Revision of Potential Strategic Initiatives from Fri, 04/14/2017 - 10:08am
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The following are strategic development initatives that MassLNC is considering for implementation over the next couple of years.
Smart and Forgiving Search that Leads to No Dead Ends
The catalog’s search engine is intuitive and successfully retrieves the title the user is searching for. It is forgiving of mistakes, understands if entered search terms are linked to a different authorized name, and will find the right result even if the user doesn’t enter search terms perfectly. The catalog might automatically suggest search terms as you enter your query.
Once a user arrives on a search results page, the catalog offers additional assistance. It might allow the user to apply new limits or facets not currently available in Evergreen or provide ways to broaden the search. If the search term has multiple meanings, it might offer a disambiguation block that leads the user to the correct records. It may correct search terms with a ‘Did you Mean? or provide links to similar searches.
Integration of Electronic and External Resources
We recognize that a library is more than the physical materials sitting on its shelves and want to make it easy for users to access other resources. At its core, this project would improve and augment integration of e-resources (ebooks, eaudio, evideo) into the catalog. Making those e-resources available via the catalog should also be easier. We might want to make loading these e-resources into the database faster/easier or eliminate the need to load records, allowing the system to search the e-resource vendor site. The catalog also needs to be smart about working with multiple vendors and with the access rights different patron groups might have.
However, this project may also look at other ‘resources’ to incorporate in the catalog. Library events and exhibits may be included in the catalog and possibly highlighted on a search results page when a search appears to be related to the event. Other local info, such as community service organizations, may also be included and available from the catalog. This initiative allows the catalog to expand its view of the library rather than just focusing on the physical collections.
A Speedy System
Our expectation is that Evergreen responds quickly, whether using the public catalog or performing staff functions in the client. Interfaces load quickly; searches, no matter how broad, are done in a few seconds; and staff can perform any action or save a record without waiting. If there are batch functions that take long to perform, they can be done in the background without babysitting and provide some kind of notification to the user when the operation is complete.
This initiative supports the continued evaluation of Evergreen’s performance in the areas of catalog searches, Evergreen backend messaging, and batch functions. Identifying ways in which performance can be improved will be followed by development to bring those performance improvements to Evergreen, making it a system that responds quickly for staff and end users. In the case of performing actions on large batches of data over a significant period of time, projects might include ways to perform those batch actions in a way that does not interfere with other work that needs to be done on the workstation or in the database.
Modern and User-Friendly Catalog
The catalog’s design philosophy conforms with modern conventions people are used to seeing on other web sites. Using design expertise and end-user testing/feedback, we will redesign the catalog so that it is easy for patrons to use, has clear language, and is easy to navigate. The catalog may include eye-catching design elements, such as carousels that highlight featured items in a library’s collection. It might also cater to the different design preferences of end-users, allowing them, for example, to toggle between the standard list-based presentation and a more image-based presentation on the results page. The overall design and layout will lead to a positive experience for the user.
Focus on Acquisitions
Acquisitions functionality in Evergreen should be intuitive with streamlined workflow. This project will look at moving the acquisitions interfaces to the new AngularJS interfaces that are being used in the rest of the web staff client. The interfaces should load quickly and provide standard UI behavior such as sorting and filtering across an entire dataset rather than just the data displaying on one page. Workflow improvements might also be part of this project.