New online library search system to come January 2020

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Photo Credit: Barbra Daly | Daily Texan Staff

With new changes to the online library system coming in January, students will be able to use one search box to filter through all library resources and receive faster and more relevant results, said Michele Ostrow, assistant director of Teaching & Learning Services.

“It’s like … a giant upgrade system that lets you manage (library resources) more efficiently and have everything working together more seamlessly,” Ostrow said.

Currently, separate independent systems work together to look through the library’s physical books, media and databases to present results, Ostrow said. Problems arise when these systems are not in sync, resulting in lost information.

“If you’ve ever looked for … an article in the library, when you search in the main search box, it will give you a link that will tell you if the full text is online somewhere else,” Ostrow said. “Sometimes, when you click that link, it can’t find the full text because something hasn’t been updated in another system.”

 

The new online library will contain all its resources on the same system, eliminating miscommunication, Ostrow said. Since a single search will pull content from one place, users will also receive results faster.

“All of the library resources are not connected,” library communications officer Travis Willmann said. “So the search takes longer, and the results it returns right now are not as objectively good as the ones that we should find in the new system.”

But with these new updates, saved lists stored on the old system will be lost and borrower history will no longer be available, Ostrow said. 

“You’re going to have to either recreate the (lists) you already had or download them to another place since, unfortunately, we can’t suck those into our new system,” Ostrow said. “And if you want to keep a record of everything you checked out, you have to do so on your own.”

However, new features will allow users to see the loan period for any available item before check out and search across the majority of database content at once, Ostrow said.

Willmann said the updated library system aims to make research and school work easier.

“(The new library system) would help me be more efficient,” said Katelyn Hoffman, an art history graduate student. “I am here mostly for research, so being able to do less searching through different pages and getting faster results will definitely help me.”