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Search is Search

Yesterday, an Academic Technologist, another librarian, and I joined forces to lead a workshop called “Finding Your Stuff in Zimbra.” The technologists thought there should be a session on email searching, and they figured librarians must know a thing or two about search, and so this session was spawned.

The session itself was fairly uneventful. I put together a guide to Zimbra’s rather impressive search capabilities (probably Zimbra’s best quality). For example, did you know that it’s possible to keyword search inside your attachments using this system? I didn’t either until preparing for this session, but it’s pretty darn cool. Anyway, we walked attendees through these capabilities, and then we discussed what to do if people knew they’d want to gather messages that were related but had no common metadata: create tags and/or folders. For example, I have tags or folders for things like gathering messages from students, since no message metadata exists to indicate whether or not the message sender is a student.

Two things surprised me about leading this session. First, people came! About 2/3 of the room was full, and they would have stayed past our alloted hour if people hadn’t been congregating outside the classroom door in anticipation of the next workshop. Second, people want us to offer it again. I would never have guessed. Never.