Extensive research has conclusively shown that students, regardless of background, have very limited search capability. Few can do little more than basic keyword searching. Our goal was to find a search tool that met the students at their level yet remained extremely powerful. It had to combine searching of formats from our library as well as others. It had to be simple to use, allow us to keep our consortial inter-library loan processes, and show current circulation status. Only WorldCat Local met all these requirements.
The librarians were able to completely revise our standard teaching. Far less time was spent on the mechanics of where and how to find information, and more time was spent on the critical aspects of information literacy: evaluation and use of data. This successfully reflects the purpose of our acquiring WCL in the first place.
We combined the simplicity of WorldCat Local with the results of many usability studies to continue refining the website. The goal was to meet the limited search skills of the patrons to get them to the information they needed quickly. As much as possible, library jargon was removed.
SXU will implement the numerous WCL improvement over the course of the summer, including adding the call numbers and links to text on the brief records; begin developing rss feeds for articles on specific topics; study use of APIs for specific needs; and implement Illiad. We will be the first library in Illinois to use the new cloud-based web management system from OCLC, finally replacing the Voyager system. However, we will remain fully linked into Voyager so there is no effect on our consortial operations.
Single Discovery and Delivery: It’s Not Just WorldCat Anymore Mark A. Vargas, Library Director The Robert and Mary Rita Murphy Stump Library Saint Xavier University