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 

Information behavior of the researcher of the future

Every librarian and faculty member should read the CIBER briefing paper Information behaviour of the researcher of the future (2 MB PDF). CIBER conducted this research for the British Library and JISC . The report focuses on information seeking behavior of students born after 1993 (the Google Generation). The paper also ties in research from OCLC's Perceptions studies. You may also want to listen to presentation given and Q&A's when the paper was released on January 16, 2008.

Found via Stephen's Lighthouse

36% of Adult Americans Use Wikipedia

The Pew Internet and American Life Project released a new research report today on Wikipedia's popularity (complete PDF).

You are more likely to use Wikipedia if you are male (39%), 18-29 (44%), a college graduate (50%), or make more than $75,000 a year (42%). Wikipedia has 24% share of traffic of the top 20 educational web sites. Google Scholar comes in at number 6, Google Book Search at number 7, and the National Library of Medicine (I guess PubMed) at number 9.

I don't think we're doing a good job promoting the electronic library resources available at the state level, like the Ohio Web Library. Anyone in Ohio with a public library card can get instant access to a bunch of EBSCO databases, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and a lot more.

As easy as that is to say, we all know what the real issue is though. The reason Wikipedia gets so much use is due to the fact that it is dead simple to discover via search. The Pew report points out that Wikipedia articles have a high number of in bound links. Therefore, they display near the top of Google results thanks to the PageRank algorithm.