Lexington KY - January 9, 2008. University of Kentucky Libraries announces the recent launch of a new alternative search and access tool called Encore. Described as a next-generation library interface designed to give a unified approach to finding information, Encore will not replace InfoKat, UK Libraries' catalog system, but supplement search systems currently in place. Encore, created by Innovative Interfaces, will give users a less cumbersome search engine, allowing them to search in new ways, discover and refine results, similar to searches done on Google.
Current search approaches in libraries across the country have not kept pace with today's patrons' expectations after they have used such one-stop shopping search engines like Google and Yahoo for several years. Most libraries still ask users to search a variety of interfaces and databases to find information on books and journals available in the library, lists of electronic journals, and information in other formats such as audio and video. Each of these interfaces can be complex, and users may deal with several of them to find what they need in the library’s collection. In response to the patrons' rising expectations, large research libraries like UK have been working on a number of alternative and next-generation search interfaces.
Encore will leverage InfoKat data to provide this advanced public access to UK Libraries holdings. InfoKat's data for authentication, link resolution and organization will be pulled into Encore allowing library patrons to arrive at the information they need without using an extended search path or complex searching strategies to find a solution to their information need.
"With Encore, it's all right there," said Betsy Graham, vice president of product management at Innovative Interfaces. "Patrons will be able to see everything the library has to offer, in terms of services and content, with minimal effort."
Encore features include:
- a faceted results display for easier retrieval of complex data sets;
- RightResult relevance ranking enhanced with a new Recently Added feature that prioritizes results for the patron;
- community tagging of collection to facilitate additional access points and community participation will be added in the future; and
- lists real-time holdings at the facility and links to InfoKat for status information for print and other physical resources.
With Encore, the user will enter a normal term in a single search box and hit enter, much like they do when using Google. Their search results will be ranked by relevance as they appear. Search results may easily be narrowed by simply clicking various facets -- like library locations, subjects, titles, authors, videos, sound recordings or prevalent keywords. A user can then select a result entry for more information. When a user views a record to his or her liking then similar items may be found by simply clicking the subject heading to reveal all other records with the same subject heading.
Encore also incorporates a "did you mean..." spell-check feature which provides alternative suggestions for small search results, and it has the ability to include other enrichment content like displaying book jacket art or including reviews and table of contents.
UK Libraries is among the first group of large academic research libraries implementing and developing Encore in partnership with Innovative Interfaces.
Innovative Interfaces, based in Emeryville, Calif., has dedicated its energies to meeting the needs of libraries and the challenges of library automation for more than 25 years. Core to this mission are trusted products including the Millennium integrated library technology platform, INN-Reach next-generation resource sharing, the Symposia digital repository, and Electronic Resource Management. Today, thousands of libraries of all types in more than 40 countries rely on Innovative products, services and support.
To test out UK Libraries' new search and access tool Encore, visit the InfoKat Website.