Jens Hofman Hansen
Special Consultant, IT Business Development
State and University Library, Denmark
Director, Application Development
Cornell University Library
Business and Technology Hand in Hand: Latest Developments in Integrated Search and a Look Forward (Hansen)
The State and University Library (Denmark) has been working with integrated search for the last six years. The library’s primary users demand a Google-like search experience, making integrated search a necessity in order to achieve the organization’s business goals. Without stepping back to old school federated search, thanks to the use of the Lucene/Solr search engine, the Library has succeeded in co-searching the metadata it owns, as well as metadata covering 200 million articles located on a foreign server in the US at Serials Solutions. Results are quick, there is true relevance ranking, and the Library does not need to handle or own the enormous amounts of data located on the American server.
Looking forward, the mastering of the technology gives us some potential business spinoffs. New business goals can be set and achieved by developing new aspects of the search technology. 200 million articles represented by metadata are already publicly available, but, at present, the actual content is only available in digital form for university users. The service is now being taken to a new level by making all the licensed material available for all citizens of Denmark. The presentation will explain how the service will legally work thanks to interlibrary loan, and the user interface will be demonstrated.
Being focused on business goals also implies that everything should not necessarily be available from the same, single search field; this project focuses on narrow portals that have their own graphical look and only search in small parts of all the data. One reason is that it is easier to sell a targeted portal than a universal service featuring vast amounts of different data. The latest development in this direction is a portal that makes all Danish TV and radio available for university users. A demo will be given.
Integrating Local Expertise into Virtual Libraries and Discovery Systems (Warner)
In this age of virtual libraries and centralized discovery systems there is the danger that local expertise is left out of the increasingly disintermediated user experience. Cornell University has developed a system that captures some of the expertise subject librarians formerly offered via local guides, physical arrangements, and personal guidance, so that it can be used in the University’s new discovery services.
The system is called the “Curated List of Library Resources” (CuLLR) and the central metaphor is annotation of a select subset of resources. Key annotations such as discipline and format (frequently requested search criteria not supported within the library’s main catalog) and a weighting are provided for all records. Other information, such as cover image, table of contents, and chemical or biological names from specific ontologies, are optional and may be relevant only to specific disciplines. Care has been taken to ensure that data within CuLLR can be easily migrated as the corresponding catalog records are updated, and that the appropriate subject specialists can make updates. The system offers a lightweight way to add specific functionality without modification of, or duplication of effort associated with, the main catalog.
Some ideas now incorporated into CuLLR were prototyped in the Physical Sciences virtual library, which went live in 2009. The final stages of testing the Engineering virtual library, which uses CuLLR to provide engineering-specific browse functions, are now underway. The plan is to re-use the data in CuLLR within a new, Cornell-wide discovery system, which integrates externally-provided search over licensed and locally held resources (via Summon), other local collections, annotations, and information about local expertise. This session will include a description of the system design and future plans.