(My Favorite) Recent Improvements to the Catalog

Busy, busy, busy! At Frisco Public Library we're always busy. Right now we're busy with numerous summer programs, but last month upgrading the catalog filled our days. Have you noticed the changes?

Many of the improvements we've made aren't immediately obvious because the "look and feel" of the catalog didn't change. But we made gains in both aesthetics and functionality. Let me give you a brief tour of just three of the most exciting changes.

The most immediately visible change is that we were able to incorporate the "New Titles in Our Collection" lists into the Book Carousel drop-down menu. I love the clean, uncluttered look it gives our main search page!

This drop-down menu includes lots of lists:

  • A variety of New York Times Bestseller lists

  • For adults, New Books and New Music

  • For kids, New Picturebooks and New Kid Books (Juvenile), as well as the current 2x2 and Bluebonnet lists

  • For teens, the current Lone Star list

  • For everyone, New Movies (both DVDs and Blu-Rays)

Choose a list from the drop-down menu and the Book Carousel will populate with images of the items to browse. The "Find in My Library" button will search the catalog for the highlighted title. From there it's easy to find the item on the shelf or place it on hold.

And speaking of holds, now when you log into your account, if you have a hold available, the system will display the actual 'pickup by' date. The item will be shelved on the Holds Shelf until end of business on the date displayed.

Of course, mostly we use the catalog to search our collection. There's something new there, too! It's called "zero searching". Zero searching works like this: leave the search box blank and click the Search button.

Then use the "facets" on the left side of the screen to Limit the Search Results (or, put another way, to drill down to exactly what you want).

Wow... 120,096 items. That's a lot. Because that's pretty much everything the Frisco Public Library owns. But maybe I just want a movie to watch this weekend.

I might start by putting a check next to "Adult Reading Level" in the Audience facet and clicking Include:

Repeat with a Material Type of "DVD":

And then I'd need to decide what type of movie I was in the mood for and make the appropriate selections in Genre:

(Yes, you can choose more than one option within a facet!)

Well, I'm down to 956 items to browse through, but maybe one more limit would be a good idea.

How about only more recent movies? I'll choose a Publication Date range.

Tip: once you've limited by date once, you can get even more specific on each subsequent search:

(The number in parenthesis lets you know how many items match your search criteria for that year of publication.)

Just keep going until you find exactly what you were looking for--even though you didn't start with a particular title in mind. Basically, Zero Searching lets you browse the online catalog the way you might browse the shelves in person. How cool is that?!

Try it for yourself, or ask for more details at an Ask Us desk. Library staff are happy to help you figure out the best combination of facets to browse the catalog for whatever interests YOU.

Still have questions? Post a comment below and we'll be happy to follow up.

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