Simpson College, Yale Law School and the University of Colorado-Boulder can all claim to be among the first users of the new Encore Synergy 4.1 catalog system.
Dunn Library recently purchased this new catalog for students that “simplifies the steps,” said catalog librarian Steve Duffy.
Librarian and Archivist Cyd Dyer explained that the Encore Synergy 4.1 catalog system consists of 27 paid online databases and three free sources. It gives students access to everything in Simpson’s Dunn Library and Indianola Public Library that includes articles, books, CDs, DVDs, education kits and musical scores.
“We proposed to the administration that we purchase a discovery system, which would not only allow students to search the catalog-books, DVDs, etcetera-but it would allow you to search the articles in journals at the same time,” Dyer said. “That’s the key difference between the previous catalog and what we have now.”
This is different from the original catalog purchased in 1994 because it includes articles from main online databases, such as EBSCOhost.
Nicole Bodenschatz, circulation work-study student, said the catalog “is easier than what we used to have” and that it is a “very useful source.”
Students aren’t the only ones noticing a difference.
“With the demos that we’ve done for faculty and staff, the reaction has been kind of ‘wow, why didn’t have this system when we were students?'” Dyer said. “We’re just evolving now, and trying to tie things in together. As a result of being one of the first colleges to utilize this system, there are still glitches to be fixed and improvements to be made.”
This system works best with only one or two search terms. It then organizes the results by online and physical sources.
Each student is able to access their library account by signing in with his or her full name and the barcode number found on the back of their student I.D. card.
This allows students to view what they have checked out, add items to a “cart” or put items on reserve. If an item is unavailable at Dunn Library they can request to have it sent from the Indianola Public Library.
The general layout of the page has been changed as well.
The left hand column provides various options to help students narrow their search and find more precise results.
The main column organizes the information by format and a brief summary of each article becomes available by scrolling over the title. Pictures of book jackets are also provided for students to make it easier to locate books.
“This is the look that undergraduates seem to prefer,” Dyer said. “Things from here will only get better.”