May 29, 2013

Coming Soon: A new, faster search for University Libraries, partners

UW Libraries

In late June, the University Libraries home page will feature a new unified search system.

Students, faculty and staff will be able to find and request books, journal articles and media of all formats – all the materials they currently search for through multiple searches on the UW Libraries home page – combined in a single search.

Currently, users may be filtering their searches by location or format, or searching via the UW-only catalog. With the new Libraries Search, materials in a specific library or at another campus will be easily identifiable and other search refinements can be made after the initial search results are returned.

“We’re excited to be one of the first institutions developing and implementing this new and powerful platform,” said Lizabeth Wilson, dean of University Libraries. “By sharing one system, we’ll improve the research experience for and save the time of our students and faculty by surfacing relevant materials, and showing real-time availability.”

Wilson said she expects a smooth transition to the new search system. “In fact, many users won’t change how they search, but they’ll get more relevant results faster when they search.”

The new search will extend to the UW’s 36 partners in the Orbis Cascade Alliance – academic libraries throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Faculty, staff, and students will have immediate access to the entire shared collection.

What faculty and staff need to know and do:

  • Pending holds may not transfer to the new system. UW Libraries recommends users note the items they are waiting for and request them again in the new system.
  • WorldCat.org accounts will work and users will be able to access saved lists from the WorldCat.org website in the new system, but they will no longer be able to connect to UW-restricted resources from a WorldCat account. Also, WorldCat lists can be saved or moved (learn more online).
  • Users’ existing “preferred search” email alerts will cease. The new system will have a similar feature, but you’ll need to set it up separately.  Preferred searches won’t transfer automatically to the new system.

Library staff members are available to answer questions and help users locate resources, either in person, via chat or email or by phone.

Meanwhile, intense behind-the-scenes migration of databases and information is taking place as the libraries prepare for the projected “go live” date of June 24. More information is available online.

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