The University of Western Ontario recently changed their Library Web Page so that the user can no longer search the Catalogue from the home page. Their Discovery Tool, Summon, is now the sole search bar and thus the primary tool for doing research at Western:
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Western University recent launched a new, streamlined Library Home Page. This it what it looks like now: This is what the Library Webpage looked like just before the change: The multiple search tabs (Summon, Catalogue, and Course Reserves) have been removed and … Continue reading
Imagining an academic library without a discovery service (be it Ebsco, Summon, Primo…etc) has become practically impossible. Where else could you begin general keyword searches or article title searching? However, for smaller research libraries, discovery services are still have that new smell. The small library that I am working at is launching a discovery service very soon and I’ve been working to help get out the hijinks. And it’s been verryyy interesting.
Killing Print Circulation?
I was immediately blown away by the amount of “junk” you get in certain searches. You’re usually better off doing a google search and visiting some Wikipedia pages to learn about your topic and then come back and plug in some more specialized terms. The thing is when small libraries use a discovery service from a library service company, that company usually attaches a bunch of free databases on to the service to sweeten the deal. Unfortunately this can result in you having a lot of useless databases in your discovery service that just crowds out relevant results instead of providing access to more relevant results.
Bibliaff lends – as their website says — “business books” to libraries for libraries to lend out to their clients. But their collection is so much more then business books, with titles like Nudge and Freakonomics and authors like Oprah and Thomas King, it is essentially is a collection of popular and recent non-fiction titles.
Lately I have been looking promoting and setting up Google Scholar (GS) as a resource for clients. The process of getting GS to show “library links” to full-text of items in a library’s collection in GS search results is actually surprisingly easy. Just a matter of contacting your lin-resolver and asking them to set it up, and the Google-bots immediately begin to scour your page. A lot of libraries (Most university libraries, some government) already do this and GS requires the institution’s log-in to access the full text or it recognizes requested IP addresses and provides direct access. Continue reading
As the content on the web grows more and more people are looking for ways to better manage the information that is coming at them from all sides. Students, researchers, professors, economists, and scientists are looking for ways to stay in touch with current publications and know what is making waves and is important to their field at the moment. Now because of social media and it’s accompanying the amount of article and link recommendations, most people can find things to read at a moments notice but what they really want is a way to be able to filter for important stuff.
Thus we have RSS feeds, blog readers, and search alerts. These devices seemed to have exploded around 2006, after the dot-com bubble and when people started getting realistic and practical about what the web could be used for and started actually using it. They have been hanging around since then and are starting to make a “comeback even though they never went away”. This is partly because people who grew up around the web are now starting to work as professionals and realizing they don’t have the time to “surf” the net for relevant information as they did when they were young. But what is really causing them to gain importance and popularity is the emphasis on an informed workforce and individuals pushing themselves to be more informed so that they can improve at their job or find more jobs. Continue reading