Libraries prepare for new system

Monica Kast

WKU’s libraries will be implementing a new search system in January to give more control of the system to library staff.

“We have been undergoing intensive training for several months now,” Deana Groves, the department head of library technical services, said. “It’s a big change for us, but we’ve been working really hard so that we’re ready to go.”

The new system will be accessible to students on Jan. 20, right before the beginning of the spring semester. When the new search system is implemented, students and faculty will notice only a few minor cosmetic changes such as a simpler alphabetized listing of the journals on file at the library, Groves said. For the library staff, however, the changes will be much more noticeable.

“The look of the system that we work in is going to be a lot different,” Groves said.

Groves said the process of designing the new system began in July, and the library staff has been having weekly meetings and training sessions since then.

She said the library took a train-the-trainer approach. Library team members meet once a week with the company that is creating the new software. Later, the team returns and trains the librarians. There have also been training videos for the staff.

The library has worked to provide documentation of all journals, both physical and electronic, owned by WKU that will be available through the new system.

The library staff will have access to a new system dashboard. Groves said they will have more access to statistical data about the library and its collections as well as more agency to make changes to the system.

The previous system took longer and was more difficult for implementing changes because staff members were not able to do so themselves. The new system will also be able to update automatically instead of requiring each computer to be updated manually.

Groves said the One-Search box on the library homepage would remain the same for students and faculty. This feature has been used at the libraries for the past several years. After some improvements, it became the primary search feature at the beginning of this semester. Groves said the libraries removed their older search system, called Voyager, so newcomers to campus could begin using the One-Search box right away.

“It’s sort of like a Google search environment that students can use,” she said of the One-Search box. “It brings together our holdings on our print [and] our e-collection, and it can drill down to the article level, so it’s a more robust search.”