Friday, November 14, 2008

Courthouse Libraries BC Launches!

Big changes of late at the library formerly known as the "BC Courthouse Library". Yes, they've changed their name, their logo, and most excitingly, launched a beta version of their new online catalogue!

Courthouse Libraries BC
, as they will now be known, also have a fresh new look. You can read about their new brand identity over at the What's New blog.

And... how about that new catalogue?

The new beta catalogue runs on the Aquabrowser platform, and might just be the first installation for a law library! It works as a skin to the traditional catalogue interface, and offers an uncluttered and aesthetically pleasing look. Most immediately noticeable is the word cloud, which forms after every initial search. Thus suggesting alternative spellings, stemming of your terms, and controlled vocabulary associations between terms.

You can also type in a broad term such as "family law" and you'll be presented with a word cloud that offers suggestions for narrowing by jurisdiction and sub-topic. You can refine your search immediate by publication date (for instance, in the last 3, 10, or 50 years), by subject heading, by author, location, or media type.

The search syntax defaults to a boolean AND between terms. There's also an advanced search screen for users wanting more control.

Finally, you can read more about the Courthouse Libraries BC and their new Aquabrowser catalogue over at Slaw, where Shaunna Mireau has just posted about it. But seeing is believing - go check it out!

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