In recent years, Lehigh Libraries has been focusing on innovative services through adopting open source software solutions to build a next generation library environment. A first step in the direction of more dynamic user-centric offerings was the introduction, in January 2011, of a new Library website built upon the Drupal content management system. Also, the Libraries is a founding partner in the Kuali Open Library Environment (OLE) project, a two year project funded in conjunction with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop community source software for academic libraries. Now, Lehigh Libraries is pleased to announce another initiative with the potential to transform the Library experience for our users: ASA 2.0, a next generation search and discovery tool for Library resources.
ASA 2.0 is powered by VuFind, an open source discovery technology developed under the leadership of Villanova University. With VuFind, ASA 2.0 has the potential to do more than search and display for the Library catalog. ASA 2.0 incorporates many innovative features to allow users to query and browse multiple Library resources in a simple, yet sophisticated, manner. Some features of ASA 2.0 include:
*Faceted Searching. The user starts from a basic search box and then can narrow down the results by clicking on various facets of the results such as Format, Language, Author, Genre, Era and Region.
*Live Record Status and Location. Enables the display of current holdings information.
*My Account. Logging into “My Account” allows one to check the status of a library account, request items from the library, and renew items that are already checked out. Also, the user may “tag” records with descriptors for easier retrieval, and mark titles as “favorites.”
* Persistent URLs mean that you can bookmark any search result URL that can be used over and over, presenting the same or updated results, if new collections have been added since your last access
*Saved Searches. The user may save resources from both the search results page and from the record view page to their own custom lists.
*Citation Management: The user may export records to citation management software like RefWorks, EndNote and Zotero.
*”Similar Items”. When viewing a record, the user will be offered suggestions of resources that are similar to the current resource.
*Browse for Resources. The user may browse the catalog and explore what the library has rather than only being able to see a very narrow spectrum of results.
ASA 2.0 is currently in BETA mode. This means we are still actively developing and soliciting feedback from our Library patrons. For the time being, the ASA Online Catalog Search on the Library Website will remain unchanged. But, we invite you to take ASA 2.0 for a test run or, if you like it, bookmark ASA 2.0 as use it as your primary discovery tool for the Library catalog. In either case, please take a moment to share your feedback by completing this short survey about the new ASA 2.0 Online Library Catalog Search!