Search updates, December 2020

We updated the search tools on in December to accommodate format-specific filtering.

This allows users to select a format (books, articles, etc.) to limit their search by before they submit their initial query.

The hope is that this additional feature will make known-item searching faster. For example, if a user knows they need a specific book, they can limit results by format from the get-go and only return results of books.

On the homepage, we added a drop-down with applicable formats to the search box.

We also added new format content pages that provide additional options for each specific format. For example, a user looking for books can visit the new Books page and see information about call numbers, ILL, and more things relating to book searching.

Site reorganization, fall 2020

The site,, was reorganized in August.

Previously, our main site categories were:

  • Find & Search
  • Services
  • Spaces & Rooms
  • Libraries & Collections

Now, they are:

  • Search
  • Borrow
  • Research & Learning
  • Spaces & Technology

This reorganization was supported by evidence collected from tree-testing earlier this year. Both trees tested fairly well. I chose this organization, where “Search” and “Borrow” are separated, so that they might grow long-term without getting jumbled.

“Services” has now been phased out in favor of more descriptive categories. No more junk drawer.

We also now have “Research & Learning,” which is a new type of category for us about our research and instruction services. I expect lots of work on content in this category in the months ahead.

Ticket analysis, fall 2019 semester

I recently analyzed all the user tickets during the fall 2019 semester.

By “user tickets” I mean messages sent using our main Contact Us queue.

The goals of this analysis:

  • Find the most common questions users ask us about
  • Understand how the Contact Us form is used
  • Find areas of future work

In this post:

  • Method
  • Results
    • Who answered the most tickets
    • Where tickets came from
    • Ticket topics
  • Notes and observations
    • Comparison with last year
  • Next steps
Continue reading Ticket analysis, fall 2019 semester

Welcome to 2020

I was pretty happy with my blogging output last year.

But, still: Smaller posts and more of them.

This year, I plan to share:

  • Completed projects and updates
  • Incomplete projects in-progress. I didn’t do this as much last year even though many projects remain on-going
  • Updates from me — articles, presentations, reflections

If you’re new here, you might benefit from:

Noise ticket analysis, October 2019 (guest post)

Note: This is a guest post by Shane Hand, Reference Librarian in MD Anderson Library. Thanks Shane!

Over the past few weeks, I have noticed a few noise complaints from users about response times. Due to these complaints, I did another ticket analysis related to noise.

The goals of this analysis were to find:

  • How many noise complaints are answered and are not answered
  • What is our average response time?
  • How effective are we in finding the loud patron/noise?
  • What are the major obstacles to an effective response?
Continue reading Noise ticket analysis, October 2019 (guest post)