Miskatonic University Press

VuFind usage fives times that of "classic catalogue"


I work at the York University library. In January we launched VuFind as our discovery layer, bringing together four or five silos of information into one place. We relegated the SirsiDynix WebCat OPAC to the classic catalogue.

In the spring I used compared usage of the old and new systems, and I was very surprised to find they were running about equal. Looking at how the usage has gone the rest of the year shows that since September VuFind is getting five times the usage of the classic catalogue.

(Note: the dead spot in March/April is where I misconfigured Google Analytics and lost a month! Sorry about the width of the images. I need to change my template.)

Here's the usage of the classic catalogue. It peaks at under 10,000 page views per day. The peaks are all on Mondays, which is the busiest day of the week on our web site. Usage declines until Saturday, then picks up again on Sunday.

Graph showing classic catalogue usage

And VuFind, peaking at around 50,000 page views per day:

Graph showing VuFind usage

VuFind's search results listings are much, much richer than the classic catalogue's. They tell you pretty much everything you need to know about items, and I think in many cases people will look no further. In the classic catalogue the search results hardly have any information and you always need to look at the item records. For that reason, I think that comparative usage of VuFind is even higher, because one page view there counts for ten in the old system.

According to Google Analytics, people average about 60 seconds looking at the search results pages in VuFind, and 90 seconds looking at item records. In the classic catalogue, they spend about 45 seconds per page average, but I can't break it down by type of page.