HAYS, Kan. -- Long gone are the days of the old card catalogs -- those long wooden drawers where library patrons thumbed through paper notecards to find the location of a book or a periodical. For at least a decade, most libraries have offered computerized programs for finding materials.
Now Forsyth Library at Fort Hays State University has moved to the next generation of online searches.
During a news conference and reception this morning in the FHSU library, Director John Ross announced the transition to a new visual faceted interface for Forsyth Library's online catalog. "This new interface, which is produced by AquaBrowser Library, allows patrons to search and discover information faster and more effectively," Ross explained. "The system displays relevant search results that allow the library patron to find answers quickly, a 'word cloud' feature that encourages exploration and discovery, and facets that assist with quickly focusing on the results."
Jane Burke, who is the senior vice president for Proquest and Serials Solutions, joined Ross in not only describing but also demonstrating how the new system works.
Perhaps the most striking, and effective, feature of the AquaBrowser system is the "word cloud" that appears on the left third of the computer screen after a patron has entered a key word or name to be searched. The cloud of words offers multiple topics that might be relevant to the search, and the patron can simply click on any of those words to find the location in the library of books or other materials that contain information on that topic.
"Forsyth Library carefully obtains quality resources to support research on the FHSU campus," Burke said during the demonstration. "With the introduction of the new catalog, the library is making it easier for student to discover those resources. AquaBrowser is used by more than 700 libraries worldwide, providing a new technology to support FHSU students and faculty. I am very proud that Fort Hays State has chosen AquaBrowser and that our two organizations can work together to offer a better user experience for library resources."
The integration of the AquaBrowser Library with Forsyth Library's existing Voyager library system involved nearly 18 months of work by library staff and the Medialab Solutions implementation team. Forsyth Library also hosted training provided through Oklahoma State University.
Ross used the opportunity of the news conference to thank library staff for their work and the skills they brought to the project. Ross noted that Heath Bogart, MaryAlice Wade and Judy Salm had key roles in implementing the software and successfully integrating it into the Library operations.
"This project stands as an example of the dedication and follow-through of the library staff," Ross said. "In particular, I wish to congratulate Heath Bogart, our systems administrator, for his outstanding work in implementing AquaBrowser. Heath approached me with the idea for migrating to this interface and demonstrated outstanding leadership during the process. MaryAlice Wade and Judy Salm, two of our reference librarians, worked closely with Heath to ensure the usability and integrity of our new catalog."
Bogart said he was excited to be a part of the implementation and release of Forsyth's new library catalog. "Working with Medialab Solutions throughout the implementation of their AquaBrowser product has been a great experience," Bogart said. "Our Forsyth Library catalog adds a new and exciting visual dimension to the way we can do research."
Ross said he also appreciated the support of the university administration on the project.
About Medialab Solutions BV and AquaBrowser North America
AquaBrowser is the world leader in ILS vendor-neutral, visual faceted search that connects to any number and type of data sources. Medialab Solutions focuses all efforts toward creating successful discovery solutions so libraries are viewed as superior sources of information and knowledge. Nearly 2,500 library locations are serving over 60 million citizens worldwide with the visual AquaBrowser search and discovery experience. Medialab Solutions BV is doing business as AquaBrowser North America in the United States and is a business unit of R. R. Bowker.
About Serials Solutions
Founded by a librarian for librarians in 2000, Serials Solutions is a global leader in e-resource access and management services with more than 2,000 client libraries of all sizes and types. Serials Solutions also is the exclusive source for Ulrichsweb.com and Ulrich's Serials Analysis System worldwide, and the AquaBrowser Library interface is exclusively represented by Serials Solutions in the academic market in North America. Serials Solutions provides fast implementation, easy customization and outstanding value to libraries throughout the world.
ProQuest creates specialized information resources and technologies that propel successful research, discovery and lifelong learning. With Serials Solutions, Ulrich's, RefWorks, COS, Dialog and now Bowker part of the ProQuest brand family, the company supports the breadth of the information community with innovative discovery solutions that power the business of books and the best in research experience. More than a content provider or aggregator, ProQuest is an information partner, creating indispensable research solutions that connect people and information.