SMU Libraries Release New Library Catalog

This news item expires on (05/31/09)

The SMU Libraries are pleased to announce that the new Library Catalog interface is available.

The Library Catalog – Betahttp://libcat.smu.edu

The new Library Catalog has many new features. A few of them are:

  • New Look and Feel. With the new version, a clean, contemporary display is provided for the library catalog. Included are user-focused search screens and improved navigation and labeling based on the results of usability studies and library focus groups conducted during the past three years.

  • Redesigned titles summary list display. The new display includes citation-style catalog entries, alternating background colors for items on the display, a “Filter your search” box on the title summary display, new positioning for the print/save/export actions, and a reorganization of the “Edit Search”, “Save Search”, jump bar, and sort menu options.
  • Redesigned record display layout in the OPAC. Updated bibliographic displays include easily-understood labels and a single full record view of the record. The Action Box is prominently displayed on the page to encourage users to place requests, download or print the record, and access additional information about the title. A jump bar located above the Action Box provides easy navigation within the record set and to the search results.
  • Google Book Search link. New features include full text, book previews, cover thumbnails, and a mashup from GoogleTM Maps linking pages in a book describing a specific place to its location on the world map.
  • Redesigned patron information display. The display is redesigned to streamline the display and provide new features. Patrons can view a summary of their account transactions with hyperlinks to the relevant sections of the display, and see additional addresses and telephone numbers the library has on record. These changes will provide an easier-to-use “My Account” display and offer a more complete picture of their transactions and account information.
  • Printing, emailing or saving records. The Print, Save, and Email options are enhanced to add a “Select All” option, make the “Retain Selected” option automatically retain records when moving to a new page, allow emails to be sent to multiple addresses, and permit the user to enter comments to be sent with the email. All these features are designed to make the process of selecting and sending records easier and more intuitive.
  • OPAC Accessibility. The new catalog is more user friendly for all library patrons. By closely following Section 508 and W3C Web accessibility guidelines, the catalog provides better navigation for patrons using assistive technologies. Specific attention has been given to providing “alt” tags for all image and non-text elements, limiting the use of tables, minimizing repetitive content where possible, and adding descriptive text to hidden data elements.
  • Support for Firefox 2.0 Web browser. The Library Catalog is now supported on Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2.0 Web browsers.

As with many major new software releases, the new interface for our Library Catalog still has a few areas that need to be streamlined.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Due to security settings, the Google Book Search link may cause your PC to display security warning messages.

  • Books or periodicals with multiple copies or volumes do not currently have accurate information on the location or status of each volume or copy. Use the Classic PONI catalog for that information.

Classic PONI During the Transition http://poni.smu.edu

To provide time for the library vendor and library staff members to continue to resolve issues and refine the new catalog, we will temporarily offer two versions of the catalog the Library Catalog – Beta at http://libcat.smu.edu and the PONI – Classic Catalog at http://poni.smu.edu. The PONI catalog is running on the new version of the software, but still features the same look and functionality as the previous version. PONI is the best tool to use if you are searching for books or periodicals with multiple copies or volumes and you want to know the location for each volume. It does not link to the Google Books Search so you will not receive the security warning messages when looking at citations.

We Want to Hear from You

There will be a link to a comments/suggestions blog by Tuesday, September 2nd. The blog link will be located at: http://blog.smu.edu/opac/

Try out the new Library Catalog (http://libcat.smu.edu) and let us know what you think once the blog is in place next week.

About Jorge Cruz

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