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Library's catalog easier to search

5/16/2013

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

It's now easier for Hays Public Library patrons to search for books.

The library is rolling out a new catalog and website.

The new website is similar to the old with a few notable exceptions -- upcoming events are streamed, and patrons "can search the catalog directly from home page," said Tom Micek, the library's IT administrator.

Signing in at the site also is easier.

After the first time signing in, users can go into their account summary and change their address or pin or create a user name and password.

"We're really trying to make the catalog an easier place to find the things that you want," he said.

Patrons can perform, save and personalize searches, even narrowing down the searched item's format such as Blu-ray.

Users can create lists of items without searching again and again.

Links to databases allow patrons to pull up magazine articles in library subscriptions. The Britannica link takes users to the encyclopedia site, and a link to Sunflower eLibrary allows users to search there as well as the catalog.

Before the update, there wasn't a connection between the library's catalog and Sunflower eLibrary, Micek said.

"The whole system is built for mobile devices," said Eric Norris, HPL library director.

"It works the same on a computer as on a mobile device," Micek said of the catalog.

The new website and mobile transition is easier for the library staff, as well.

The checkout screen is more user-friendly, and transferring the program to a tablet allows the staff to shelf books as they go down the aisle looking for items rarely checked out.

"It has a component that pulls the children's books out," Norris said. "And they have their own catalog."

The children's catalog is visual-based, Micek said.

"Kids don't have to type a single thing in to find a book," he said "They can browse by the book jacket cover."

The library is "moving in the right direction to provide a better service for our patrons," Micek said.