Advanced search feature comes to Western Libraries June 18

Big changes are coming to the Western Libraries this summer—changes that will improve the ability of students, faculty and staff to find just what they’re looking for when it comes to information and research materials at the library.

Starting June 18, Western’s Libraries will begin the process of replacing its current, separate catalog and database interfaces with a new integrated discovery layer, OneSearch, which will return search results from the catalog, databases, journals and other collections regardless of material format.

OneSearch makes it easy to find a wider variety of resources at the Libraries or through any of the 37 university libraries that are part of the Orbis Cascade Alliance. Think of it as the Google search for the Western Libraries.

Because of Western’s Libraries’ partnership with the alliance, the campus community will have exponentially more materials and research options. Once the transition to OneSearch is complete, this shared library system will give users access to 8.8 million titles and more than 26 million resources that are held by the Orbis Cascade Alliance members. All of that will be right at users’ fingertips.

“In the 21st century, very few academic libraries can afford to acquire all of the scholarly materials being produced,” said Mark I. Greenberg, Western's dean of libraries. “By partnering with the 37-member Orbis Cascade Alliance's new integrated library catalog, Western’s Libraries will be able to provide access to a much wider variety of scholarly materials, thereby increasing the research potential for our faculty and students.”

Western, along with the University of Washington, is in the first group of Alliance members to launch the new system, with the others to follow over the next 18 months. We are proud to be on the cutting edge of this transition.

With OneSearch, the campus community will find access to research materials more efficient, with an easier interface and more thorough results. Early testing has shown that the system is more accessible to more people.

“Some people never use the [current catalog] so it’s really confusing,” said WWU student Venice Wong. “The new system is more visually oriented. If I don’t see what I want right away, I can narrow it down.”

The upcoming changes are significant and won't be without some bumps along the way, especially during the summer. A large and dedicated group of library faculty and staff will regularly be testing and improving functionality day by day.

“What we’re giving up is the immediacy of everything,” Greenberg said. “What we’re getting is the enormity and viability of everything.”

OneSearch is quite the transition for the Western Libraries, but they’re excited for the improved experience it will bring to users once the new system is fully tested and implemented. Much more information and training on OneSearch will be available to the campus community by fall quarter.

If you have any questions about how OneSearch will help meet the Libraries' strategic goals to advance teaching and research, please visit the website or contact Greenberg.