START Conference Manager    

Beyond Text Querying and Ranking List: How People are Searching Through Faceted Catalogs in Two Library Environments

Xi Niu and Bradley Hemminger

(Submission #294)


This paper reports the result of a transaction log analysis on two faceted library catalogs (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) Library catalog and Phoenix Public Library (PPL) catalog). The goal is to investigate and compare people’s searching behavior with the faceted catalogs in an academic library and a public library. Two large data sets with 504,142 logs for 40 days and 1,010,239 logs for 60 days respectively are analyzed. Descriptive statistics and results of cluster analysis are reported. It is found that people do incorporate facets when they are searching through a faceted catalog. The facet usage for the public library is much higher than that of the academic library due to the former’s support of facet browsing in addition to facet refining. For the UNC data, popular facets are the “administrative” metadata rather than the “content” metadata, whereas for the PPL data, frequently used facets are the general categories appearing as search tabs on the search page, such as books and movies, Finally, cluster analysis reveals common search groups across the two library environments. A better understanding of people’s searching behavior can help system developers to develop more responsive systems to cater to different behaviors and different patrons. Particularly, an insight into how people are using facets will guide library technical staff to make facets more effective in helping people find what they want.


Program Track:  Track 1 - Information Behaviour
Submission Type:  Research Paper

START Conference Manager (V2.56.8 - Rev. 1261)