Decision-Making about Discovery Tools for Library Administrators: What You Should Know and DoLibrary Management Institute Summer Conference July 10, 2012Arcadia University F. William Chickering, Dean Of University Libraries Sharon Q. Yang, Associate Professor-Librarian Rider University
Library Catalogs Stagnate “Library catalogs have represented stagnant technology for close to twenty years.” Better technology is needed “to leverage the rich metadata trapped in the MARC record to enhance collection browsing.” “ The promise of online catalogs has never been realized. For more than a decade, the profession either turned a blind eye to problems with the catalog or accepted that it is powerless to fix them.” (Antelman, 2006)
Evolution of Web Browsers • Cello June 8, 1993 first web browser working on Windows 3.1, NT3.5, and OS/2 • Mosaic September 1993 • Netscape Navigator Oct, 1994. By 1996 86% of Browser Market • Yahoo! Fall 1994 celebrated 1millionth hit and 100k unique visitors. March 1995 incorporated • Dogpile (Metasearch engine) November 1996 • Google 1998
Rider University Libraries Objectives • To provide information seekers with an easy search option for academically valid information materials • To provide information seekers with an effective search option for academically valid information materials • To provide information seekers with a reliable search option for academically valid information materials across platforms • To recapture student search interest from Google • To attempt revitalizing use of monographic collections • To provide an effective mechanism to support offerings of “e-books” • To build a firm platform for appropriate library support of distance learning coursework
Strategic Planning Foundations Strategic Planning at Rider University Libraries took on the assessment of IT changes that were needed in 2003-4. Key operation objectives identified in the process included: • Facilitating access to other library collections as appropriate The Libraries provide and facilitate intellectual and physical access to scholarly and artistic collections and information sources through: • An up-to-date website • On and off-site access to a wide variety of electronic resources
Web Redesign Achieving these objectives required a complete redesign of the Libraries’ obsolete website. Authentication protocols for electronic resources were revisited, resulting in enhanced off-site access. A functional design was created that allowed the Libraries to provide access to databases, the Voyager catalog, a journal finder, and online subject guides.
Catalog Dissatisfactions Dissatisfaction with catalog search tools led to a review of the VuFind “Discovery Tool”. While it had some useful features, (spelling, did you mean) it still suffered from inadequacies in full text search and cumbersome nature of searcher designated Boolean searching. It did not work well in searching printed music collections, and of course, only served as a catalog “front end”.
Interest in Open Source ILS Dissatisfaction with ILS innovations and costs led Rider and many other institutions to look at Open Source solutions, such as Evergreen and Koha. Again these were catalog interface solutions, and in the end were not attractive enough to adopt to offset the effort involved.
Observation of Students Observing the evolution of student wants, needs, abilities, and perceptions it was clear: • that they needed “do you mean?” • they wanted quick simple searches yielding short, ranked packets of information.
Other Observations • Granularity of information (more like a dictionary entry and less like a book), “brief, informative, and quick” is growing in appeal to students. • Authoritative nature of information is not as important a criterion for selection as is immediacy of availability in too many cases.
Hofmann and Yang investigated “Next Generation Catalogs” This study really turned out to be a look at the state of adoption of cross platform discovery tools, presented on October 27, 2011. (http://www.slideshare.net/ENUG/yang-hofmannnext-generationcatalogforenug)
What is Next Generation Catalog? (Breeding, 2007) • Single point of entry for all library resources/one stop searching (Federated search vs. unified index) • State-of-the-art web interface • Enriched content • Faceted navigation • Simple keyword search box with a link to advanced search • Simple keyword search box on every page • Relevancy incorporating circulation statistics • Did you mean…? • Recommendations/related materials • User contribution • RSS feeds • Integration with social networking sites • Persistent links • Search adjacent libraries • Keyword echoing • Mobile compatible
16% (41) of Academic Libraries Had a Discovery Tool July 2010 (Yang & Hofmann, 2011)
29% (75) of Academic Libraries Had a Discovery tool November 2011 (Hofmann & Yang, 2012)
Evaluation of Discovery Tools • Obtained a list of major discovery tools from Library technology Guide: Discovery Layer interfaces by Marshall Breeding (Breeding, 2011) • Found five real life examples for each discovery tool (Xcatalog has only two) • Checked each of the five examples for presence or absence of the NGC features (did not check mobile compatibility yet) • Compile and analyze the data • The results are a combination of native functionalities of a discovery tool and user choices
Discovery Tools Are Stand-alone OPACs • AquaBrowser • AXIELL ARENA • BIBLIO COMMONS • BLACKLIGHT • EBSCO Discover Service • Encore • ENDECA 8. Exlibris Primo 9. VISUALIZER 10. SCRIBLIO 11. SOPAC 12. SUMMON 13. VUFIND 14. WorldCat Local 15. eXtensible Catalog (XC)
Two Missing Features in All • Relevancy ranking in result display incorporating circulation statistics • Popularity • frequently borrowed items • Recommendations-”Customer who bought this item also bought those items” • Similar items • Similar/related subjects • Other titles • Best bet • Suggested new searches • More like this • Other titles
One Stop Search • Federated search vs. unified index • A challenge • Each vendor has different % coverage • More study is needed to compare content coverage • Political/economic issue, not technical
What Features are missing? • Worldcat Local • RSS feed • Ebsco Discovery Service • Did you mean…? • User contributions • Integration with social network sites • Summon • Search box on every page • User contributions • Integration with social network sites
Observations from Demos • Worldcat Local • User interface not pretty • More useful functions than others • Less expensive than others • Semantic Web component • Ebsco Discovery Service • Not friendly for guest users (so you have to login first) • Slightly fewer functions than Worldcat Local • Interface is better than Worldcat Local • Price in medium range • Summon • Best user interface • Good performance • Too expensive • eXtensive Catalog (Free open source) • Semantic Web component • Free • Neat user interface • Search across all resources? • Amazon
Vendor Reviews In 2011, the Rider University Libraries began inviting vendors of the four tools that looked, from a preliminary sort, to be most attractive to make presentations of their products. These were: • WorldCat local • Primo • Summon • EBSCO Discovery Service
Features • faceting and narrowing of searches • linking of resources between institutions • enriched content • centralized indexing • the handling of different metadata sets • the management of determining and weighting relevance in returns • other “bells and whistles” (images, newsfeeds)
Trial and Observation As of January 2012, the Rider University Libraries sought to implement a six month trial of the EBSCO Discovery Service. If the product is adopted, after a year of operation, we will be able to determine indicators of effectiveness in stimulating monographs circulation.
Trial and Error These are some of the milestones we discovered we needed to pass: • December 13 Service Package Quote reviewed • December 21 Several team members working on questionnaires from EDS ( Custom Catalog; Upload MARC data, Content Questionnaire; Customization and Branding • February 2 Content and Branding applied to test account, but the implementation of the Catalog was in process; local customizations are now possible • February 17 Catalog close to implementation and URL provided for mounting on the Libraries’ website • February 23 Catalog added! • March 6th A new simple search box code was provided by EDS was passed along to the University’s web team • March 7 The search box is up on the website! Undesirable default limiters not yet removed. • March 26 Somehow the EDS tech team did not understand from the account representative that we would be testing the product with their A-Z list. Journal holdings began to be uploaded today. • April 17 Somehow the EDS tech team did not think we needed a link resolver • April 27 Waiting to set it up in your account until we had uploaded your library holdings into A-to-Z, because the link resolver won’t be working at its best until that time. Will start now. • IP address weeding and sorting necessary • May 9 Link resolver now working properly • May 21 ABI journals not appearing in A-Z list
The Proof is in the Pudding: The Real Test • Right after graduation EDS was fully configured! • Summer groups will provide light testing • Fall term will provide feedback through RIP sessions and Focus Groups
What Has Been Learned So Far • Be very specific in requirements for testing • Accept large results sets. That is what discovery tools do. Like using Google, the first 200 or so are the most “relevant” ones. • Review search results carefully, and use the power of NOT to further delimit
Collection Direction Goals • With data for comparison, and a platform to support it, a reasoned adoption of e-book collections will be implemented. • E-book use will be assessed and compared with any change in trends of hardcopy monograph use. • These observations will support collection shaping plans.
Where We Fit Of the just under 5,000 Colleges and Universities in the US about 1/3 currently employ fully functional discovery tools. This means we benefit from the experience of early adopters, and do not lag behind the bulk of the population in adoption.
Credits • Antelman, Kristin, Emily Lynema, and Andrew K. Pace (2006) “Toward a Twenty-First Century Library Catalog,” Information Technology and Libraries , Vol.25 No. 3, pp. 128-39. • Breeding, M. (2007), “Introduction,” Library Technology Reports, Vol. 43 No. 4, pp. 5-14. • Breeding, M. (2011), Technological Guides: Discovery Layer Interfaces, available at: http://www.librarytechnology.org/discovery.pl (accessed 25 January 2012) • Jones, J. (2011), “Lipstick on the Pig”, available at: http://landlinemedia.blogspot.com/2011/11/lipstick-on-pig.html (access 25 January 2012) • Hofmann, M., & Yang, S. Q. (2012, May). "Discovering" what's changed: A revisit of the OPACS of 260 academic libraries. Library Hi Tech, 30(2), 253-274. doi:10.1108/07378831211239942 • Tennant, R. (2005), “Lipstick on a pig”, Library Journal, Vol. 130 No. 7, pp. 34. 7. Yang, Q. S. and Hofmann, M. A. (2011), “Next generation or current generation? A study of the OPACs of 260 academic libraries in the USA and Canada”, Library Hi Tech, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 266-300.