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Trouble Ticket #7464

Date Submitted: 2018-10-04

Title of e-Resource: WorldCat Discovery - Target Audience Index

Nature of the Problem: Worldcat

Details: Just following up from this morning's meeting on the issues related to searching for materials according to target audience. Right now, "target audience" is only available from a drop down menu on the advanced search screen on UNB WorldCat. While this is not an ideal spot for it, it is good that the team tried to accommodate it in some form when the facet for "Audience" was removed from the main search results screen in the move from Local to Discovery.

There are, however, multiple issues with how this search limiter works in practice. I'll try to describe them all in detail here so that issue is documented fully going forward.

1. "Target Audience" is listed alphabetically under "T" rather being listed simply as "Audience." I'm not sure either label is intuitive for students but "t" doesn't seem the go-to letter one would look to find this kind of search limiter.

2. Once "Target Audience" is selected, there is no prompt for the appropriate vocabulary to put in the search field. "Juvenile Literature" is the term used in LC subject cataloguing. "Child," "Children," or "Children's" are also logical possibilities a user might come up with, as are "teen" and "young adult." I'm sure there are more options that students could think of and this plurality of vocabulary extends beyond the notion of a juvenile audience. e.g. "vision impaired," "ESL" etc.

3. The biggest issue, however, is that even if reasonable vocabulary is selected for this field (or pre-selected should a change be made for a controlled vocabulary facet rather than a search limiter), the user has no idea what fields are being searched to return results. If I run b8 searches on HIL-CLC, HIL-JUV and HIL-EASY, I come up with 22,819 records. These should all be juvenile titles and combined they represent only a percentage of the juvenile titles held by UNB Libraries, given that many can also be found in microforms, STACKS, SPECCL, STORAGE, etc. And yet, if I search using the limiter for target audience, I get the following results:

Target Audience = juvenile: 0 results
Target Audience = children: 356 results
Target Audience = young adult: 1 result

"Juvenile literature" tends to be the language used in LC subject headings, but an "su:juvenile literature" search yields only 10,858 results and "su:juvenile" yields much on delinquency.

Right now, despite having the "target audience" drop down limiter, the only reliable way to find children's books is to us the b8 limiter instead and perform multiple searches. This is cumbersome for reference staff and impossible for students to figure out without mediated help.

I hope this helps to sum up some of the issues involved. I will continue to tinker with searches and kick tires.


Status: Active

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