University of Chicago Library staff members are now developing a new library catalog that will replace both the current Library Catalog and Lens. The vendors that support both of these current catalog systems are planning to discontinue them, necessitating a change. The new catalog could be launched as early as summer 2013.
In designing the new catalog, library staff members are seeking to retain all of the functionality that UChicago Library users value in the existing systems. The Library conducted a series of interviews in 2011-2012 with faculty and students to identify the features that were most valuable to them and is using the findings to shape the new design. Staff will be soliciting further feedback from the University community throughout the development process. Watch the Library homepage or news site for future announcements and invitations.
The new catalog will provide access to the Library’s collections with a simple and clean visual design. It will be optimized for use on mobile devices, allowing researchers to consult their phones for guidance in locating books in the stacks. Furthermore, catalog users will be able to customize their experiences by setting default search types, as well as by choosing between brief and detailed displays of records.
The new catalog will be based on VuFind software, an open-source search tool originally developed at Villanova University. Libraries currently using VuFind include Yale University Library, University of Michigan Library, the National Library of Ireland, and HathiTrust.