Library Gazette

New catalog reactions and status

Thursday, September 10, 2009 11:37 am

It has been just over 2 weeks since we pulled the trigger and switched our catalog view over. We have gotten lots of great feedback and ideas for improvement and I thought I would take a moment to gather this feedback together and talk about next steps.

General Impressions

Comments from our patrons have varied from being impressed with the faceted browsing options to being frustrated with the limited information displayed on the default record page. Perhaps not surprisingly, There were some uses of the old catalog that do not work the same in Vufind (for example the display of the number of holds on a record). There has been some expectation that Vufind would go further in being more ‘Amazon’ like in how it indexes and displays records.

The list of enhancement requests, bugs, and fixed issues below represent all of the feedback that we have gotten over the last few weeks. We are working to resolve the bugs (foremost among them the speed issues and advanced searching) and will keep you posted with new news.

Enhancement requests

  • Would like to be able to see how many hold requests exist on an item in the new catalog
  • Would like the new catalog to explicitly state which series or version an item is (example Mi-5 season 1,2,3)
  • Add year into results listing
  • Add journal option to basic search
  • Add the ability to see 20, 40, 60 records per page
  • Improve serial current issues display – right now it shows item level detail but not summary holdings
  • Add ability to preserve certain facets (like library) when doing searching
  • Add grouping to locations (All physical reference locations for example)

Bug Reports (Unresolved)

  • Catalog slows down under ‘heavy’ use – Some lib100 classes of 15 people have seen some slow response times
  • Location listing should be in alphabetical order, should be consolidated in certain cases (ref desk and reference for example)
  • Advanced Searching does not work with more than 2 terms, truncation proves to be problematic, further advanced searching returns inconsistent or known to be incorrect results when compared to the old catalog
  • Resources without Item records in catalog show incorrect status of Checked Out – We have a workaround for this but it requires addressing each location specifically in the code, further statuses in voyager not always reported as desired in Vufind (missing books showing up as lost), lost showing up as overdue
  • Date sorting not working as desired
  • Recently received issues do not have a location?
  • Wake Forest University facet limit does not return records (It is in essence a useless facet since everything in the db has this tag)
  • Call number searching should not include periods – makes it difficult
  • Endnote Export not working
  • Still working on fully automated index updating

Fixed Issues

  • Call Number now shows at the top of every view of the record
  • Library links not always proxied appropriately – Kevin implemented a workaround for now
  • Ebooks now showing as available
  • Military Science added as location
  • Sometimes the 007 in items (item format) does not correspond to what the item actually is. These items should be reported when identified and will be fixed by cataloging
  • Known items not always showing up – We have a number of specific reports here. In some cases this is due to a lag in indexing (still working on getting the connection between our two servers opened up) but in others the items were kicked out due to record errors.

2 Responses to “New catalog reactions and status”

  1. This is a very useful compilation. Thanks for keeping everyone informed and keep working on it!

  2. I have been thinking about how this is a good example of the nature of “perpetual beta” that comes along with open source development. Unlike with a commercial vendor product, there is no formal beta partnering where testing is done on a major level by an organization before releasing it officially. At ZSR, we had a link to our “beta” all summer, but it wasn’t heavily used by anyone. And, so, not many issues were discovered and reported. It took putting it into production to get the level of use that has brought bugs and enhancement needs to light. I think even though there have been frustrations, that more progress has been made in the past few weeks and the product is better already! Please keep the feedback coming, and stay positive as development continues.

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