As I noted on a previous post, I have been working on solving a few practical problems at work. As part of my drive to catalogue materials that are not on our library management system, I have been adding our collection of maps onto a wiki I have set-up at Zoho. Up until now, the maps have been catalogued on a spreadsheet several pages long. This meant that searching for a specific map was laborious to say the least. To make the search process easier I split the maps up in to different areas and gave each area its own wiki page. This meant that when a search was conducted, it would at least narrow it down to a general area. However, the process hasn’t been without its blips.
The main problem has been with the hit-and-miss nature of the search engine. When entering one particular search term, the engine threw up no results, even though I knew the term was in the database. Thankfully, the guys at Zoho have been very helpful. After encountering the problem, I decided to get in touch with a member of the team. Impressively, they got back to me the very next day and said they would look into it. It turned out there was a fault with the software and they assured me that they would rectify it. They also asked of there were any features that would make the service easier to use. I suggested that it would be useful if when a search is conducted, instead of just directing you to the page, the search terms could be highlighted on the wiki page. Again I got an email the very next day, and they said they would look into it. Impressive service!
I am really hopeful that this will make it easier for members of staff to use and I am hoping to build it into a one-stop shop for help with reference queries. It will provide a wealth of information specific to our library that is easily searchable. For example, a page would be created with copyright information on maps so that (as inevitably happens) when members of staff struggle to remember the technicalities of copyright laws, they can find the information via a simple search engine on the database. It will take a lot of time to get to this stage, but I am confident that using a wiki in this way will make it much easier for staff to provide a quality service and, after all, that is what we should be aiming for.