Endeca at the NCSU Libraries
What Integrated Library System is this using?
The NCSU Libraries licenses SirsiDynix's Symphony system and
the Web2 online catalog for authority searching.
How does the new catalog integrate with the SirsiDynix OPAC?
The new keyword search feature does not use any of the applications made
available by SirsiDynix. The keyword search and Guided Navigation is completely
powered by the Endeca software. MARC records are exported from the Unicorn
system, modified, and re-processed by the Endeca software. Currently, the
detailed record display page is still powered by SirsiDynix's Web2 catalog.
Authority searching (a.k.a. "Begins with..." searching) is still powered by
Web2 and Unicorn.
Why are there two search boxes on the catalog homepage?
The first version of the new online catalog preserves the ability to do what librarians (and only librarians) call "authority searching" (e.g., Subject and Author) and index searching (e.g., Title and call number). It was
determined that the best way to do this was to separate the two set of
features rather than creating too many radio buttons, dropdown selections, or
additional tabs in the catalog interface. The top search box performs only
Endeca keyword searches. The bottom box performs only Unicorn/Web2 index
Which Endeca product is NCSU using?
NCSU Libraries has licensed Endeca Information Access Platform.
How does it search MARC records?
Endeca does not search MARC records directly. Every night, record updates
are exported from Unicorn, added to the Endeca data and re-indexed. See
the Technology section for more details.
How does it show circulation status?
Changes to item-level information that is controlled by Unicorn policy
files (e.g., Library, current location, item type) is tracked in the
record modification file. This information is
updated nightly. Circulation status can be up to 23:59 out of date, depending
on when the activity takes place. NCSU is looking into more permanent
solutions to the display of this information but has determined that the
benefits of displaying the information in the hitlist outweighs the limited
potential of it not being completely accurate.
Will NCSU be sharing its software code?
While the look and feel of the new online catalog is completely within
NCSU Libraries' control, the methods used are proprietary to the Endeca
Why Endeca? Why change the OPAC?
What are NCSU's plans for future development?
Over the years, the importance of the online catalog has been downplayed
due to the prominence (and accompanying expense) of online and full-text databases. Another reason that the OPAC lurks in the shadows is because it has
ceased to be an effective finding aid for many libraries. In the absence
of tangible solutions from ILS vendors, NCSU Libraries consulted with various
players in the industry and determined that Endeca was uniquely qualified
to meet the needs of the Libraries and its patrons.
What you see now is very much a version 1.0 of the new online catalog.
NCSU will continue to refine currently available features:
As well as develop new features:
- item and serial record displays
- relevance algorithms
- spell correction, thesaurus, and "did you mean..." functionality
- record-rollup, a FRBR implementation to display expressions of the same
work in one place
- thesaursus control of subject authority records
- better integration with or replacement of the Web2/Unicorn interface
- shopping cart functionality
- RSS and Web Services functionality
Can another library do this?
We certainly hope so. Whether it's through Endeca, TLC, another
library automation vendor, or other third-party system, NCSU Libraries
hopes it has contributed to the development standard of next-generation
How much does the software cost?
The only possible answer to this question is, "It depends." Endeca
licenses its software through ILS vendor TLC, and works directly with other
customers, including NCSU Libraries. The best way to get an answer to this
question would be to contact TLC or Endeca directly.