Usable Library of the Week – Universiteit Gent

This week’s usable library is: Universiteit Gent, Belgium What I like: Their Blacklight search interface: lots of white space and large fonts for clean, readable look and feel Search detail includes “For Librarians” and “For Developer” tabs with access to MARC/XML/JSON records as well as links to open datasets Both Permalink and Citing are prominent…

Continue reading

After you find it, then what? New study looks at post-discovery services

Jody L. DeRidder and Kathryn G. Matheny performed an excellent study of how faculty use online databases to find primary source materials. The study looks at both how faculty search for materials as well as how they manage content after searching, and reveals shortcomings in services for post-discovery stages of the research process.  Their findings are in…

Continue reading

How is discovery implemented in library sites? New study provides data

An interesting study from Scott Jones and Angie Thorpe in the latest issue of the Journal of Web Librarianship: Library Home Page Design at Medium-Sized Institutions Jones and Thorpe systematically analyzed library website homepage content at 313 medium-sized academic institutions (3,000-9,999 FTE).  They looked at 118 different design elements, including how web scale discovery services…

Continue reading

Chrome plugin makes it easier for users to bypass the library

Thought provoking post this week by Aaron Tay on his blog Musings About Librarianship: Lazy Scholar – Interesting Chrome extension – a review and comparison with other library find full text options Aaron discusses Lazy Scholar, a Chrome browser extension that streamlines discovery of free full-text using Google Scholar.   From an abstract found on…

Continue reading

Discovery – shift away from library as starting point?

Yesterday Ithaka S&R shared an interesting conclusion from their recent 2013 Library Survey:  Discovery in the Library – Shifting Ground?  They found that fewer library directors agree with the following statement: “It is strategically important that my library be seen by its users as the first place that they go to discover scholarly content.” Their…

Continue reading

Discovery systems – testing known item searching

Many libraries have responded to user demand for Google-style searching by implementing web scale discovery services such as EDS, Primo, Summon, and WorldCat Local.   By exporting their local catalogs to the meta-aggregate article indexes provided by these vendors, libraries create “single search” across articles and books. One frustration with this approach has been that local…

Continue reading

Testing web-scale discovery services: how well do they work?

My library is currently evaluating web-scale discovery services. We are considering Exlibris’ Primo, Proquest’s Summon, Ebsco’s EDS, and OCLC’s WorldCat Local. (If you want to learn more about web scale discovery, I recommend Athena Hoeppner’s good overview.) As part of this process I’ve been looking at how libraries have implemented these four services. For this…

Continue reading

Many libraries, many users: how research libraries solve UX problems

I used to work at a small college library, but this past summer moved to a position at a large research university.   And while the library collections at my new institution are unsurpassed, our very wealth of resources present some interesting usability challenges: Many libraries: my institution has over 70 libraries, many of them highly…

Continue reading

RDA in the OPAC – some examples

March 31st has come and gone. RDA records are flooding into our OPACS.  What difference do these records make to our users? Back in 2011 I worked on a project comparing AACR2 and RDA music records.  My goal was to determine how RDA would fulfill the FRBR user tasks (to find, identify, select, and obtain)…

Continue reading