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…

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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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Too many search boxes: a library website usability study, part 2

In our recent usability study we asked 5 undergraduate students to find resources and services on the library website.  In a previous post I shared my findings on how obscure language and jargon was preventing students from finding library services.   In this post, I’m going to focus on how students searched for library resources. Students…

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Getting rid of jargon: a library website usability study

My library just completed our first library website usability study.  We asked five undergraduates to perform 10 tasks.  We kept it simple, using a video camera to capture mouse movement and think-alouds,  observing the participants, and taking notes.  The entire study cost under $100. We are still digesting the findings, but one thing we immediately…

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Encore Synergy 4.1: A review

My library just launched our first discovery tool.  As an Innovative library, we opted for III’s Encore Synergy discovery product, and were among the first to implement version 4.1.   This review is based on my experience of implementing and working with this product for the past several weeks. Is it a “true” discovery tool? Innovative…

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