Category Archives: Project Update

Quicksearch Initial Testing Results

On September 9th, the Quicksearch Implementation team sucessfully hosted our first testing session.

Overall reception of the interface was good!

The primary goal of the testing session was to test searching and faceting in Quicksearch. Participating were 3 Public Services staff, 2 Rare book catalogers, 2 language specialists, 2 staff from Enterprise Systems, and 6 members of the Discovery Metadata group. We asked testers to evaluate the Quicksearch test interface using the Quicksearch Test Script as a guide, in addition to their favorite searches.

Results from our test clearly showed that Keyword searches in Quicksearch work much better than Keyword searches in Orbis. Relevant results are more likely to rise the top of the result list, and results in a result set are more likely to be relevant. This is good news moving forward as we begin now to focus on fine-tuning metadata display issues and on developing Patron Services like Booksmarks, Requesting, etc.

The testing session also revealed a number of bugs, from minor display problems to two major software bugs, for which we sincerely thank the testers! In addition, they requested some interesting new features, like the incorporation of the BMEC (Bass Media Equipment Catalog) in Quicksearch. Their careful testing has been invaluable in helping us identify and prioritize the issues we need to work on next.

After testing, the Discovery Metadata group engaged in an intensive 3-day sprint to go through the 65 responses, categorize them, and make recommendations for the metadata-related issues. (What is a Sprint? A sprint, or scrum, is a concept adapted from the software development world. The team identifies a list of goals, and meets for designated period of time to work on that goal. The team works on that goal and that goal only during the period of the sprint, and meets daily to report on progress and make plans for the next day’s work). The results of the testing and the three-day metadata sprint that followed are summarized in two publicly-available spreadsheets, Reported Issues, and Requested Features.

The Quicksearch Implementation team is currently hard at work resolving issues identified in testing, and doing a full extract and re-load of Orbis and Morris. The Reported Issues and Requested Features spreadsheets will be updated once a week on Friday so you can follow these issues as they are resolved. We expect to continue working on these issues through the remainder of the semester.

Next up: Our goal for this week is to release a Beta version of Quicksearch to all Yale Library Staff for review.

First full load of Orbis and Morris data!

The first full test load of Orbis and Morris data in the new Quicksearch discovery environment is complete!

There are 9.6 million titles from the Orbis Library Catalog and 500 thousand titles from the Morris Law Library Catalog in the test Quicksearch database. That brings the combined catalog total to a whopping 10.1 million titles.

There will be an opportunity in the next few weeks to participate in limited testing of the new combined search, followed by a rollout to Yulib for testing in late September.

Upcoming Project Schedule

The Quicksearch project is going to roll out over the course of the next year in several phases.  We will post more detailed schedule information about later phases of the project as it becomes available.

Here is an outline of our major goals right now:

Summer-Early Fall 2014

Summer has been a very busy time for the Quicksearch project!  We are focused on two major aspects of development.  First, we are working on getting catalog content into Quicksearch and displaying it correctly.  Specifically, we are finalizing the custom programs written to extract records from Orbis and Morris, and load them into the new Quicksearch interface.  Records from the two different library management systems will load using a normalized mapping scheme created by the Discovery and Systems Metadata group, so they are indexed in the same way- despite differences in cataloging practice between the two systems.

Second, we are working on some significant interface changes.  A complete re-design of the interface is underway, introducing a new, clean look with modern fonts and the Yale Library brand.  We are also focusing heavily on the dynamic display of item statuses in the search results list, so each item in the search results list will indicate whether it is checked out or available.  Finally, we are working to implement the recommendations of the Discovery & Systems Metadata committee for the display of fields and sub-fields in the individual record title views.

Fall 2014

YULIB Staff Rollout:  The Quicksearch interface will be rolled out for early review by YUL staff.  We look forward to getting your feedback!

Late Fall 2014 – Spring 2015

BETA Public Rollout:  Quicksearch will be rolled out for preview by faculty, students, and staff.   Close to the Beta release, we are planning to host information sessions for public services staff to highlight features and answer any questions.  Note that Orbis will still be the primary library catalog interface.  New features, and any bug fixes, will become available as they are completed.

Summer 2015

Production Rollout of Quicksearch:  Quicksearch becomes the primary catalog interface.  Orbis remains up and running, but will stay in the background.

Hello from the Quicksearch Project team!

The purpose of this blog is to communicate information and announcements about the Library’s Quicksearch Project. Each post to this blog will be contributed by the members of the Quicksearch Project team. Some posts will be paired with announcements to Yulib, but overall this blog will be the central place where communications about Quicksearch happen.

Please look for updates on the Quicksearch Project here and on Yulib over the summer and fall of 2014 as we work towards a rollout to YUL staff.


The Quicksearch Project is the Library’s effort to unite several of its online services under one discovery interface. The product we are using to do this is an open source system called Blacklight.

Our peers at Columbia University have also brought up Blacklight and now run this system (with heavy customization) as their main search and discovery interface, called Clio. To take a look at where we are headed with Quicksearch, please visit Clio here and try some searches for yourself.

The services initially targeted for our new discovery interface include:

Our project team is working diligently to shape the code we started with into something that works with our own services. The project work involves, among many things:

  • server infrastructure and administration
  • programming in Ruby, Javascript and other coding languages
  • creation of interoperability paths (getting services to talk to each other)
  • careful analysis and mapping of metadata elements from one system to another
  • documentation

If you have questions, comments, or other feedback on the Quicksearch project, please click here to share them with the project team. You can also comment here on this blog.

Kalee Sprague (Project Manager), Library IT
Lakeisha Robinson (Technical Lead), Library IT
Katie Bauer,  Library IT
Steve DiSorbo,  Library IT
Arcadia Falcone, Cataloging and Metadata Services
Mike Friscia, Library IT
Yue Ji, Library IT
Scott Matheson, Law Library
Jenn Nolte, Library IT
Bob Rice, Library IT