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(Dec 9/11) Please, please, please improve the speed of the library catalogue website for off-
campus users. I have been trying to use it for the past three days and can get no
searches to complete. The log-in to access online resources also never completes. Is
there a problem with the catalogue? If the problem is that too many people are using
the system, (a problem I recognize you cannot control given Macs willingness to
increase enrollments by record numbers without building capacity) then please find
some way to allocate resources to handle the heavy traffic during exam periods, when
there is understandably going to be a lot of activity.

I frankly find the new catalogues searching accuracy vastly inferior to the old
catalogues, but I appreciated that the new catalogue was reliable and stuck up for
it amongst my colleagues on this point. I would hate to see the new catalogue become
as unreliable as the old one, on top of its lack of searching accuracy. Right now,
the catalogue is entirely useless.

Library response:

Many sincere thanks for writing such detailed feedback. To make sure I understand the issues, I have a few questions that I hope you see and can answer.

 

Were you using our new library catalogue (library.mcmaster.ca/catalogue), or the classic catalogue? I'm particularly interested in your answer to this when it comes to the quality of results. The new library catalogue powered by VuFind returns much better results than the classic catalogue in most cases.

 

Can you tell us which browser and operating system you are using (we've seen some browser-specific issues with certain services)?

Traffic peaks may be part of the problem, but ultimately I don't think they're to blame for everything. That said, we also sense that there are some serious campus bottlenecks in the networks on which our servers are dependent, and UTS is keenly aware of the need to amp up the campus network capacity.

Feel free to email me (can find the address in our directory) or respond here to my questions. Let me finish by assuring you that we are working diligently on our catalogue to resolve myriad issues, so improvements will be coming. We appreciate your patience, and your willingness to speak for the new catalogue. 

(Dec 9/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

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