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Faceted search is becoming a popular methodology for content rich websites, catalogues and repositories, including digital libraries. It is a resource discovery approach which has the propensity to enhance user experience.
There are a wide variety of tools that can be used to support faceted searching of catalogues and databases, including Blacklight, VuFind and Apache Solr.
To examine this area in more detail, EIFL-FOSS organised the fourth EIFL-FOSS Themed Week for 2011 around Faceted Searching and in particular the Apache Solr software.
A general session introducing Faceted Search tools is complemented by a technical hands-on session focussing on Apache Solr, an powerful and scalable open source search platform.
The general session was attended by 18 delegates from EIFL countries. It was evident that there has already been significant work in this area - Adomas Sliuzinskas, FOSS Coordinator for Lithuania, shared details of an open source faceted search system he has developed at Vilnius University Library.
The session was presented by Boon Low, who has recently managed the JISC project 'Usability and Contemporary User Experience in Digital Libraries (UX2.0)' and developed the digital library services for Enabling Grids for E-SciencE (EGEE). The services are based on custom-built web applications and engineered systems from off-the-shelf and open source systems including Apache Solr faceted/enterprise search infrastructure, Blacklight faceted search User Interface (Ruby on Rails), and Fedora Repository (Java).