Search Tips

ALA has retired our Google Mini and implemented Apache Solr search on the ALA website. Solr makes faceted and federated search possible, so eventually members will be able to search not just but also at the same time.

Biggest Change

To search all of ALA at one time, start from the homepage or run a search from any other area and then choose the option at the top left to re-run your search on all of ALA. See More Search Collections, below, to understand why search boxes on ALA sub-directories by default now display only content from that portion of ALA.

More Search Collections

All top level directories in ALA, that is, all division and round table sites, as well as everything that can be reached from the left navigation on the ALA home page (About ALA through Transforming Libraries, as shown in the image below) each has its own search collection. This is also true of I Love Libraries and American Libraries magazine. By default, when you use the search box in the banner on a particular page, you will search that area only. On the search results page you will have an option to switch to searching all of, or you can move to the ALA homepage, which defaults to a whole-site search.

image of ALA homepage left navigation

Facets for Filtering Search Results

To begin, we are making the following facets available; facets use the Boolean AND functionality.

  • Sites allows you to switch to another site or to all of
  • The Subject facet uses a taxonomy.
  • Specialty Content facet breaks out your results based on specialized page templates, such as those for Committee and Online Learning pages.
  • Library Type also uses a taxonomy
  • Date: Shows content in order from newest to oldest by creation date.

Please be patient; a great deal of content has yet to be tagged with Subject and Library Type taxonomy terms.

Tips: Click on a facet label to select it. To reverse a selected facet, click on the minus sign to the left of the selection.

Relevant Press Releases in Right Column

Going forward, press releases relevant to your search will display to the right of your main search results set, and if there are many results, can be paged through using the paging widget.

Note to content editors: You must add the unit's microsite tag from the taxonomy labeled Include Press Release in Search Results Display to your press release.

Additional Search Features

We still have ALA Suggestions to offer, as well as a Did you mean ..? option.