RES: [WEB4LIB] Searching in Libraries

Michelangelo M M Viana mviana at PUCRS.BR
Mon Aug 18 16:46:42 EDT 2014

Hi Amy,

Here at PUCRS (Brazil) we are about to adopt a single search box for our entire local and on-line collections, physical and electronic, using PRIMO discovery (Ex Libris).
We are harvesting records from our ILS (Aleph500: mixed), from our SFX records (e-books and e-journals), from our Metalib records (databases entries) and from Primo Central Index (global index). We will also allow metasearch (for remote federated search) through same search box. In the future the repository records (DSpace) too.
Now users will can really use a single search box to find books, articles, magazines and databases.
Besides that, we will adopt for Primo the same user interface customized by Northeastern University: which uses responsive design:
- only one interface for all devices (desktop, tablets and smartphones), because we also agree that using the library search tool shouldn't require “install” several and different versions of same system (desktop version, mobile version, APP for IOS, Android…).


Michelangelo Mazzardo Marques Viana | Support and Development
Coordinator of Libraries Systems. Librarian CRB-10/1306
Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul - PUCRS
Ir.  Jose Otao Central Library | Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
+55(51) 3353.4371| mviana at<mailto:mviana at> |
Find us on Facebook:
Follow us on Twitter:
Know our spaces on Flickr:

De: Web technologies in libraries [mailto:WEB4LIB at LISTSERV.ND.EDU] Em nome de Amy Drayer
Enviada em: segunda-feira, 18 de agosto de 2014 15:28
Assunto: Re: [WEB4LIB] Searching in Libraries

Dear Lisa and Web4Libbers:

This is a great question, and I do not think it has one right answer.  I believe we can agree on some basic points though, that the search utilities need to behave as similarly as possible (although some just cannot based on the type of data) with as seamless an experience as possible.

Beyond that, the answer is going to vary based on the mission of the library and why/how the users use the library.  The biggest differentiation might be between public library users and academic library users.  Public library users may get frustrated and/or confused getting everything back in a single search.  Academic library users, however, are more likely to want to most relevant and newest content available, which is often going to come from multiple database searches.

The best option is to make all those options easy to find and as obvious as possible.  Whether that is using a single search with perhaps a bento box results page, or presenting multiple search tabs with clear labels, is likely up to those additional factors of library purpose, user intent, and even additional aspects such as collection scope.

I personally would love to see a great implementation of a single search interface that doesn't negatively the user experience (speed, relevancy, functionality, etc); but if a user is asking very specifically for the latest James Patterson book and gets slammed with an encyclopedia-thick response, the single search interface might not be the best solution.  I would also rather not leave the user up to the vendor's (interface) discretion.  For what it's worth, my opinion is that a single search isn't "dumbing it down" so much as it is making the content much easier for more users to find.  Using the library shouldn't require a master's degree.

The best approach we can take is to fully understand the user needs and implement/develop the tools necessary to achieve those needs more successfully (and referring to the article, I would love to see search engines, especially library searches, better provide the different search/browse methods).

I look forward to seeing other responses to this inquiry.

In peace,

Amy M. Drayer, MLIS
Senior IT Specialist, Web Developer
amostrom at<mailto:amostrom at>

On Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 1:03 PM, Haitz, Lisa (haitzlm) <haitzlm at<mailto:haitzlm at>> wrote:
At our library, we're discussing search. We have web site searches, Summon search, our Catalog search, etc...not to mention our 700+ databases.

Our patrons, and even some library staff, cant understand why there is more than one box for search.

On the other hand, we have some staff that think these searches should be distinctly different. They feel that our interface should not be dumbed-down and users should have to learn to search natively.

This article had me thinking about search in libraries, and how some of these reccomendations can easily apply to us:

What philosophy have you embraced at your institution, and what tools did you use to arrive at your philosophy?

Lisa Haitz
Web Developer
Univ of Cincinnati Libraries

To unsubscribe:

Web4Lib Web Site:



To unsubscribe:

Web4Lib Web Site:



To unsubscribe:

Web4Lib Web Site:

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Web4lib mailing list