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August 2011

  • August 2, 2011: Searching for books (online comment box)

    When searching for books it might be a good idea to give the user the choice to
    (a) search everything (default)
    (b) search e-books only
    (c) search (printed) books only

    You didn't indicate if this refers to searching Addison or Summon (and you didn't leave your email address so we could follow up).

    When searching Addison by keyword, title, author, etc., the search defaults to all material types: books and ebooks, and also journals, videos, microforms, etc. If you use the Advanced Search screen, you can choose to limit to one or more material types. There's 22 materials types to choose from.

    The Summon search box on the library's home page offers three limiting options: search everything, search only books, and search only articles. We chose these three options to fit the limited space in the Summon tab and to minimize confusion for our users. The books option includes printed books, ebooks, and a web resources type that some government documents are categorized as. Once the search results display, you can easily turn off one or more of these Content Type facets to eliminate print or online books. You can also choose to include additional Content Types beyond the simple choices presented on the library's home page.

    Robert Sebek
    Webmaster, Virginia Tech Libraries

  • August 3, 2011: Movie suggestions (library suggestion box)

    The following movies/TV series were requested through the library suggestion box, followed by the decision made by our film bibliographer (Jennifer Nardine):  

    Dead Man  --- Yes
    Casino ---   We already have
    Curb your Enthusiasm, Seasons 1-6
     --- No 
    Big Trouble in Little China
     ---  No 
    Breaking Bad, seasons 1, 2, and 3  --- No 
    Starship Troopers
      ---  No
    --- could not find, so No

    Thank you for your suggestions. Sorry we are not able to accommodate many of them at this time.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va Tech Libraries

  • August 11, 2011: Microform reader (library suggestion box)

    Discard (Microform) machine 1.

    Thank you for your suggestion. We are always interested in hearing from our patrons. I do have some questions for you, though. Were you trying to use machine 1, and had difficulty with it's operation? Did you seek help from one of our microform staff members? It is one of our oldest machines in the in the microforms area, but it still seems to function OK. Please get back to us and let us know why you think it should be discarded.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • August 24, 2011: Addison search issue (online comment box)

    The option to select between Keyword/Title/Author etc. is not available if nothing is found in the first attempt. 
    Here is what happens:

    (1) From the main library webpage:
    (2) I select Addison --> Keyword
    (3) I type the keywords
    (4) If nothing is found then the resulting page by default has "Keyword" selected and at this page if I want to switch to Title/Author etc. then that is not possible.

    This option should be available as it makes it lot easier to run the search again, instead of first going back 2 pages to select another criteria.

    You didn't supply your email address, so I could not respond to you directly.

    If you start with a keyword search and get no results, the system put you on which it calls the Keyword Search Help page, which basically just offers another keyword search. (Along with other help options).

    If you do one of the index searches (author, title, subject, call number, standard number) that gives no results, you'll see both the surrounding index terms listed (you end up alphabetically in the list based on what you entered) and the "search widget" box that offers the popup to change the search type.

    Because we use a proprietary third-party system for the library catalog, I'm not sure that behavior can be changed. The search type is hard-coded on the Search Help pages and keyword searches are treated so differently from the other search types that it could not be modified to offer a search type popup menu.

    However, in the five different browsers I tested, after performing a keyword search that gave no results, I could back up one page (back to the library's home page) and switch to the Addison tab, my search terms were still there, so I could easily change the search type and search again without additional typing.

    If you want to perform a different search from the No Results page, click the "Addison, the library catalog" header to go directly to the main search page that offers all the different search types.

    Robert Sebek
    Webmaster, Virginia Tech Libraries

  • August 26, 2011: Slow Internet (library suggestion box)

    Fix the slow Internet.

    Sorry for your inconvenience. The Library is currently undergoing a complete overhaul of all of our land lines and wireless communication capabilities. The telecommunication group doing the work hopes to be done by the end of September.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • August 26, 2011: More comfortable workspaces (library suggestion box)

    Please provide more ergonomic workspaces. Long hours of Library research take their toll.

    An excellent suggestion!  Dean Walters is committed to the same idea of creating more ergonomic workspaces, and we are meeting next week with a vendor to help us with the design and furnishing of new spaces in the library.

    Dennis D Herron
    Purchasing Facilities Manager
    University Libraries

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