Discovery strategies for Kuali OLE - VuFind at the University of London


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Presentation given on the University of London VuFind discovery layer implementation at the Kuali Days UK conference, 29 October 2013.

The session focused on discovery layer choices – software-as-a-service, open source or community source – of three libraries that are actively planning integration with Kuali OLE, including perspectives from the University of Chicago, Indiana University and the University of London and featured specific use cases for OLE discovery layer implementations at their institutions and what influenced their choices.

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  • Current state of play with various siloed systems.
    These boxes could be much more haphazard. The only real link is between LMS and Discovery right now.
    We using Innovative Encore having implemented that for live use in 2010 on top of our WebPAC ‘classic catalog’.
  • Medium term solution. The important point is we’re not looking to implement perfection next year, we’re looking to do something better.
    We want to search our local resources at minimum. We don’t have a resource discovery platform so that was an easier question.
  • This fact was our initial driver – we knew we needed to work on discovery in the BLMS problem although OLE does not come with a catalog front-end.
    This fact is a great shock to the system initially, but on reflection actually a great thing - OLE includes a strategic decision about not forcing us into a particular choice.
    The point is we can all choose our own that meets local needs - we don’t even need to all use the same thing in a consortium like the BLMS.
  • The lead on this was Tim Fletcher at Birkbeck, University of London.
    We decide we would work collaboratively and pool knowledge to explore discovery options.
    In the end we all wanted to set up and test VuFind for local use. Why VuFind?
  • Why we decided on VuFind for our initial medium-term solution is that:
    It exists right now so we could get on and use it
    We have the right expertise locally to work with VuFind, comes down to a question of VuFind (PHP) versus Blacklight (Ruby) and our local PHP expertise is much better
    It’s highly flexible open source software that we know we can customise and modify to meet our requirements
  • So we can’t just implement something, we wanted to research our requirements and user needs to understanding our situation better.
  • Working with Lizzie Atkinson at UCL DIS earlier in 2013 we used ethnographic methods to investigate library users use of the catalog in the library itself – how they use it and what they do.
  • We ran staff focus groups over Summer 2013 to dig into what staff think of as requirements for a user-facing catalog front end.
  • Outcomes of staff focus groups very interesting - ‘We want the Moon on a stick’ is an actual quote!
    Here’s a blog post summarizing this:
  • Important point is the catalog front end is a website so we want to treat it as a web project rather than something odd from libraryland.
    We’ll therefore be approach deploying VuFind using a standard approach to web usability / user experience.
  • This will definitely deal with our local bib data, and for Senate House Libraries will have archives and ePrints included
  • Screenshot of Senate House Libraries, University of London test VuFind instance.
    This is VuFind 2 running on a virtual machine. It’s straightforward to set up, it works, and it’s a great test-bed for decoupling discovery from the Millennium LMS backend.
  • UFInd or Uber-VuFind is a codename for our project to create a shared VuFind instance that includes all of our MARC data.
    Virtualised Amazon Web Server setup
    All sites supply mrc files
    Agreed standard for holdings output / site codes
    1. Installed and setup VuFind on AWS
    2. Import partner data
    3. Allow for “by institution” filtering as a facet
    4. Installed and setup VuFind on AWS
    5. Import partner data
    6. Allow for “by institution” filtering as a facet
  • Discovery strategies for Kuali OLE - VuFind at the University of London

    1. 1. Discovery strategies for Kuali OLE Andrew Preater Associate Director, Information Systems and Services University of London Kuali Days UK, 29 September 2013
    2. 2. Discovery potpourri SHL SHL website website Discovery Discovery LMS LMS Digital Digital content content Archives Archives
    3. 3. Medium term Discovery Discovery BLMS BLMS Digital Digital content & content & ePrints ePrints Archives Archives SHL SHL website website
    4. 4. OLE has no Catalog!
    5. 5. Discovery work package
    6. 6. Why VuFind? Exists now Right expertise Highly flexible Open Source software
    7. 7. Research
    8. 8. 1. Ethnography Working with Lizzie Atkinson (@library_lizzie) of UCL DIS
    9. 9. 2. Staff focus groups
    10. 10. ‘The Moon on a Stick’, by Flickr user Simon Grieg. License CC-BY-NC-SA.
    11. 11. 3. Treat as a Web project!
    12. 12. VuFind
    13. 13. BLMS Ufind
    14. 14. Analysis using VuFind
    15. 15. Thank you @preater