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Cost Effecting Ways to Understand Users’ Searching Habits to Improve Discovery

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Indianhead Federated Library System’s MORE ILS consortium staff, represented by Lori Roholt, has taken a basic approach to understanding catalog use based on ILS reporting tools and Google Analytics, …

Indianhead Federated Library System’s MORE ILS consortium staff, represented by Lori Roholt, has taken a basic approach to understanding catalog use based on ILS reporting tools and Google Analytics, supplemented by observations from library staff. The approach is an informal, low-investment method for gaining a top-level understanding of usage patterns to inform site design and development, as well as instruction.

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • the approaches we’ve taken to understanding how our patrons use the MORE Online Catalog, and what we’ve done in response
  • Currently, our publicly accessible catalog is Innovative Interface’s WebPAC
  • no indexes
    facets
    article integration
    overdrive integration

    Perspective on library service and the catalog. April 2014 snapshot:
    79,009 checkout transactions
    130,457 online catalog sessions
    41,294 online catalog users
    50%-85% of checkouts are locally-owned items
  • Times: mostly business hours
    See also: very little, but some!
    Records retrieved: 45% retrieve 1 record, 30% retrieve 2-30 records; 10% retrieve none
    Limits used: rarely (<2% of searches are limited)
  • Word, 1-8 results: 47%; no results: 3%
    Title, 1-8 results: 64%; no results: 17%

    Takeaway: word searches are more likely to produce results; title searches are more likely to be precise

  • Encore doesn’t use indexes
    RightResult is Encore’s algorithm for ranking search results
  • April 2014: 1.3 million pageviews; 130,000 sessions; 41,294 users
  • April 2014: My Account (72,000 pageviews), Quick Lists (9500 pageviews), library look-up: (6800 pageviews), Research (about 1000 pageviews), help (about 900 pageviews)

    Search behavior: use ILS’s search syntax
  • Transcript

    • 1. Understanding Users’ Searching Habits to Improve Discovery Lori Roholt MORE Administrator Indianhead Federated Library System
    • 2. About MORE: My Online REsource ● ILS consortium ● 49 member public libraries ● 2013 Stats: o Items: 1.7 million o Bibs: 600,000 o Service population: 458,000 o Registered borrowers: 238,000 o Circulation: 4.8 million
    • 3. Current MORE Online Catalog ● Innovative Interface’s WebPAC o In use since 2000 o Last significant update in 2011 ● Mobile: recently, AirPAC for smartphones
    • 4. Forthcoming MORE Catalog ● Innovative Interface’s Encore ● Mobile: Encore Mobile
    • 5. ILS Tools: Search Activity ● Searching metrics only, last 9 days ● Searches by hour ● Use of “see also” references ● Records retrieved ● Use of limits
    • 6. ILS Tools: Indexes Used Word: 32% Title: 30%
    • 7. ILS tools: Indexes Used
    • 8. ILS tools: Indexes Used Choose your default index
    • 9. ILS tools: Indexes Used Innovative’s RightResult ● Adjacency ● Where search term appears ● Format, esp. serials ● And optionally: o More copies o Matching titles (245a) o Manual promotion
    • 10. Google Analytics: All Activity Historical reporting
    • 11. Google Analytics: All Activity ● Use patterns, by pageviews: o Search o My Account: about half of users log in o Quick Lists o MORE Library look-up ● ILS-specific queries reveal search behavior
    • 12. Forthcoming ILS tools ● Searches, traditional holdings vs. articles ● Use of facets, tags, ratings ● More to come, I hope! o In-library vs. out-of-library use o Use of articles from initial search o Use of OverDrive integration features o My Account features used