To Bento or Not to Bento – Displaying search results

Many academic institutions – including my own – have moved to a “bento-box” style search result display:  a single search box that returns side-by-side results from multiple library search tools, e.g., library catalog, article index, institutional repository, website, LibGuides, etc.  In this post, I explore the pros and cons of “bento-ing.”  Why to Bento Eliminates…

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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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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…

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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…

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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…

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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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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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How not to implement a link resolver

My library recently purchased WebBridge, Innovative’s link resolver product.   As I had no prior experience with link resolvers, the implementation, to say the least, has been a bit bumpy.  But after several weeks and many long frustrating hours wrestling OpenURLs into submission, I’m happy to report that WebBridge is working pretty well.  For the record,…

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