This post contains notes I took when I was attending a webinar: Understanding the discovery landscape: Federated search, web-scale discovery, next-generation catalog and the rest.
- Marshall Breeding, Director for Innovative Technologies and Research
- Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt UniversityHelen Livingston, Director, Library Services, University of South America Libraries
- Jane Burke, Senior Vice President, Serials Solutions, the innovators behind the Summon web-scale discovery service
URL to presentation (registration required)
Marshall Breeding (www.librarytechnology.org)
- Crowded landscape of information providers on the web. Lots of non-library web destinations deliver content to library patrons, e.g. Google search, Google scholar, Wikipedia.
- Look at Amazon.com for user expectations of an information provider.
- Evolution of library collection discovery tools. From bound handwritten catalogue, card catalogue, online card catalogue, web-based online catalogue, to next-generation catalogue.
- Catalogue is not the only source of information in many libraries. Currently, disjointed approach to information and service delivery, e.g. books, journals, databases.
- Users don’t understand the distinctions. Many non-library websites are more unified.
- Libraries should offer a single point of entry to all the content and services offered by the library.
- The answer is a web-scale discovery layer that works with the ILS.
- Some features of web-scale discovery tools:
- Social Discovery
- Deep indexing – beyond metadata
- Pre-populated indexes
Story about how University of South Australia libraries implemented Summon:
- Be prepared to handle dirty data
- User survey right from the start
- Utilizing the iphone mobile application for Summon
- List of limitations and improvements
The net-generation or milliennials’ expectations’ of library discovery service. Survey conducted on millennials showed a general belief that libraries are the best place to start a research, but actual search behavior of starting in the open web first contradict the expressed belief.
Reasons for contradictions:
- No clear compelling starting place
- Difficulty identifying appropriate resources
- General lack of awareness of resources
Summon was created to tackle the first reason. A single search box enables quick discovery of the most credible resources anywhere the library has them. (emphasis mine)
- unbiased search results
- customized to your library’s collection
- available without authentication barriers
Burke provided a quick tour of Summon’s features and strengths.
- How quickly is the unified index updated? This is a key question that libraries must ask the web-scale discovery tool vendors.
- A comment that Summon needs to do more work on link resolver technology to offer even more seamless access.
Published Report: “Academic libraries and the struggle to remain relevant: why research is conducted elsewhere”. ALIA Information Online 2009. Sydney, Australia