Cody W. Hanson
Assistant Librarian, Library Academic Programs
Coordinator of Educational Services; Web Architect, UX Analyst
University of Minnesota
Discovery has exploded as a theme for libraries in the past several years, as the online catalog and other traditional library-provided discovery points have faced stiff competition from consumer Web search engines and their academic offerings. Recently, ‘Web-scale discovery services’ have gained increasing prominence as a possible solution for libraries in their efforts to remain relevant as a starting point for research. There is broad consensus, however, that only a small percentage of users are initiating their research at library-designated starting places, and that the library needs to pursue a more comprehensive set of solutions, which includes integrating local discovery implementations with other important research gateways.
The University of Minnesota Libraries has convened a series of task forces to investigate discoverability of library resources. Beginning in 2008, the Discoverability initiative has sought to identify important trends in user behavior both within and outside of traditional library systems, and to develop a vision for a discovery environment that encompasses internal, external, owned, licensed, and freely available information resources. The initiative has helped the organization discover that good stewardship of collections and quality service to users require not only that Web-scale discovery be brought into the library, but that access be provided to local resources through external information aggregators.
At JSTOR, a pilot program has recently been initiated in an effort to help libraries leverage the not-insignificant investments they are making in discovery services by exposing these local Web-scale discovery systems to their end-users from within the JSTOR interface. This session will include a discussion of how the pilot program works and the time frame for communicating the initial results of the pilot to the library community.