After reading Megan’s blog post on the issues with single search boxes, I had to agree that having a single search box (i.e. Scout) as the first thing a patron sees when looking for materials is too simplistic & not very effective. When I looked at Coco’s article to see what he had to say about it, I found this point to sum up everything really well:
The librarian who is able to choose between user education and user convenience, certainly, has the easier job. But will it be a job worth doing? Will his users get what they need from him? The hard thing, really, is find ways to give our users both with the fewest trade-offs.
We still need to instruct patrons how t o use even the simplest of search boxes because they need to get the most out of all the resources we have to offer. What good is it to have all of these subscriptions and books and not be able to find them or locate them properly? Yeah, a single search box is nice, pleasing to the eye, and familiar (a la Google) but it just doesn’t work as well as it should. I’d say that we’d be doing a disservice to the patrons if we did what was easy or had them do what looked easy. In the end, it’s not – patrons suffer with all of the irrelevant results and get frustrated with the library which, in turn, shows in the numbers of usage. We want patrons to use the library & be able to get the most out of it.