SUNYergy Archive: Access to All Issues October 2009
Volume 11 Number 4
Page5

link to Brockport libraryBrockport and AquaBrowser
by Robert Cushman (SUNY Brockport)

photo of Bob Cushman

Cover Story

Library Resources via Angel (Fredonia)

Features

Library Resources via Angel (Onondaga)

OLIS Library Resources Starting Point

Welcome Chancellor Zimpher

Brockport and Aquabrowser

SUNY Business Intelligence

Focus on SUNY Libraries

SUNYConnect Updates

How to Contact Us

Linkable Links

The College at Brockport has implemented AquaBrowser, a search and discovery interface, to support and
encourage patrons in exploring the collections of Drake Memorial Library. Our implementation project kicked off in April 2009, picked up speed over the summer, and we were live in August in time for the Fall semester. Our AquaBrowser interface can be viewed at: http://brockport.aquabrowser.com

Brockport began looking at alternative search interfaces in late 2006 as we felt the Aleph Web OPAC was not
meeting the needs and expectations of our patrons, most of which are four-year undergraduate students. We were looking for an interface that supported searching in the way that students were used to searching and also provided alternatives (“discovery trails”) that exposed works in the collection that patrons might not otherwise find.

In August 2007, the SUNY-wide Shared Search & Discovery Services Committee was formed and charged to: Evaluate and recommend enterprise-level search and discovery tools for SUNY library resources. Bob Cushman, now Head of Libra ry Systems and Technology at Brockport, was a member of that committee. The SSDSC issued their final report in April 2008 and among the recommendations was: "Provide AquaBrowser Library as an enhanced interface for SUNYConnect libraries and the SUNY union catalog."

[Editor's Note: the SUNYConnect Advisory Council expressed support for this recommendation, but could not endorse moving forward on it because of budgetary factors.]link to Aqua Browser

Brockport decided to go ahead with a campus-specific AquaBrowser installation in the Fall of 2008. With the support and encouragement of Library Director, Dr. Mary Jo Orzech, we entered into contract talks with Serials Solutions, now the representative for AquaBrowser North America. These talks were concluded successfully in early 2009 and our implementation project began.

The Brockport project team consisted of Bob Cushman (project manager), Pat Maxwell (Systems Librarian) and was ably supported by other Brockport library staff including Logan Rath, our Digital Services Librarian. In addition, OLIS provided much-needed support and expertise (primarily in the persons of Natalie Sturr, Maggie Horn, and Maureen Zajkowski), and we would not have succeeded without their help specifically in the area of data extraction.link to Brockport's Aqua Browser

For more information on AquaBrowser see:

http://www.aquabrowser.com/
http://www.serialssolutions.com/aquabrowser/

[Editor's note: SUNYergy editors had a few more questions for Bob; his answers are included here.]

JS - Any plans to include other data sources beyond library catalog within AquaBrowser system?

BC - Our first priority was to improve patron access to our existing physical collections (as embodied in Aleph). As part of our initial implementation, we did include third-party sources (Syndetics ICE and LibraryThing tags) to enhance this experience. We currently do not have plans to include other holdings data, but we have not ruled it out either. I think it is likely we will re-visit this topic as time goes by.

JS - Looks like you might have the enhanced content from Syndetics ...which provides indexing for summary/toc/reviews, etc. Yes?link to Syndetics ICE

BC - Yes, as noted above, we did go for Syndetics ICE (Indexed Content Enrichment) in our implementation. As noted on the Aquabrowser site: "Syndetics ICE (Indexed Content Enrichment) expands your AquaBrowser Library’s searching beyond the traditional MARC record by indexing Syndetics value-added content such as Tables of Contents, Summaries and Fiction Profiles (detailed descriptors for genre, topic, setting, timeframe, character names and character traits on works of Fiction). The Syndetics ICE content increases the relevancy of your search results and helps your patrons discover more items within your collection that were previously unfound when searching traditional MARC data".

JS - Also seems you might have the Librarything for Libraries service? providing user tags?

BC - Yes, we also implemented the My Discoveries option which includes additional Web 2.0 functionality to the AquaBrowser environment allowing users to develop and save works of interest in lists, and tag works for their, and other's, use. Additionally, as part of this experience, we have access to over 53 million pre-loaded tags that were sourced from LibraryThing making this a rich means to locate works.

JS - Would you be willing to send me a comment or two about what Brockport's sees as main advantages / enhancements in this system vs. Aleph?

BC - I think the number one advantage of AquaBrowser over the Aleph Web OPAC is that AquaBrowser provides our primary users, college students, with a search interface with which they are already familiar with and which provides results that they expect to see. Because of these strengths, college students are more likely to try, use, and re-use AquaBrowser to search our collections than the Aleph Web OPAC.

AquaBrowser also provides discovery capabilities well beyond the capabilities of the Aleph Web OPAC. The word cloud alone provides multiple opportunities for patrons to discover other works of interest easily by providing spelling variations, translations, associations and thesaurus terms related to the original search terms. These additional possibilities will likely include some terms that the searcher originally did not consider, but will lead them to discover alternate works that they previously may not have found (thus exposing more of our collections to our patrons).


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Cover Story

Libraray Resources via Angel (Fredonia)

Library Resources via Angel (Onondaga)

[Image: Bobby Approved Logo]

Features

OLIS Library Resources Starting Point

Welcome Chancellor Zimpher

Brockport and Aquabrowser

 Features

SUNY Business Intelligence

Focus on SUNY Libraries

SUNYConnect Updates

 

How to Contact Us

Linkable Links