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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 http://dev.library.yale.edu.  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 http://web.library.yale.edu/cataloging, 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 search.library.yale.edu.  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.

Quicksearch Beta Feedback

Many thanks to everyone who has provided feedback about the Quicksearch Beta interface!

Our favorite feedback message so far:

YAY QUICKSEARCH BETA! I just ran my old faithful search, “water nepal” and got some slammin results.

We’ve also received a lot of great suggestions for changes that would make the interface work better.  For example, two staff members suggested linking to the Orbis record, instead of directly into the Orbis Request feature, so that our patrons can access all of our Scan and Deliver, Aeon, and other request options.

That’s just the sort of feedback we’re looking for!

We have already started work reviewing and making changes like this where we can.  You can see the full list of issues reported and new features requested online on our two sharepoint lists:

Reported Issues: http://tinyurl.com/lit-qs-issues-xslx

Requested Features: http://tinyurl.com/lit-qs-requests-xslx

We hope you will continue exploring Quicksearch Beta (http://search.library.yale.edu) , particularly by using it as part of your daily work.  Please report any comments or suggestions you may have via the ‘Feedback’ links in the header and footer of each Quicksearch page.

Project Schedule Update

Now that Quicksearch is available for review by Library staff, the Quicksearch Implementation team will focus its efforts on three categories of work.

First, we will
fix any bugs or other errors reported by staff as part of the review process.  

Second, we will write documentation, both to highlight the new and exciting search features of Quicksearch, and to document the metadata mappings that are currently in use.

Finally, we are planning to develop a long list of new features.  

Most of the new features focus on replicating our existing patron services, but some, like the dynamic display of Item Statuses from Morris, will be brand new, and something we haven’t been able to do in other systems in the past.

Here is our upcoming schedule for the development of these new features:

Fall 2014

  • Add links to online materials directly from the search results list
  • Create a new ‘Resources about Yale” archival resource
  • Login to your account
  • Create bookmarks
  • Export to Endnote and Refworks
  • Expand the list of Summon Facets

Winter 2015

  • Place Orbis Requests in Quicksearch
  • Display Morris Item Statuses in Quicksearch holdings
  • Use the Morris API to do daily record updates

Spring / Early Summer 2015

  • Scan and Deliver Requests
  • Aeon Requests
  • Integrate Findit as a new resource in Quicksearch
  • Borrow Direct / Hathi Trust direct linking

What is a discovery service?

According to Marshall Breeding, a discovery service is a system that searches “seamlessly across a wide range of local and remote content … [providing] relevance-ranked results.”

Marshall Breeding “Web-Scale Discovery Services“, American Library Association, January 14, 2014

With the arrival of Quicksearch beta, the Library will have two large scale discovery services in its arsenal.

Articles+, powered by ProQuest’s Summon discovery service, allows the user to search through electronic journal articles, images, newspapers, and abstract and index content, as well as our own LibGuides. Articles+ is a production service at Yale, supported by LibraryIT staff and maintained remotely by ProQuest. Along with our eJournal title list and our database A-Z list, the Articles+ discovery service is our patrons’ access point for licensed electronic resource items.

Quicksearch beta is also a large scale discovery service, but has several differences in structure, support and scope in comparison to Articles+. Quicksearch beta is a locally maintained service. It is powered by the open-source Blacklight framework, and is being developed in tandem with our digital collections repository service, findit.library.yale.edu, by LibraryIT staff. Because Quicksearch beta is a an open-source system that the library supports and maintains locally, there is more potential in presenting our data in specific and unique ways. Articles+ uses a central index of over 11.4 billion items, maintained by ProQuest, and it is ProQuest who ultimately decides how that data can be presented.

Like Articles+, the Quicksearch catalog search runs off of a central index; but unlike Articles+ this index lives on a Yale server and contains only Yale catalog records. Quicksearch uses a “bento box” approach to execute simultaneous searches against Morris and Orbis catalog records (the Catalog search) and Articles+ itself, directly from the Quicksearch beta landing page. In this way, a search for a book title might come up with the book in the catalog search, and reviews for that book in the Articles+ search.

Quicksearch beta is just that- a beta product that is still in development. If you’ve never heard the term before, PC Magazine has a useful definition: “A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to try under real conditions.” Quicksearch beta is therefore not a fully developed product like Articles+ is now, but will be eventually!

For more information on discovery services at Yale, particularly Articles+, please see this handout from August’s Rediscover Discovery forums.