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Library unveils ‘Find It!’ search tool
August 9, 2011Tweet
A new single-search tool offered by University Libraries will make research easier for members of the campus community.
“Find It!” not only searches the Library Catalog of books, e-books, journals and documents and the Local Digital Collection, but also the “Primo Central” database of hundreds of millions of books and journal and newspaper articles obtained from scholarly publishers.
“Instead of having to search individual databases, you can search one database to discover things,” said Erin Rushton, Web Services Librarian.
The “Find It!” user first enters a search subject and sees how many results are collected. For example, a search for Mark Twain reveals more than 8,300 results. Facets along the left-hand side of the page offer the user the opportunity to refine the search by categories such as material type, language, topic and creation date. A user in the Twain search who is seeking articles about the author written between 1958-1971 would find 192 matches.
“It’s the Amazon way that students are familiar with,” Rushton said of the search process.
The “Full Text Online” feature enables users to read a magazine, journal or newspaper article on the screen. A “No Full Text Online” message will still give users the opportunity to view, thanks to an interlibrary loan service that can send a pdf file.
“Students don’t always want to come in and go up to the stack,” Rushton said. “They want the content available to them immediately.”
Launched on campus in July, “Find It!” also offers other features inspired by Amazon.com and similar search engines. Users will be able to post reviews about the materials they find and recommendations to other articles will be collected from users around the world.
“We think it will be useful, but it’s a new product,” said Edward Corrado, Director of Library Technology. “It’s new everywhere, not just here.”
The library is seeking user feedback about “Find It!” and has already set up a website (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VY2SQJF) for suggestions.
“As librarians, we can try to anticipate user needs and what users want, but we really need the feedback,” Corrado said. “We’ll take that feedback and hopefully improve the product.”
“We want faculty and students to have a successful experience when they use this service,” Rushton said. “We’ve tried to make it as a good as possible before releasing it, knowing that there are still things we will want to fix.”
Rushton and Corrado expect the “one-stop shop” to be beneficial to Binghamton University.
“We like to provide options here at the library,” Rushton said. “Undergraduates will certainly find this useful. They often came here and can get overwhelmed: ‘Where do I start my research?’ They get to a database and the interface might be a little complex for a Google generation used to a search box. Because of the amount of content available, I think faculty and graduate students will this useful, as well.”
To try the new search tool, go to “Find It!”