Searching for a very general topic such as civil war (distressingly common) brings up both a list of 9,179 results and two sets of facets: the Library of Congress Subject Headings, and such options as Subject Topic, genre, format, location, region, era, language and author. Each of these has a preview count, so a searcher knows that choosing "History: America" will limit the results to 2,726, while there are only 49 works in Spanish, 5 in the Textiles Library, and 23 written by Stephen Crane. The power of this approach is in exposing the options rather than hiding them behind a form, and this is an excellent implementation of it.( Collapse )
(link found via pixelcharmer)Note also: Libraries and Faceted Metadata, a presentation by Avi Rappoport of SearchTools about the likely value of using the faceted metadata approach for library catalogs. From Internet Librarian 2004.