Ebsco recently released a new “Explora” interface available for several databases offered through POWER library. They provide a more intuitive search experience for patrons and feature an appealing, mostly user-friendly design that, according to Ebsco, can be easily viewed on mobile devices. Our brief experience with the interfaces on a mobile device, however, did not bear this final claim out.
Three Explora interfaces are available:
- Elementary Student Research (replaces Searchasaurus)
- Middle School Student Research (replaces Kids Search)
- Public Library Search (new)
In each case, from the Explora home screen, you can view an image carousel of timely topics, updated weekly. The carousel images are attractive and will lead to further exploration of the topics included.
Below the image carousel are categories to browse for research ideas. Click a link to one of the featured topics OR click on the More link to view an alphabetical list of all topics in that category. Want to know more about the Big Bang Theory (the concept, not the TV show)? Or perhaps you were the biggest loser, as I (Karen) was, in March Madness. You can brush up on the finer points of Fantasy sports leagues and mathematics.
Basic and advanced searches can also be performed. For the basic search, just enter your search term(s) in the search box on the home screen. The autocomplete feature will anticipate your search terms, so even if you misspell a term, relevant results will appear in the drop-down menu.
The advanced search link is in a familiar location, just below the basic search box. Unfortunately, the advanced search page has not been updated to the same degree as the main interface and will still prove to be overwhelming to some, perhaps especially younger researchers.
All-in-all, though, the Explora interfaces are an improvement to the dated and stale Ebsco interfaces we’ve been using. They should appeal to patrons. Look for them to be added to the countywide database page soon.
Karen S. (Northland) & Sarah B. (CLP)