One of our early projects, which is still active, is the Google Mini. We purchased a Google Mini Search Appliance, which is designed to index Web pages and other types of files on a corporate server, web site, or intranet. These documents can then be searched through an interface like the Google search everyone knows and loves.
We had two main goals for this search appliance, to index the content on our Web site for easier access, and to experiment with providing a new interface for patrons searching our catalog. In terms of the catalog we were intrigued by the dual possibilities of "Did you mean...?" style spelling suggestions, and Google's usage based ranking algorithms applied to our library's holdings.
Jerry first found the idea in use by Danbury Public Library with their III automation system. We set out to see if we could accomplish the same thing with our Horizon ILS system. The result can be seen at search.kentcountylibrary.org.
I will provide more details on how this was accomplished in a future post if readers are interested. The degree of success and usefulness of the project is still being evaluated. We'll keep you updated. And meanwhile, feel free to let us know what you think.