Discovery Systems: Solutions a User Could Love?

This is a shameless plug for my committee's discussion forum at Midwinter. If you are not going to Boston or not interested in "discovery services" then go ahead and mark this post as read.

The RUSA/MARS Local Systems & Services Committee invites you to join our discussion forum 'Discovery Systems: Solutions a User Could Love?' at Midwinter.

When: Sunday, January 17, 2010 from 1:30-3:00 pm
Where: Westin Waterfront, Faneiul Room (Mezzanine Level)
425 Summer Street connected to the Boston Convention and Exhibit Center

Discovery Systems: Solutions a User Could Love?Panelists include:

  • Marshall Breeding, Director for Innovative Technology and Research, Vanderbilt University who will provide a brief "Overview of Discovery Systems."
  • Cody Hanson, Technology Librarian, University of Minnesota, who will briefly discuss "User testing and feedback on Primo at the University of Minnesota."
  • Frances McNamara, Director, Integrated Library Systems and Administrative and Desktop Systems, University of Chicago, who will briefly share experiences of the "LENS Discovery System, based on AquaBrowser." and; 
  • Barbara DeFelice, Director Digital Resources Program, Dartmouth College who will discuss "Summon @ Dartmouth College: the User View."

Our panelists will highlight the experiences of libraries that have implemented "next generation discovery tools" that provide access to disparate library collections from a single search box. Panelists will focus their comments on user response and subsequent assessment of the local implementation. 

Discussion forum participants will be able to share their experiences with discovery tools and ask questions following the panelists. A summary of the key ideas gleaned will be posted on the MARS Local Systems & Services web page following Midwinter.

Photo credit: The photo "Magnified" was taken by Jake Bouma (jakebouma) on March 9, 2009 and uploaded to Flickr on March 10, 2009 with an Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons License. The photo was downloaded on January 3, 2010 from 

OSUL’s Library 2.0 Seminar Content Available

The Ohio State University Libraries hosted a Library 2.0 Seminar back in June. Two emails showed up in my inbox this morning indicating that videos of the presentation and handouts have been posted to the site.

If you are curious about some of the uses of 2.0 apps in libraries and have a broadband connection, then here is yet another free way to get yourself up-to-speed.The videos require RealPlayer. It appear that the videos will not play on some older versions. 

Presenters included:

IM…your students use it, so why don’t you?

Kate Wenger and I were part of the SpeedUPdating circuit at the OPAL Conference.  This was the second year to do SpeedUPdating and I think it's a great way to expose library staff to a number of new ideas in a short amount of time.

First Year Pen Our 12 minute presentation (done 5 times in a row) was about the use of instant messaging at the reference desk. We started with the basics of IM, talked about why to use it (your students live on IM already), how we implemented it at Muskingum, some ideas for marketing the service (pens to all incoming Freshman which received kudos from Steve Cohen on Library Stuff) and challenges to implementation in an academic library.

The topic is not a new one. It has been talked about at a number of library conferences I have attended over the past couple of years. However, there doesn't seem to be a large number of academic libraries using IM

I have had librarians from two liberal arts colleges of similar size to Muskingum (outside of Ohio) contact me this summer to ask about our experiences with IM. I'm hopeful that more smaller colleges will give it a try.

We view IM as an additional communication channel to reach our students using a tool that they are already using a majority of the time. We were not overwhelmed by questions during our trial semester. I don't think we'll be overwhelmed this Fall.  Only time will tell how much this services is used. I'll try to report on our progress going forward.

Feel free to check out our presentation (PowerPoint [2.7MB] or PDF [521KB]) and related handout (94KB PDF) and use them.