Encore system creates more user-friendly searches


The University of Lethbridge Library has acquired a new library catalogue that promises to open a whole new world to users.

Encore is a new search interface that brings together results from books, articles and local digital collections in one location. Previously, the library catalogue searched only for books, while journal articles needed to be searched in the databases. This one-stop search box makes the process much more user-friendly.

While not every database can be searched through Encore, it does bring up many relevant articles based on the keywords used from the main interdisciplinary databases held by the library. This 'one box' way of searching reflects the preferences of many of today's users, who are used to the simplicity of sites like Google and Amazon.

A nice feature of Encore is the many refinement options (such as year and subject) provided to the searcher, based on their initial results, that narrow down their search field. Users can also add their own tags to create meaningful categorizations, allowing people to denote items appropriate for projects, classes or otherwise. These tags are then also searchable. For example, an instructor can label certain books with a specific class name and then tell students to search by that class name to bring up the relevant list of assigned books.

"We are excited to present this innovative new feature to the University of Lethbridge community," says Wendy Merkley, associate University librarian, Information Systems & Technical Services. "Many libraries are moving toward these next-generation catalogues and most patrons find them much more user-friendly and intuitive than the old-style library catalogues."

Those who prefer the old system need not fear; a link to it can be found on the Encore results page, entitled classic catalogue.

The library welcomes comments and suggestions about the new system. To provide feedback, contact library staff via the Comments and Replies link from the self-serve menu on the University Library home page (

This story first appeared in the September issue of the Legend. To view the full issue in a flipbook format, follow this link.