VuFind Changing the Face of On-line Library Search Engines

Next-generation library resource portal developed by Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library has been adopted by universities and organizations across the globe

VILLANOVA, Pa., July 22, 2010 – A next-generation, multi-faceted library resource discovery portal, VuFind, has been designed and developed for libraries by Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library.

VuFind enables users to search and browse through a library’s full slate of resources by replacing the traditional on-line public access catalog (OPAC) with a modern, “Google-like” interface. Faceted searching helps users focus in on the materials they need, and social features like tagging and user comments allow a “Web 2.0” experience in the library. In addition to improved stability, the new release includes a mobile interface for convenient searching on smart phones, integration with Serials Solutions’ Summon for full-text article searching, and Dewey Decimal support to increase the package’s usefulness to public libraries.

The VuFind software is offered for free through the general public (GPL) open source license.

Villanova’s design is already benefitting the larger library community. Prior to the official release of VuFind 1.0 on July 15, the software underwent extensive beta testing and was quickly adopted by universities and organizations all over the world.The list includes: Georgia Tech, London School of Economics, National Library of Australia, National Library of Ireland, University of Georgia, University of Michigan and Yale among others.

“The presence of VuFind on the library technology landscape is transforming the way many libraries envision and provide access to their collections,” said Joseph Lucia, the Director of Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library.  “We are extremely proud that Villanova University is the home for this important project.”

VuFind is completely modular so universities and organizations can implement just the basic system, or all of the components. And since it is open source, one can modify the modules to best fit particular needs or add new modules to extend resource offerings. While designed for the library market, VuFind is built around the popular Solr search engine, and it is flexible enough to be adaptable to many online search needs.

“VuFind is a powerful and flexible information discovery tool that is simple to implement, provides state of the art features, and is supported by an international community of developers who work within and understand the evolving needs of libraries,” added Lucia.

Villanova will host a VuFind 2.0 summit meeting in September to talk about the next phase in the evolution of the software.

Villanova University is a co-educational Roman Catholic institution founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. The University offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs through four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate, and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For more information see www.villanova.edu.