Endeca at the NCSU Libraries

An online catalog interface that leverages advanced search and the Guided NavigationⓇ capabilities of the Endeca ProFind™ platform to provide a fast and flexible search interface to catalog records.


The Endeca ProFind™ platform interoperates with NCSU Libraries’ online catalog in order to improve discovery via rich content. Specifically, it relies on faceted searching - a technique that combines traditional textual searching with browsing in the same interaction. Once a user searches, the Endeca navigation engine returns not only the resulting records with their catalog properties (title, author, etc.) but also all available, potential refinements (facets). By providing this information in a single location, users have access to customized relevance ranking, enhanced natural language searching, and increased browse-ability all with a faster response time.     

How We Did It

NCSU Libraries’ online catalog is an implementation of the Endeca Information Access Platform Guided Navigation software. The Endeca software creates a “navigation engine”, which responds to search queries utilizing an API that communicates with Libraries’ SirsiDynix (then, Unicorn) MARC database. NCSU created a servlet-based Java web application that uses URL parameters to construct the user's query, send that query to the Endeca navigation engine, and display the results. The application server uses Apache and Tomcat. Java Beans are used to parse holdings-level results data into easy-to-use objects for the jsp files that actually produce the resulting web pages. Nearly every feature on the results list page is enabled using Endeca's pre-defined URL parameters. This includes sorting results and paging through result sets.


Since Endeca is not a library-specific application, NCSU Libraries created and applied extra logic to enable correct sorting for Library of Congress call numbers. The first LC call number for a title is identified as the sorting call number. A Perl script then adds padding to this sorting call number to create classes. Only the first 1-3 letters and the following decimal number for the class number are used to create the class number. A similarly padded LC hierarchy exists at the backend to create call number ranges that align with the classes. When padded, the call numbers sort correctly using Endeca’s default ASCII alphabetical sort.



Publications and Presentations

Endeca catalog usability test: findings report, Sandy Littletree, (internal report), February 2008.

Collins, M., Samples, J., Pennell, C., & Goldsmith, D. (in press). "Magnifying the ILS with Endeca," The Serials Librarian, 51(3/4), 75-100.

Antelman, K., Lynema, E., & Pace, A. (2006). "Toward a 21st Century Library Catalog," Information Technology and Libraries, 25(3).

Endeca catalog usability test: findings report, Emily Lynema, (internal report), July 2006.

"Dorothy Gets a New Pair of Shoes," American Libraries, February 2006.

NCSU Endeca 2 1/2 years on: from NextGen to Normalcy, Charley Pennell, ALA Annual Meeting, Anaheim, CA, June, 2008.

A new kind of catalog, Charley Pennell, North Carolina Library Association Annual Meeting, Hickory, NC, October, 2007. Endeca demo video (.wmv)

Bringing the library to the user: the practice, Emily Lynema, AALL Annual Meeting: Technical Services SIS, New Orleans, LA, July 15, 2007. Endeca demo video (.wmv)

Forward to the past: resurrecting faceted search @ NCSU Libraries, Charley Pennell, ALA Annual: ALCTS Authority Control Interest Group, Washington, D.C., June 2007.

Endeca and Faceted Browsing: Giving the User a Useful Catalog, Scott Warren, South Carolina Library Association College and University Section Workshop: Keeping Up with Our Patrons: Adapting to User Expectations, Columbia, SC, June 7, 2007.

Implementing a Faceted Search Framework, Emily Lynema and Andrew K. Pace, UNC School of Information and Library Science, ASIS&T Student Chapter, April 9, 2007.

Users and Uses of Bibliographic Data: The Promise and Paradox of Bibliographic Control, Andrew Pace, Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, March 8, 2007. Endeca demo video (.wmv)

Opening the door: using Endeca for a faceted catalog, Emily Lynema, Michigan Library Consortium Workshop: Discovery and Access: The OPAC and Beyond, March 2, 2007. Endeca demo video(.wmv)

Free the data: creating a web services interface to the online catalog, Emily Lynema, Code4Lib 2007, February 28, 2007.

A Faceted Interface to the Library Catalog, Tito Sierra, ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 20, 2007.Endeca demo video (.wmv)

What difference a good tool? Using Endeca for a faceted catalog, Emily Lynema, ACRL Delaware Valley Chapter Fall Program, November 3, 2006. Endeca demo video (.wmv)

Unbundling the ILS @ NCSU: implementation of an e-commerce search solution, Emily Lynema and Andrew K. Pace, LITA National Forum, October 2006

Improving the Catalogue Interface using Endeca, Tito Sierra, Capitalize on Access 2006, October 2006. Endeca demo video (.wmv)

The Future of the Online Catalog, Andrew K. Pace, TRLN Annual Meeting, July 2006

Endeca: a faceted search solution for the library catalog, Emily Lynema and Kristin Antelman, UNC University Librarians Advisory Council (ULAC), June 2006

"Endeca @ NCSU Libraries," Kristin Antelman, presentation at the American Library Association meeting, June 24, 2006

Endeca @ NCSU Libraries, Andrew K. Pace and Emily Lynema, presentation to staff from University of Virginia Library, May 2006

Searching The Long Tail, Steve Papa (Endeca), Search Engine Meeting 2006, April 2006

Unbundling the ILS: Deploying an E-commerce Catalog Search Solution, Andrew K. Pace and Emily Lynema, Digital Library Federation Spring Forum, April 2006

Catalogs for the Future, Andrew K. Pace, Computers in Libraries, March 2006

Using Endeca for a Catalog Interface, Andrew K. Pace, UNC Center for Research and Development of Digital Libraries, March 2006

Implementation of a faceted catalog search solution, Emily Lynema and Kristin Antelman, Duke University Libraries, February 2006

OPAC Search & Navigation, Andrew K. Pace, Demo presentations for staff, January 2006

The Dis-Integration of Library Systems of the Future, Kristin Antelman, Presented to the 2005 Potomac Technical Processing Librarians (PTPL) Annual Meeting, Annapolis, MD, October 2005