Usable Library of the Week – Northeastern University

This week’s usable library is: Northeastern University What I like: Mobile friendly, especially the “Mobile Research” link  Modern look and feel of Primo discovery tool “Report a problem” link on every Primo record

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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…

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The Googleable library – helping users where they are

The other day a faculty member asked me why he couldn’t access his favorite medical journal directly from the publisher’s site – and I didn’t have a good answer.  This leads me to ask: with scholars increasingly starting their research on the open web1, shouldn’t libraries be focusing more on ubiquitous access, and less on…

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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…

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Can’t access from off-campus? Best help pages

One of the biggest challenges academic libraries face is how to provide easy, reliable, streamlined access to electronic resources. With multiple vendors, a clunky proxy server authentication system, and (at my library) the additional complication of a campus authentication system, this is not easy. Inevitably, off-campus students are going to have trouble accessing library resources….

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Academic libraries using WordPress CMS

Need to redesign your academic library’s website?  Considering switching from your institution’s CMS to WordPress?  You are not alone! Since its inception in 2003, WordPress has increasingly gained popularity in libraries as a content management system.  This has been especially true of public libraries, but more academic libraries are turning to WordPress as well. Here…

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Top 10 Academic Library Websites 2012

My annual review of academic library websites.  This year I reviewed sites based on the following 10 criteria: Help with research:  If I’m a novice researcher and need to find scholarly sources but don’t know what a “database” is, can I learn to find what I need? ILL:   Can I request a book without needing…

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Good mobile apps for libraries – a LibGuides search

I recently became the happy recipient of a new iPad.  Now I’d like to load it up with academic library apps — apps for research, writing, reading, notetaking, and citation.  Where to go to find the best apps?  Well, to librarians, of course.  Here are some helpful mobile app LibGuides, including law and health sciences libraries:…

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Small libraries with great websites – Best Academic Library Websites 2012 – Part II

This is the second post in my series Best Academic Library Websites 2012.  Today I’m going to highlight three outstanding small academic library sites: 1)  Wheelock College library has long been one of my favorite small school sites (under 900 enrollment).  Here are some highlights: A good “using the search box” link that helps make sense…

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Best Academic Library Websites 2012 – Part I

I have begun a quest to discover the most intuitive and usable virtual library spaces.   This post is the first in a series highlighting some of the best academic library sites as I stumble across them. Here are two questions I ask myself as I look at a site: 1)  If  I was an undergraduate…

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