Monday 20 October 2014

My Big Idea: Search libraries with ease with SeeSearch

Published 31/07/2014 | 02:30

Dr Hillary Kenna and David Garvan

SeeSearch was designed by Dr Hilary Kenna, a lecturer in design at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT). It is an advanced search function and is available across south Dublin's libraries, giving customers 24/7 access, even from home, to the libraries' resources. She spoke to Sarah McCabe:

"SeeSearch is an online search tool that enables customers to find information more easily. It was launched this summer at South Dublin Libraries. Until now they had to carry out separate searches of multiple library catalogues. Now, thanks to SeeSearch, they can perform a single search across all resources.

"The search results are highly visual, which properly showcases all the quality content libraries have to offer. The libraries' customers can use it both in the library and at home.

"Our timing was perfect. When I presented the concept to Georgina Byrne, the county librarian at South Dublin Libraries, she was, coincidentally, already looking for an all-in-one discovery solution.

"I have been developing the idea over the last two years. I spun-out a company called Vizolve from IADT in October of last year, alongside lead developer David Garvan, to bring the product to market. Since then we have secured investment from start-up accelerator WAYRA, Telefonica's accelerator programme and Enterprise Ireland.

"Our technology can be used in many other ways beyond libraries. Companies can use the system to manage their information internally, providing staff with instant access to their organisation's vast and complex IT resources.

"It can also be used by retailers - our search results show hundreds more items in a single screen on any device than traditional search functions and allows retailers to market their content directly to the user based on their personal interests and profile. The software analyses searches so provides in-depth insight into content usage and customer search behaviour and patterns.

"We are expanding and are currently looking for a Java developer. Our most high profile tester has been Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who trialled the software while launching the 2014 Action Plan for Jobs at the WAYRA Academy in Dublin. He made the most of SeeSearch to conduct some light-hearted searches on his Cabinet colleague, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton."

smccabe@independent.ie

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