Test Drive the Libraries’ Newest, All-In-One Search

Marketing and Communications | October 05, 2011

Visitors to the Texas A&M University Libraries’ website can try out the site’s newest search, which is still in beta (testing) mode, and give feedback based on their experience.

New features of the search include faster results and a single-search, which includes the Libraries’ 4+ million holdings and hundreds of millions of scholarly resources. This includes listings from LibCat, the Medical Sciences Library catalog, the Digital Repository, the e-Journals list, as well as Primo Central, a new source for journal articles and e-books.

“When we were choosing a new search engine, we wanted a Google-like search that would focus on the Libraries’ varied materials,” Bennett Ponsford, Digital Services librarian, said. “We get that with the new search, because it bundles all of our searches into one, easy-to-use place.”

Despite the new search engine being in testing mode, users can still employ it to produce the same live, up-to-date results they would receive from the Libraries’ other searches. In fact, users can also compare the old and new searches to see how the results differ, for better or worse. And some may even stumble upon new, undiscovered materials in their search, according to Ponsford.

“We want users to test it vigorously to see how it performs and where it needs adjusting,” she said.

Users can provide feedback to Bennett Ponsford at bcponsford@library.tamu.edu or volunteer to be part of more in-depth user testing. She wants to know about the user’s ability to narrow the search, identify which library has the material, get the full text of an article or e-book, find more information on the item, and save records to citation management software.

Based on the testing, the University Libraries plans to make improvements to the new search, according to Ponsford.

Rollout of the final version of the new search is set for January 2012.