You Said, We Did – Library Search edition

Our new Library Search is arriving 28 June and we can’t wait to share it with you!

Since the introduction of our current Library Search in 2021, we’ve received a lot of mixed feedback about our decision. We listened to and read through all the feedback on the current search, and we wanted to bring something better, more powerful, and easy to use.

We’re extremely thankful for all the feedback we have received, as the insight helps us aid your studies and shape your library experience around what matters.

Here are some examples of feedback we've received on our current Library Search, which has helped shape the implementation of our new Search:

You said – books that are definitely in the library do not always show up on the catalogue. Other times, books are often low down on the search results list despite being the most relevant.

One main point raised in the feedback we received 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.

You said – search results don’t show up unless you type exactly and the full wording of what you are searching for.

The new search will be more forgiving when it comes to searching with keywords, prioritising title first, followed by the rest of the item’s description. The new search also has an autocomplete function so you can select relevant terms, and an autocorrect to help with language.

You said – [the current Search] is confusing, it takes you off the main library site.

Our new Library Search will still take you off the main library site, however it will be much less confusing as the load times, order of results and search tools will be more user-friendly and intuitive. We’ll also be creating videos demonstrating best practice so you can get the most out of it.

While the new Library Search will look different, which could be confusing at first, it will still function as you would expect. You will be able to search and refine to find items, check your account and save items for later and you’ll be able to make requests on books that are currently unavailable.

You said – It’s not clear with the current Search whether you’re logged into your account.

The new Search makes it clearer if you are logged in or not. When you are not logged in, there will be a banner just under the Search asking if you would like to, and there will be an option in the top right as well. When you’re logged in, your name will appear in the top right hand corner and you will be able to access your record. This includes items you currently have checked out and items you have saved.

You said – The current Library Search gives results in different languages and language has to be manually selected each time.

You’ll be able to select the language of the resource via the advanced search. If only searching for a specific language, you will still need to filter language on each search. However, the new Library Search will be more efficient at filtering relevant items compared to the current Library Search so searches that previously brought up irrelevant information should hopefully be reduced.

You said – It would be very useful to have the option to search via classmark.

While this isn’t happening at the moment, it may become a feature later on. Though we are excited to introduce more features with the new Library Search. There will be benefits for Southend students, as well as the long-awaited introduction of auto-renewals for everyone!


Once the new Library Search arrives, we’re still interested in hearing your feedback so please contact us if you have any concerns or comments.


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