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BU Libraries New Website Meets 21st-Century Needs

Single gateway provides enhanced searching and research


It’s not just another pretty face.

The new website for BU’s libraries comes with better searching and navigation capabilities to complement its new look and “improve research and learning for the University community,” says Robert Hudson, University librarian.

Unveiled on July 2, the new site’s enhancements include a search function that is a single gateway to every book, article, media, and piece of research material in the libraries, notwithstanding format (print, electronic, and so forth) or location (local or remote). “The flexible interface also places a premium on users’ ability to refine their search to their individual needs,” says Hudson.

Meanwhile, Research Guides, the first link under the new site’s Research heading, leads students to the best of the more than 350 library databases on given topics. Associate librarian Thomas Casserly says the topics range from basic fields—for example, Psychology here and Physics here—to eclectic and more specific topics, such as Book Reviews, Boston and Its Neighborhoods, and even Patent and Trademark Searching.

The Research Guides, written by the BU librarians who assemble the libraries’ collections, come with profiles of their authors on the right-hand side of each guide, in case students want to contact them with especially sticky research questions, says Casserly. As the libraries increasingly digitize their holdings in an ever-more digital world, “these guides help provide visitors to the website the same valuable insight to using library collections that librarians can provide in person,” he says.

Navigation should also be easier, as the website’s home includes links to the libraries’ Research Tools (including the Research Guides), Help pages, and Services, which includes from renewing books to finding reference experts. Finally, the site updates the libraries’ directions and floor plans and features access to sites for individual libraries across the University.

The new site enacts several goals in the libraries’ 2010–2015 strategic plan, creating, in Hudson’s words, “a website to match the needs of the University community in the 21st century.”

Rich Barlow

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu.

One Comment on BU Libraries New Website Meets 21st-Century Needs

  • MIchael Zank on 09.12.2012 at 7:59 am

    I started using the new system yesterday. It really is superior. Kudos, Bob Hudson.

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