Pendeta Discovery : the library’s new search & discovery

Many of you may have noticed that as of mid last year, the University of Malaya Library has started using a new library catalog for its collection as follows :


Why the change? The old interface is slowly being phased out and the company providing the system (SirsiDynix) has ceased performing R & D activities to it. As such, implementation of the new interface was carried out since the beginning of 2013.

Below are the significant features as well as differences of Pendeta Discovery compared to the previous interface:

  • Use of “fuzzy logic” or natural language search.  This empowers the users to discover with ease – providing “Did you mean” suggestions in cases of misspelled or incomplete queries and eliminate dead end searches;
  • Widget and faceted features;
  • Provide on-the-go access with the mobile-friendly Enterprise interface, enabling library users to discover catalog contents from wherever they may be;
  • Enriched content –  giving users book cover displays, table of contents, best-seller lists, user-generated reviews and more. Cover-flow views, social media integration, drag-and-drop “favorites” list capabilities and more further customize the experience for each library user;
  • Boolean operators are not currently supported.  Terms separated by spaces are automatically issued with the AND operator.  Rather than using NOT, users may refine the scope of search using “Include” or “Exclude”;
  • Wildcard characters ( * ! ? ) are not accepted.  Other suffixes such as “-ing” or “-ed” may not be automatically retrieved;
  • RSS feed to alert users on new items – Subscribing to an RSS feed from the catalog is a great way to get alerted when items of interest are added to the libraries’ collections.  From any search or any set of results, users can get a feed by clicking the RSS icon next to the number of results retrieved.

 With the new interface, data of usage could be gathered and then analysed using Google Analytics. Below is the pattern of usage from July 2013 to December 2013 :


Statistics have also shown that upon the implementation of Pendeta Discovery, borrowing of printed items among users have significantly increased as follows:

Total Circulation Checkout Items
2011 212,511 130317
2012 158,752 93,084
2013 306,716 186,483

Pendeta Discovery is due for another enhancement. Work is in progress for an update in a few days time. So look out for a fresh breeze of transformation in Pendeta Discovery very soon.

Zanaria Saupi Udin
Head, Information Systems Division
University of Malaya Library
18th January 2014

About Zanaria Saupi Udin

  • As Head of Information Systems Division, I manage and administer ICT services besides plan, develop, operate technologies in the library as well as work together with the IT Center to ensure the operations are in line with the strategic plan of University of Malaya information systems

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