedback.

We welcome your comments and feedback ( )

Kalee Sprague, on behalf of the Quicksearch Implementation Team and those involved in this project:

Osman Din, Jason Eiseman,  Mike Friscia, Eric James, Yue Ji, Tracy MacMath, Youn Noh, Jenn Nolte, George Ouellette, Lakeisha Robinson, Bob Rice

Quicksearch January Update

Dear Colleagues,

I’m happy to announce that Quicksearch will become the default search on the Library Front Door on Tuesday, January 12th!

What does this mean?

As of January 12th, the library front door will have a new design, courtesy of the User Experience Advisory Group.  You can see a preview of the new design at  Although Quicksearch will be the default search on the Library Front Door, links to Orbis, Morris, and Articles+ will still be prominent on the new page.

More details about the latest Quicksearch developments…

Members of the Quicksearch Implementation team and many other library staff worked hard in November and December to get Quicksearch ready for this day, and I’d like to highlight some of their efforts.

Requests – Orbis, Morris, Scan and Deliver, and Aeon request links have been added to Quicksearch!  The request links themselves have been added in the holdings area, next to the locations they are associated with.  Thanks to Yue Ji, Lakeisha Robinson, Tracy MacMath, and Scott Matheson who helped develop the request links and the new holdings area layout.  Thanks also to all the staff across the library system who participated in testing the new request links, and who gave feedback about their placement.

Books+ Search Analysis group documentation – the Books+ Search Analysis group, led by Arcadia Falcone, finished posting their documentation to the Cataloging at Yale web site.  You can see a detailed description of Quicksearch indexing at, under Discovery Systems Documentation.  The documentation describes both indexing changes made this fall at the group’s recommendation, and those that are still under consideration for future implementation.  Many thanks to everyone on the group for their hard work.

SearchFest – our final SearchFest was held November 17th.  This was the fifth and final Quicksearch SearchFest – many thanks to Jenn Nolte for leading these pizza and fun-filled learning opportunities, and thanks to all the staff who participated and presented their own tips and tricks for searching in Quicksearch!!

Infrastructure – we are working closely with ITS to identify issues related to occasional 5-10 minute outages of the alias  Quicksearch itself is still up, as is the ITS load balancer, but the alias is locked.  Thanks to Bob Rice for taking the lead on this issue.  On the bright side, Quicksearch server performance testing concluded successfully in late November with our individual servers handling a load at 20% above the maximum number of simultaneous users experienced historically by Orbis during the busiest time of the year.

User Experience Advisory Group – thanks to this group led by Steven Wieda, who, in addition to creating the new layout on the Library Front Door, also reviewed the layout and appearance of the new additions and features in Quicksearch this fall.

Finally, thanks to all of the Library staff who have participated by providing feedback this year.  The project wouldn’t be where it is without all of you!

Next up – this is not the end of the Quicksearch project, merely another important stage.  As we move through the winter and spring months, Quicksearch will continue to address outstanding issues and add new features, including the addition of a new digital materials bento box from the Findit digital interface.

Quicksearch Update November 2015

The Quicksearch implementation team has been busy this fall with two major projects.

The first project was to improve the indexing of Morris and Orbis records. Work began with the Books+ Search Analysis Working Group, a broad-based team of technical services stakeholders, led by Quicksearch team member Arcadia Falcone.  The group wrote a recommendation document highlighting changes to searching, faceting, and sorting in Quicksearch.  The changes were then reviewed by the Cataloging Coordinating Committee and the User Experience Advisory Committee.  The approved recommendations were then implemented by Quicksearch team members in a series of code updates and a full extract and re-load of over 10.3 million Morris and Orbis records.  A new Subject (Local Yale) facet is just one of the recommended changes now available in Quicksearch.  A few recommended changes related to facet and sort labels are still in progress and will be available in production Quicksearch within the next week.

This fall the team has also been busy improving the layout, design, and content of holdings in the Quicksearch single item view.  A new streamlined design was introduced to Quicksearch earlier in the fall, with improved indentation designed to make it easier to see individual holdings for items with numerous holdings statements.  Holdings notes relating to the Provenance and description of individual special collections items were also added to the holdings display.  Finally, the mobile view of holdings has been revised, and is continuing to undergo review.

Currently on the development front – the team has now embarked on the project to implement Aeon and Scan and Deliver requests in Quicksearch.  In addition to adding new request types, we will re-design the request links in the item view, making the options to request from Orbis, Morris, Scan and Deliver or Aeon, easier to find and use for our patrons.  We hope to make all of these request types available in time for our January roll-out of Quicksearch.

Morris Holdings now available in Quicksearch!

Morris holdings now appear in Quicksearch!

The best way to view this new feature is to search for a law-related topic like ‘Human Rights Law’ in Quicksearch:

In the Search Results list you can now see real-time availability information.    A red ‘x’ appears if the title is checked out, and a green check mark displays if the title is available.


In the individual holdings screen, you can see the location, call number, and status of the title pulled directly in real time from Morris.


This is an important milestone in the Quicksearch project ;  the two Yale Library catalogs, Orbis and Morris, are both now fully represented in Quicksearch.

Quicksearch Update June 2015

The Quicksearch project team has been working hard in the past few months to implement several important “behind the scenes” improvements, and I’d like to highlight a few of them for you:

  • Production Quicksearch is now supported by not one, but two separate servers that are mediated by something called an F5 load balancer. An F5 load balancer acts like a traffic light; for each incoming user request, and it will look to see which of our two production servers is least busy, and direct traffic to that server.  This balanced approach has several advantages.  First, Quicksearch will be able to handle the level of traffic currently experienced by Orbis and Orbexpress.  Second, in the event of a server failure, the load balancer will automatically direct all traffic to the server that is currently up, with no visible downtime for users.
  • We are implementing a new approach to Google Analytics that will enable analytics-driven change in Quicksearch. Quicksearch has been upgraded to use both Google Analytics Universal code and the new Google Tag Manager application.  Google Tag Manager will allow us to more easily track user behavior.  We also developed custom code specifically for identifying the broad use of items by location and call number.  The setup was driven by small group discussions between Library IT and Sarah Tudesco, with the goal of setting up analytics using similar approaches in all of the applications supported by Library IT.  These new analytics will be analyzed over the summer and tweaked as necessary.  Our goal is to finalize our setup by September 2015.
  • Daily record extract and load workflows are being finalized.  For example, a daily Audit script of all loading activities has been added.  The Audit script generates a list of records rejected by Quicksearch for clean up in Orbis or Morris.  The statistics associated with each load will be publicly available in the near future in a graphical dashboard.  A full audit workflow also now exists to compare all publicly-available records in Orbis, Morris, and Quicksearch, and generate a list of any records out of sync between the three public OPACs.


What’s up next in the Quicksearch project?

  • Work is in progress to integrate the display of Morris holdings.
  • We’re also creating public-facing Help documentation for Quicksearch users.  A sub-group of the Quicksearch Implementation team has formed to create this documentation, and will be working in consultation with the User Experience Strategy Group.
  • Re-discover Discovery and other staff sessions will be planned for late summer to support library instruction, in consultation with public services staff.
  • Quicksearch is still on target to replace Orbis as the default search on the Library Front Door in January 2016!

Quicksearch Update April 2015

Several new features and bug fixes are being rolled out in the first two weeks of April.

First, we are doing a full extract and re-load of all Orbis and Morris, in order to take advantage of several changes we have made in response to user Feedback.  To highlight a few:

  • All records will now have an Acquisitions Date, so sorting by Aquistions Date will make more sense when sorting by ‘Acquired earliest’
  • URL Links stored in the MFHD are now extracted and will appear in the holdings section of the item view.
  • We updated the format mappings and labels for two formats – “Archives or Manuscripts” and “Dissertations & Theses”.  For more information about format mapping changes, see: How Quicksearch Assigns Format Facet Terms
  • We updated language mapping to add ISO 693-2 codes
  • We added 69x local subject fields to the Subject Index
  • We fixed the Google Books bug that sometimes caused the incorrect book cover to display

For a full list of bugs fixed in the April update, see the Quicksearch 4.0 Release Notes.

Quicksearch Beta Links on Library home page February 5

Library IT and the Quicksearch Implementation team are preparing to do a code rollout for Quicksearch Beta next week.

After the code rollout staff will test Quicksearch beta. When it is determined that the code rollout was successful, our new web developer Steve Wieda will be putting a link to Quicksearch beta on the YUL homepage the following Thursday February 5th. This will begin the public beta testing period for Quicksearch!

The link will be under the search box in “Search Orbis Catalog” section on the left side of the page. It will read “Try Quicksearch beta!” Clicking on this link will take you to  Links will also be available in the ‘Research’ box on the home page, and from the ‘Research’ drop-down in the header.

A description of the latest Quicksearch features is available in the Quicksearch blog at  The major enhancement rolling out next week will be to re-name the ‘Catalogs’ section to ‘Books+’.  We are making this change based on undergraduate and graduate student feedback in user studies this fall.  A number of other small interface changes will be made as well.

Over the next several weeks, we will be offering brief information / demo sessions.  Stay tuned for more information on dates.

Please note that because Quicksearch is still in Beta, it will be supported from Monday – Friday, 8am-5pm only.  It will also be subject to outages as we continue to address issues and add new features.

January New Features in Quicksearch


The following new features and bug fixes have been rolled out in January:

  • We have greatly improved relevancy ranking for known phrase searches like Journal titles.  A typical example of this is a search for the Journal title ‘Nature’ which has long been a source of frustration in Orbis because so many titles in the Library catalog contain that word.  A search for ‘Nature’ in Quicksearch now brings the Online version of the Journal up as the first hit in the Catalogs result list!  Give it a try:
  • Another great new feature: you can now access Full Text materials like the online version of ‘Nature” directly from the Quicksearch results list.


  •  Quicksearch Response time has also been greatly improved! Thanks again to everyone who reported and/or pitched in to help out with this issue.
  •  All fields that display in Orbis now display in Quicksearch
  • Several small layout and style issues have been addressed

Quicksearch December Update

Thanks again for to everyone for their continued use and testing of Quicksearch!

Many things have happened in the Quicksearch Project in the last month.  We have rolled out important new features, conducted user studies, and addressed over half of the 100 or so issues reported by you.   For example:

  • Quicksearch can now display special circulation messages generated by Orbis status patrons.
  • Search results in the Articles+ column are now pre-limited to Yale licensed materials, eliminating a major source of confusion in Quicksearch results.
  • Jenn Nolte and Katie Bauer coordinated an initial round of user testing, with help from a number of staff from around the Library system.  More details about the results of the user studies will be available soon.

We still have a lot of work left to do.

For example, we are working to improve relevancy ranking for popular journal titles like ‘Nature,’ ‘New York Times,’ and ‘New England Journal of Medicine’ that are difficult to find in Orbis.  Other improvements currently in progress include:

  • Improved response time.  Thanks to everyone who has reported slow response time; resolving this problem with our Solr index is our number one priority.
  • Displaying all fields in Quicksearch that display in Orbis
  • Identifying Chrome-specific problems with displaying certain non-roman characters
  • Improving the Orbis record extract to include fields like 856 links in MFHD records.

2015 promises to be an exciting year full of anticipated new features: a ‘Resources about Yale’ facet focusing on Yale-oriented special collections, implementation of dynamic statuses from Morris using the Innovative Interfaces API, requesting directly from the Quicksearch interface, and more.

My thanks to all of the members of the Implementation Committee, Discovery Metadata Committee, and numerous volunteer testers who have worked so hard this year on the implementation of Quicksearch.

While we continue moving toward our goals, please understand if our progress slows somewhat during the coming year. The library has several time-sensitive projects moving forward in 2015, and at times other projects will have to take precedence.  Thank you for your patience, continued participation and support.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

–          Kalee

On behalf of the Quicksearch Implementation Team:

Kalee Sprague (Chair)
Lakeisha Robinson (Technical Lead, Ex-Officio)
Katie Bauer
Steve Disorbo
Arcadia Falcone
Yue Ji
Scott Matheson
Jenn Nolte
Bob Rice
Quicksearch Feedback form:

Current list of Reported Issues:

Current list of Requested Features:


Enhanced Item Status displays in Quicksearch


Quicksearch has now been enhanced to display statuses that are generated by special status patrons.  These messages are typically generated when a book is checked out to a special location, for example a library’s New Book Shelf:



Simple Item Status messages have also been enhanced.

Previously,  Item Statuses in Quicksearch displayed as one of two values – ”Available” or ”Unavailable”.  Item Statuses have now been enhanced to display a greater level of detail.  Messages like ”Lost” or ”Checked-out,” for example, now convey more information to users about availability of a title.