March 5, 2009

Limited search results in NHU-PAC this weekend

A reminder: NHU-PAC searches will yield incomplete results this coming weekend while we re-index the entire database. The process will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 6, and continue until done.

NHU-PAC records will become searchable as they are re-indexed, starting with the oldest records and ending with the newest additions to the database. If you're looking for Inaugural address of Lyndon Baines Johnson issued by the U.S. G.P.O. in 1965, you're in luck because that's one of the oldest records in the NHU-PAC. If you're looking for the new DVD of Beverly Hills Chihuahua, you'll probably have to wait until Sunday afternoon or possibly Monday morning before it turns up in search results.

The re-indexing will have no effect on outstanding ILL transactions in the system.

Why do the indexes matter? When you're looking for a small piece of information in a big book, you could flip through the whole book and scan each page for the information--or you could save time by looking in the index and turning to the page indicated. When you launch a search in the NHU-PAC, your search doesn't look through all 1.9 million records in the database; it looks at the indexes and then shows you the relevant records. Re-indexing happens in the background on a regular basis but occasionally we need to rebuild the indexes from the ground up to ensure the integrity of the database. That's what's happening this weekend.

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