Beyond text querying and ranking list: How people are searching through faceted catalogs in two library environments
Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
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 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 are reported and cluster analysis is
... onducted. It is found that people do incorporate facets when they are searching through a faceted catalog for either the academic or the public library. The facet usage for the PPL catalog is higher than that of its UNC counterpart probably due to its support of facet browsing in addition to facet refining, and that they have facets that describe the content better. For the UNC data, many popular facets are the "administrative" (or circulative) metadata rather than the "real content" metadata, whereas for the PPL data, frequently used facets are the browsing titles 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.