Old Brookville, NY, December 15 , 2005 — Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML), recently ranked by Hennen's American Public Library Rating (HAPLR) Index as the top public library in the nation serving a population of more than 500,000, has launched a custom WebFeat federated search system. The customizability of the WebFeat solution, provided through WebFeat partner SirsiDynix, enabled the library to make WebFeat a central component of its major technology and website upgrade project which was unveiled to the public in mid-October. Columbus Metropolitan Library's innovative implementation of its WebFeat system now enables library patrons to access and simultaneously search any or all of CML's more than 50 electronic resources directly from any page of the library's website.
"Two concepts at the heart of our website project were to make electronic resources easier to access on the site and to deliver a consistent user interface for the public," explained Jessi Crim-Weithman, Manager of Web and Applications Development, Columbus Metropolitan Library. WebFeat's search capabilities, flexibility with implementation and customization enabled the library to easily accomplish its goals. "Today, from any page on our website customers can use the WebFeat search option to access our electronic resource collections," added Crim-Weithman. "We were able to add a ‘Find It' search box to each of the library's web pages that allows patrons to search against the library catalog and/or search the library's databases simultaneously via a WebFeat interface. Further, the WebFeat interface matches the look and feel of our website so, to patrons, WebFeat searches appear as just another page on our site and create a consistent user experience."
Joy Bevan, Virtual Librarian Columbus Metropolitan Library commented, "What has made WebFeat unique for CML, is that we are able to tailor searching to fit the needs of specific users." The library has created 14 ‘Resource Centers'—mini-websites within the main library website—that are geared to different user populations, such as investors, genealogists, parents and teachers. "We can configure WebFeat to only search databases that are relevant to whatever the respective population is searching. For example, a genealogist can limit their searching to only genealogy databases without having to even choose those databases," added Bevan. "The ability to categorize databases and to control the searching in such a manner has made WebFeat a valuable tool for both library administrators and our customers."
Todd Miller, President of WebFeat, stated, "Columbus Metropolitan Library's WebFeat implementation is a model for libraries looking to creatively integrate federated searching into their web offering as a key component of the goal of effectively delivering knowledge product to their users. WebFeat is very pleased to have partnered with CML to bring this state-of the-art search tool to the citizens of Franklin County."
Federated searching powered by WebFeat is available at Columbus Metropolitan Library's main library, all 20 branches and remotely via the library's virtual branch at www.columbuslibrary.org. Remote users need a valid Columbus Metropolitan Library card to access electronic resources.
Read our case study (http://webfeat.org/features/columbusmetro_case_study.pdf) to see screen shots and learn more about the implementation of Columbus Metropolitan Library's innovative WebFeat solution.
Read more about Columbus Metropolitan Library and CML's number one ranking by the HAPLR Index at:www.columbuslibrary.org/ebranch/about_cml/events_news
WebFeat (US patent #6,807,539) is the developer of the WEBFEAT PRISM, used by over 2,500 leading public, academic, government and Global 1000 libraries and information centers—including over half of the top 20 largest U.S. public libraries and one out of every 10 Association of Research Libraries (ARL) institutions.
WebFeat's latest release, WebFeat 3, offers a suite of next-generation federated search tools, PRISM, the SMART COUNTER-compliant usage tracker, and MyWebFeat personalized federated search system. Originally founded in 1992 as an information technology consultancy, WebFeat has earned industry recognition from leading organizations such as Library Journal and the Gartner Group. Learn more about WebFeat at www.webfeat.org.