Customising Libraries Australia – automatically!

During our site visits to members, we noticed that different users have different search preferences. Some prefer to use simple search most of the time, others always like to begin with an advanced search looking for titles “as a phrase”, or perhaps always titles that “start with”. Some prefer to search a couple of databases up front, others like to begin with one. Although some of these defaults can already be controlled using individual accounts and defaults, there are various issues with these.

We have decided to expand the number of things which can be customised in Libraries Australia. Instead of having to go to a separate form and choose the settings you want, the new Libraries Australia will just remember what you used last. Most things will be remembered as long as you are using the same PC, but some will only be remembered for the session. Here is the list of things which will be remembered when the new system is released:

On the search form:

  • Which search form is shown by default (simple, advanced, command)
  • The databases being searched
  • The checkbox limits selected
  • For advanced searches, all drop down, radio button and checkbox selections. This includes the fields being searched (title, author, etc); the way they are searched (starts with, phrase, etc); limiting to a state; limiting to recently published items; and everything else.

On the search results:

  • The sorting applied
  • The number of results shown
  • Whether a preview of each result is shown on hover

On the full view screen:

  • Whether the full view or marc view is displayed

When the Libraries Australia Search alpha is released, if you find that any of these do not work well, let us know about the problem so that we can try to correct it. If you have an opinion you would like to share with us in the mean time, please leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.

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2 Responses to Customising Libraries Australia – automatically!

  1. I can’t wait for the Libraries Australia Search alpha! You’ve put so much work into it. Thanks, Lib Aus.

    Quick question: so Search will remember settings on the basis of PC used or session, and not on the basis of log in? I’m thinking of users at my institution, many of whom (20+) share a log in.

    Thanks again.

    • Spot on. If people at your institution share the same LA login, this change will mean they can now have their own personal settings. We think this will be much better, but if you forsee issues then please let us know!