Optimizing the Online Catalog: Experiences at Wichita State University Gemma Blackburn, Library Systems Developer Sai Deng, Metadata Cataloger Wichita State University Libraries Overview This presentation will discuss recent changes concerning the OPAC at WSU, including: – OPAC evaluations and improvements – Complimentary products considered for purchase – Related tools that enhance library collections Background • WSU Currently uses Ex Libris Voyager 6.5.3 • Background of Redesign Initiatives – 2005 • An OPAC Redesign Team was formed to investigate options for improving the appearance, functionality and accessibility of WebVoyage – 2008 • New OPAC Redesign and Evaluation Team formed Team Charge • Elements of the charge of the new OPAC Redesign and Evaluation Team • Research literature for good OPAC design • Evaluate and select from Voyager provided OPAC options • Explore options for Ex Libris and non-Ex Libris OPAC enhancement products (cover images, overlays, etc.) • Team had 5 months to report findings OPAC Overlays • One part of the charge was to explore OPAC overlay products – Add additional features to the OPAC – Can combine OPAC and Federated Searching – Products differ greatly • We viewed demos and asked for feedback from our library faculty and staff Ex Libris Primo • Same vendor as our ILS • Would require SFX and MetaLib to function fully • We gave it a 6.5 out of 10 Aquabrowser • Beautiful interface with many features • Is compatible with Syndetics ICE • We gave it a 7 out of 10 Endeca for Libraries • Search technology is provided but no front end, but development possibilities are endless • Andrew Pace at NCSU and Endeca (a nonLibrary company) completed the project • We gave it an 8 out of 10 Overlay Decision • We decided not to purchase an overlay at this time • Products are costly • Do not offer enough at this time to justify purchase • Will review again in the future Findings from the Literature • Users want more Google-like searching – They expect “Did You Mean?” type features ¹ – Keyword searches are expected ¹ • • • • Users want more Amazon-like experience ¹ They look for a text box and a search button ² They are used to relevance ranking ² Novice users will not use Boolean operators ³ Investigating User Needs – Uniformity between OPAC and other university systems and other library databases • Terminology • Login information – We must allow them to search in the way they feel most comfortable • Analysis of search logs • Information on logging OPAC searches is available in the User Guides in Support Web – Complex searches must still be available for expert users Investigating Options • Many places to find options: – ILS Manuals • More options since the last OPAC Redesign Team – Online presentations – ILS Specific Listservs – Browsing other OPACs – Word of mouth Dismissed Options • Spell checker • Asterisk for truncation – Not an available feature – “?” must be used • Overlook initial articles • Michael Doran’s Wrapper Completed Improvements • Started with the easiest, least time-consuming changes: – Allow for login with myWSU ID – the same log in code as other campus tools – Added permanent links to the OPAC records Asking for Feedback • April 17, 2008 – presentation to the library about the completed and proposed changes • Most of the feedback from audience concerned small changes to the visual display of OPAC records – Change wording to fit with other databases – Change record screen to be more user friendly Picture Perfect! • Added Syndetics Solutions cover images – Makes OPAC look more ‘Amazon-ish’ Thumbnail Regular Size Large Size Changing the Default Search • Changing default search to Keyword Relevance – This was the most controversial change to the OPAC – There was some skepticism from experienced users – Our users had a low success rate with the current default search (^Title) as seen in the search logs • 47% of default searches had “no hits” – Keyword Relevance is the recommended default search in the literature Problems with Keyword Search • Another reason for skepticism was the problematic keyword search that we currently used – The search used a “AND/OR” which returns far too many results – most of them irrelevant • Also, our field weightings had never been tweaked and this was not helping us build confidence in relevance searches FT* / GKEY^* / TKEY^* • Three available Voyager keyword searches were analyzed: – FT*: Our current keyword search (using “AND/OR” and relevance ranking) – GKEY^*: A Keyword All search that will bring back results by relevance using “AND” between words – TKEY^*: A Keyword Title search that will bring back results by relevance using “AND” between words Comparing Keyword Searches • We compared the three keyword searches by using the same search query and analyzing the three different sets of results • Comparison was conducted using a test interface – so users would not see the test search types in the OPAC Comparison Results • Overall results showed: – Too many hits with FT* – Too few hits with TKEY^* – GKEY^* was just right! For the search “Martin Luther King Jr Speeches” ^Title FT* TKEY^* GKEY^* 0 Hits Truncated 3 Hits 11 Hits GKEY 1 = FT 176 GKEY 2 = FT 183 GKEY 3 = FT 161 Field Weighting • The OPAC Team studied our field weights for about 2 months • Field Weightings had never been touched since they were pre-loaded into Voyager • The results of our relevancy searches told us that the field weightings were unbalanced Field Weight Logic • Relevance is based on: • The number of times the query terms appear in a record • The weight of the fields where those terms appear • With an ‘AND/OR’ search • Not all terms need be present in a record • if a single term is present 100 times in one record it will be weighted higher than if all terms were present 1 time in a record • Rarer words are weighted higher Field Weighting Issues • Some things to consider: • Do you have fields that contain a lot of text (TOCs, descriptions, etc.)? • Do you use a disproportionate number of subject headings? • Are there other fields that are important to your library (local notes)? • Consider your collections • How are your patrons searching? • Are dates important too? Finished Field Weights? • Always opportunities for improvement • Title needs to be weighted even higher • We will cap all weights at 300, keeping the same relationship between weights • The exception will be the title field (245a), which we will keep at 500 (at least 200 higher than everything else) Before and After • Before and After statistics of default search Search Type Percentage of “No Hits” Number of people using default search Number of queries per session ^Title 47.1% 37% 2.8 GKEY^* 24.7% 37% 2.8 Room for Improvement • Reasons for ‘No Hits’ – 47% because of typos • Number of queries per search has not reduced • Number of people using default search has not increased • Field Weighting Tweaks – Would like to see titles listed at the top every time – Need to weight title field even higher Another Change Coming • Dynamic Statistics – Circulation (and other) statistics for each item dynamically linked to each record – Has already been done by Jim Robertson at NJIT in ColdFusion – Currently in test phase • Uses ASP.NET and SQL query to pull stats based on 001 field • Would like to rewrite in another code (Java, etc.) to put it on our Voyager server Dynamic Statistics Dynamic Maps • What is dynamic mapping? – Point to point mapping • Location – map (e.g. Gov Docs, Special collections…) • Call no. – map (e.g. M, PZ) – Animated directional path (Version 1) – Virtual 3D patron, shelves and maps (Version 2) • Dynamic Mapping (version 2) download: – http://library.wichita.edu/techserv/dynamicmap.html – Ask your system librarian to install Java 6/Tomcat 6 and deploy .war file on the server. Going 3D: 3D Modeling 3D Modeling in Google SketchUp 3D Animation • • • • • Software: Antics Professional Define the floor Define no go area Choose/create patron model Create animation – Define path or destination, point and drag; – Switch perspectives and scenes (if necessary). 3D Animation Promote Specialized Voyager Data • Possible examples – World War II Newsmaps, Women studies resources, Goldbarth poems and books, Job interview resources… • An ongoing project: Faculty Research Showcase – Source data: books by local authors and WSU researchers – How to get the data: query Voyager by 590 (local notes) field and save the results in a table – Web presentation: ASP, XHTML, CSS Project Interface Linked to OPAC Final Thoughts • Continue to improve and reinvent the OPAC! • Ways you might consider: – Enrich the OPAC (E-books, TOC, cover images…) – Improve and integrate search experience • Spell checker, simplified search box, optimizing search… • Endeca, 360 search, Unified Resource Management (URM)? – Enhance visual presentation (OPAC interface, Aquabrowser…) – Provide greater convenience and something “new”! • Wi-fi positioning of patron, 3D maps, text messaging… Acknowledgements • The rest of the OPAC Redesign and Evaluation Team – – – – – Amy Williams, Circulation Assistant Janet Brown, Education Librarian Willie Baer, former Engineering Librarian Nancy Deyoe, Assistant Dean for Technical Services Nan Myers, Director of Public Services • Everyone in the Voyager community who has shared valuable information about WebVoyage Acknowledgements • Dynamic Map Project Team – Erik Mallory, Nancy Deyoe, Sai Deng, Gemma Blackburn, Amy Williams (Version 2) – Hongfei Li, Nancy Deyoe, Sai Deng (Version 1) • Faculty Research Showcase Project Team – Sai Deng, Tse-Min Wang, Gemma Blackburn – Nancy Deyoe, Kathy Downes (Consultants) Works Cited / Recommended 1) Yu, Holly & Margo Young (2004). The Impace of Web Search Engines on Subject Searching in OPAC. Information Technology and Libraries, December, 168-180. 2) Mi, Jia & Cathy Weng (2008). Revitalizing the Library OPAC: Interface, Searching, and Display Challenges. Information Technology and Libraries, March, 5-22. 3) Dinet, Jerome, Monik Favert & Jean-Michel Passerault (2004). Searching for Information in an Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC): The impacts of information search expertise on the use of Boolean operators. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 20, 338-346. Jansen, Bernard J. (2006). Search Log Analysis: What it is, what’s been done, how to do it. Library & Information Science Research, 28, 407-432. Lau, Eng Pwey & Dion Hoe-Lian Goh (2006). In Search of Query Patterns: A case study of a university OPAC. Information Processing and Management, 43, 1316-1329. Questions?