Pressbooks Directory Updates [October 2021]

Hello all! This is the first of what we expect will be regular Pressbooks product updates posted by our team to this Discourse category.

Pressbooks Directory Redesign

After gathering extensive UX feedback and input from many of you (thank you!), we released a totally rebuilt v2 of the Pressbooks Directory ( in June 2021. Not only is the rebuilt Directory more visually attractive, it’s also more accessible and easier to use for browsing, searching, and filtering books.

Self-Guided Directory Tour

We’ve added a self-guided tour to the Directory itself which can be launched by clicking the ‘Take the Tour’ button in the top right of the Directory’s header:
Pressbooks Directory Header
Pressbooks Directory with Tour Launched

Updated Guide Chapters

We’ve also written new guide chapters explaining how to find books in the Directory: Find Books on the Pressbooks Directory – Pressbooks User Guide and how to improve your book’s metadata so it can be discovered more easily in the Directory: Add Relevant Metadata – Pressbooks User Guide.

Other Pressbooks Directory Changes

In addition to the big, obvious changes included in the Directory redesign, we’ve added a handful of other features and improvements you might have missed.

  1. We’ve improved the display order for the Directory when browsing and after a search or filter has been applied. When browsing, the default display order will always be ‘last updated’, meaning that you’ll see the books who have had the most recent updates to their content or metadata at the top. As soon as you perform a search or apply a filter, the Directory will switch to a newly added ‘relevance’ display order. This algorithm attempts to show you the most ‘relevant’ results for your query based on several factors (search term proximity, metadata quality, originality, etc.). You can also use the display order dropdown to view search results using ‘alphabetical’ or ‘last updated’ ordering, if you prefer.
    Sort Order options
  2. We’ve improved URL routing. Search queries, active filters, books per page, and sort order choices will now be reflected in the URL of the page you’re viewing. This means that you can more easily save, bookmark, and share searches that you’ve performed and see dynamic results on return visits to the Directory. We’ve also added a ‘Share this Query’ button to make it even easier to share your search with others. This feature was specially requested by librarians who often perform searches on a given topic on behalf of others, like instructors looking for OER they can use in a course they’re teaching.
    Share this query interface before clicking
    Share this query interface after clicking
    (after clicking)
  3. We’ve also improved the display of book cards. We’ve added a vibrant new default cover image for all books that haven’t uploaded their own covers and made book covers function as links to webbook home pages. We’ve moved numerical information about books (word count, storage size, and H5P activities) to a condensed display just under the book title. If a book has H5P activities, we now link to an improved H5P listing page for that book which displays all of the H5P activities that have been created for the book, so that visitors can more readily assess the existing interactive activities in a particular book they’re thinking about adopting or adapting. We’ve also improved book descriptions by printing ‘short descriptions’ where no ‘long description’ is available and truncating very long descriptions with a ‘read more’ toggle.
  4. Finally, clicking the site logo in the top left of the page header will now clear all active search queries and allows visitors to quickly reset the Directory to its starting state.

To learn more about these and other recent changes to the Pressbooks Directory, please see the specific release notes for our past several releases. As ever, we’re very interested to hear your feedback and suggestions to make the Directory a more useful tool for finding titles of interest published with Pressbooks!