Project group’s latest member!

Since I last blogged we’ve not only seen another 2 discovery systems, but also one of our project group members has had a baby (congratulations to Julie, our Journals & E-resources Manager!).

Way back (at least it seem like that long!) on 7th May we saw a demo of Encore from Innovative Interfaces. Group members were impressed by the style of the interface and by how customisable the system was.  We liked the disambiguation & the ‘did you mean…’ functionalities, plus the links to sites such as Yahoo Images and Meebo.

The jury was out on a couple of areas – the advanced search, which is still in development and due to be released summer2010, and in the way the results are displayed.  Some staff were really keen on the way results are split into ‘catalogue holdings’ and ‘electronic articles’ each time – something we’d not encountered with the other systems seen.  Other staff felt this was a disadvantage.  So – which is the best method of displaying the results?  There’s only one way to find out……….no, not a fight, but user testing, which comes later in this project’s lifecycle.

Next month we have a demo of Enterprise from SirsiDynix, a system which I saw in preview of at a recent SirsiDynix road-show at York St. John University.  In addition, some of us will be attending a ‘Summon’ day at the University of Huddersfield next week to hear about the implementation of Summon at both Huddersfield and Northumbria.  After this we move on to phase 2 of the project, which involves more testing and stakeholder evaluation.

latest group member

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Resource Discovery Revisited at Leeds Met Library

Welcome to the project blog investigating Resource Discovery and Federated Searching systems for Leeds Met Library.

As an introduction/background to the project I’ll explain why I’ve used the word ‘revisited’ in the title of this first post.  Leeds Met Library last investigated federated searching solutions when we were looking for an Open URL product during 2006/07.  At this time the 3 main products  we evaluated were from Serials Solutions, Ex-Libris and Ebsco.  When we decided to chose SFX, the Ex-Libris product, the use of their federated searching system Metalib seemed like a natural progression, however various factors delayed further investigation or implementation of this (or any other) product.

Now, however, we are more than ready to move on and have become aware that the market for resource discovery has developed (as these things do!) beyond anything available 4 years ago.

The key objective of the project is to improve overall discoverablity of print and electronic resources for students and staff at the University.

The project group itself consists of colleagues from each ‘stream’ of the department (Academic, Resources, Technologies and Operations) and I hope all of them will be as enthused as I am about the project and contribute to this blog (i.e. help a fledgling blogger to add some of the content!).

We’ve had an initial meeting, decided on Terms of Reference and are now at the stage of organising vendor demonstrations and setting criteria to evaluate the systems against.

I hope to include demo highlights on the blog in the near future, so that’s something to look forward to 🙂

Two recommended  & excellent blogs I’ve already added to my RSS reader are Federated Search Blog and eLibrary (Birmingham City University eLibrary Team).

Well, as someone more used to microblogging (@DebbieMN), this has taken me ages to write but I think it’s going to be a useful addition to the project, if only as a reflective tool for the group’s collective thoughts.   And if it’s half as good as our repository blog I’ll be happy 🙂