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New Version of LEO Goes Live this Summer
by Reba Leiding

JMU Libraries is implementing the new version of LEO the library catalog immediately following the end of Spring Semester.  The new LEO offers a new look and several features to assist users in their searching, such as Spell Check, Search History, and Relevancy Ranking.  The new version also highlights My LEO, a tool that enables JMU users to interact with LEO to renew their books online, view their Reading History, create preferred searches, and create alerts to notify them when the library acquires materials in their topics of interest.  Users can start getting familiar with the new LEO now by clicking on the LEO Beta link on the library’s home page or on the current LEO’s search pages.


Brian Cockburn, Music Librarian and chair of the LEO Webpac Task Force, explains, “We decided not to switch to the new version until after Spring Semester to cause less of a disruption for students and faculty.”  Many librarians are enthusiastic about the changes in the new LEO and are encouraging faculty and students in their liaison departments to start using the beta version.  For example, Lynn Cameron, Psychology Librarian, links to the new version of LEO on her Psychology Research Guide.


New LEO Search Screen

The new LEO’s basic search screen looks more like the current advanced keyword search screen with search results now sorted by relevance as the default display.  This is similar to the initial search screen used by most of the library’s research databases. The search screen provides tabs across the top, making it easy to move to Title, Author, or Subject searches.  Also included is a tab also labeled Periodicals, which takes the user to Periodical Locator, the Libraries’ search tool for finding journals in full-text, whether in the library, online, or in the libraries’ full-text databases.  Other tabs take the user to the Reserves search of course reserve items on LEO, or to My LEO.MyLEO screen


When users log onto My LEO they can renew their own books online, request materials, and track requests.  Some of these features have been available in LEO’s current version, but other features, like tracking Reading History and creating Preferred Searches, are new.


Reading History:  Log into My LEO and click on the “My Reading History” button, and Opt In. Once you have opted in to Reading History, LEO tracks what you have checked out and displays the list. 


Preferred Searches are searches on topics that you will want to re-do on a regular basis to check if the libraries have acquired new materials.  To set up a preferred search, log onto My LEO and do your search that you will want to save.  This can be an author, title, or subject, or an advanced keyword including any limits you may want to include.  When the results are displayed, click on the button that says “Save as preferred search” to save it.  The next time you want to perform that search, you can click on the “Preferred Searches” button in My LEO to launch that search.


New LEO Search Results Screen with CartSave to Cart function:  The method for marking and saving records in LEO is now a Save to Cart function.  Anyone who shops on the Internet will be familiar with this feature.  To save records from a results list, simply click the Save to Cart button for each record, then click on View Cart to view the list of saved records.  You can then email those records, display them on the screen to cut and paste, or save to a local disk or flash drive. 

The LEO upgrade doesn’t mean major changes in how to search on LEO, but provides new features that increase the functionality of the catalog and make it more similar to many of the databases with which library users are familiar.  Click on the LEO Beta on the libraries’ web page and give it a try:  the LEO of the future is here today.

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