IUG 2009 – Encore Implementation – One Academic Library’s Experience

Posted: May 19, 2009 in conferences, Innovative Interfaces, Innovative Users Group, integrated library system, Interlibrary Loan, IUG, iug 2009, library, library catalog
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Christopher Brown, Elizabeth Meagher, Sandra Macke

Penrose Library, University of Denver

 

This library didn’t do any advance publicity in advance of their Encore deployment. They just turned it on and let it run. There was only one complaint from a single faculty member.

 

With this approach they felt that the system was intuitive enough that patrons would just "get it," and that has proven to be the case.

 

Professors can use community tagging as a way to create virtual reserves.

 

The library selected keyword searching as the starting point for several reasons.

More Google-like

Works quite well for known-item searching

Is much faster than regular catalog

Has no limits to result set (traditional opac maxes out at 32,000 results)

 

During the implementation, they found that serials appear at the top of the results sets. This library considers this an added bonus to Encore.

 

The library hope to make their catalog become the ultimate reference tool for their institution. Along with this, they have a goal to make the searching the OPAC at least as easy as browsing the reference shelves.

 

The library currently has about 250 tags created through the community tagging system.

 

The library rolled out what was a fairly canned implementation of Encore. After rolling out, they began revising the catalog based on input rolling in from students and reference librarians.

 

Encore also helped reveal things relevant to database maintenance. For example, when a feature film showed up with a 3-D object facet, this threw up a red flag that something was wrong. When you’re skimming through records and facets, you can look for the things where only one item appears. Surprisingly, this helps problems bubble to the surface so that they can be found and corrected.

 

An audience question led to a reiteration of the point that the Penrose Library just put this out there. They bought it, turned it on, and let the public have at it. From Christopher: "Customers today understand that. Google does this all the time. They put something out there, and if it breaks, it breaks. We did it that way, and I would do it again."

 

"The first day out of the box it’s pretty good. Then you just tweak it."

 

Encore cannot handle all of the JavaScript enhancements that are possible in the traditional catalog.

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