With the arrival of Dean Rick Luce on campus, the OU Libraries has begun engaging our customers in a conversation about what it means to be a 21st century research library. One of the topics we’ve heard over and over again, from both students and faculty, is that people have a hard time finding our stuff–be it physical books in the library, journal articles online, items in our special collections, etc. It’s hard to find stuff. Why can’t the library tool be easier to use like Google or Amazon? Why do I have to click so many times just to reach a dead end at finding what I want? All very reasonable questions but one without easy answers.
In an effort to improve information discovery within the library, we’re investigating the tools available and hoping to streamline the process so customers can more easily find what they want when they want it without throwing up their hands in frustration. In April, we plan to have vendors on campus demonstrating their products designed to streamline the process for finding and accessing information. Once those demonstrations have been scheduled, we will be posting information on the library website and Facebook page about the time and location of these demos, and we hope you’ll attend.
In the meantime, if you’re interested in this topic, you might check out one or more of these resources:
- Library Technology Guides > Discovery Layer Interfaces
- “Thirteen Ways of Looking at Libraries, Discovery, and the Catalog: Scale, Workflow, Attention” by Lorcan Dempsey
- “The Ins and Outs of Evaluating Web-Scale Discovery Services” by Athena Hoeppner
- “Investigations into Library Web Scale Discovery Services” by Jason Vaughn