This summer (after exams!) we are changing our Library Search function and Library Management System to improve your experience when using library services. We’ll be updating our blog as the project progresses with information on what’s changing, why we’re changing and the benefits for you.
We’ll also be updating our website as we update on key milestones in the implementation process and what you need to know – so watch this space!
As an introduction to the new library search, keep reading for an interview…
interview time! 🙋♀️
Hello! Who are you?
Hello, I’m Caroline and I am the Digital Systems and Services Librarian. I’ve been with the library for (almost!) 24 years so know my way around a library search. My job is to make sure, along with my team, that all of the library systems you use from day to day are working properly.
Why are we changing our library search?
There are a couple of reasons for changing our library system. Firstly, with the changing of the library search also comes the changing of the Library Management System.
To save you from all the jargon, the system that holds all of the details about your borrowing, reading, and e-resource access rights is changing. Don’t worry, this won’t mean anything changes for you, but it does mean it will be even easier for us to help you.
The new system also comes with a new search which we are very excited about.
We listened to and read through all of the feedback on the current search (of which there was a lot) and wanted to bring something better, more powerful, and easy to use.
What are the benefits of our new library search?
There are quite a few benefits, and they were the main reasons for choosing this as our new library search over any other.
The main reason was its ease of use. One main point raised in all of the feedback was that the current search was awkward to use and made it difficult to find books and articles (which isn’t what you want from a library search). The new search will be a lot easier to navigate and will reduce the amount of time needed to find content. This means you can focus on your readings and essays instead of trying to find the right book or article.
As well as its basic search, it also provides a lot of powerful tools for searching and finding. So although it’s easy to jump and find what you’re looking for, it’s also easy to find the things you didn’t realise you were looking for. Each of these will also come with a lot of information and ways to connect your citations.
Lastly, but certainly not the least, we will be integrating the Southend catalogue into our catalogue. If you’re a student based at Southend, you will no longer need to search two different catalogues and will be able to find everything you need in one place. You’ll be able to see the physical Southend books while also seeing all available resources. You’ll even be able to filter to just Southend items as well.
One of the major changes coming, and one we’re really excited about is auto-renewals. This system will make it easier to borrow and also ensure you never have any nasty date changes on the books you are currently borrowing. There will be more information on that later though.
As mentioned above, Southend users will no longer have to search two different catalogues so that should make things easier.
We will also be saying goodbye to the classic catalogue search, but we hope that the new search will more than make up for that.
What’s not changing?
Almost nothing is changing! Although the search will look different, it will still function as you would expect a library search to function. You will be able to search and refine to find items, you will be able to check your account and save items for later and you’ll be able to make requests on books that are currently unavailable.
For our online students, you will still have your own search which will only show what you can access, so no need to trawl through or filter your results when searching.
We want to make sure that the systems stay the same as much as possible so you can focus on the bigger things like readings, research, and essays.
When is this all happening and how can people stay up to date with the progress?
The countdown has started and the new library search is going live on Tuesday 28th June. There’s a few more bits and pieces to do until then, but we’re on track to go live. We’re happy and confident with the progress we’ve made and can’t wait to show you.
If you want to stay up to date, you’re in the right place. You can follow along on this blog and the Meet our new library search page, we’ll be updating it weekly with the work we’ve been up to and what you can look forward to when it’s live.
What’s been your favourite part of the project?
It’s been quite a long project, starting back in June 2021, and quite a lot to take in.
I don’t think I’ve had a favourite moment as such, but it’s that feeling I get each time I see something new and exciting and think “This is going to be brilliant for all of our users and I can’t wait to share it with everyone” – there’s been quite a lot of those!
Still have questions?
Hopefully our interview with Caroline, our Digital Systems and Services Librarian, helps to answer your initial questions.
If you would like to stay up to date with the process make sure to follow our Libguide and if you still have questions please don’t hesitate to contact us!