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Discovery at the University of Houston Libraries


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This presentation is part of a larger program, "The Age of Discovery: Understanding Discovery Services, Federated Search, and Web scale" at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 23-28, 2011. This presentation in particular is an overview of the implementation process at the University of Houston Libraries.

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Discovery at the University of Houston Libraries

  1. 1. Discovery  @  the      Rachel  Vacek,  Head  of  Web  Services  University  of  Houston  Libraries    The  Age  of  Discovery:  Understanding  Discovery  Services,    Federated  Search,  and  Web  scale  June  26,  2011  @  the  ALA  Annual  Conference  
  2. 2. Product  SelecJon  Process  •  In  January  2010,  SelecJon  Task  Fore  looked   at:   –  Serials  SoluJons  Summon   –  Ebsco  Discovery  Service   –  Encore  Synergy   –  WorldCat  Local    
  3. 3. Why  Summon?  •  It  would  index  over  90%  of  our  subscribed  resources  •  Already  heavily  invested  in  the  Serials  SoluJons  suite   of  services,  so  it  was  thought  that  Summon  would   integrate  well  with  those  •  Summon  promised  a  relaJvely  painless  turnkey   implementaJon  •  Summon  was  one  of  the  first  web-­‐scale  discovery   products  out  of  the  gate  •  Already  had  a  number  of  large  academic  library   customers  who  seemed  saJsfied  with  the  results  
  4. 4. Background  •  ImplementaJon  part  of  larger  overall  website   design  process   –  New  CMS  in  Drupal   –  Total  redesign  of  site   –  ImplementaJon  of  Springshare’s  Campus  Guides   –  ImplementaJon  of  Serials  SoluJons’  Summon  •  Summon,  renamed  to  OneSearch   –  Live  to  library  June  2010   –  Live  to  public  August    2010  
  5. 5. InsJtuJonal  Support  •  Geng  a  discovery  tool  was  a  crucial  aspect  of  the   website  redesign  process  •  We  had  the  complete  support  of  library  administraJon    •  We  negoJated  a  three-­‐year  contract  because  of  the   pricing   –  ImplemenJng  a  new  service  on  this  scale  is  an  enormous   project,  and  to  be  faced  with  considering  a  new  system   and  possible  migraJon  only  a  year  later  would  have  been   incredibly  frustraJng   –  3  years  gives  us  Jme  to  really  conduct  tesJng  and  explore   API  funcJonality  
  6. 6. ImplementaJon  Process   Summon   Website  Redesign  SelecJon  Task   Library   ImplementaJon   Management   Force   AdministraJon   Team   Team  
  7. 7. ImplementaJon  Team  Head  of  Integrated  Library  Systems  Head  of  Cataloging  &  Electronic  Resources  Head  of  Web  Services  History  &  PoliJcal  Science  Librarian  Digital  &  Web  Projects  Fellow  
  8. 8. CollaboraJon  &  CommunicaJon  •  ILS,  Web  Services,  and  Cataloging   –  A  collaboraJve  working  relaJonship  was  already   established  •  CommunicaJon   –  Basecamp  to  manage  communicaJon,  Jmeline,   and  other  files  among  ourselves   –  UH  Libraries’  Intranet  to  communicate  to  library   –  Blog  dedicated  to  new  website  and  corresponding   services  to  communicate  to  public  issues  and  fixes   within  OneSearch  
  9. 9. Timeline  January   February   March   April   June   August   2010   2010   2010   2010   2010   2010   SelecJon   We  send   New   New   Task   Summon   profile  SelecJon   website   website   Force   Impleme and   Task   with   with   makes   ntaJon   MARC   Force   Summon   Summon     Summon   Team   records   formed   live  to   live  to   recomme formed   to   library   public   ndaJon   Summon  
  10. 10. Managing  Early  Issues  •  Head  of  Cataloging  was  primary  contact   between  library  and  Summon   –  Exchanged  email  with  Summon  support  every  day     –  Sent  recommendaJons  for  added  funcJonality  to   Summon  for  their  development  queue   –  Tinkered  with  MARC  mapping  to  get  iniJal  bugs   sorted  out    
  11. 11. Issues  •  IniJal  Issues   –  Problems  with  our  own  library  data   –  Staff  wanted  some  changes  made  that  were  not   actually  customizable   –  Known  issues  vs.  issues  we  found  and  reported  •  Ongoing   –  Link  resolver  failure  -­‐  not  a  Summon  problem  per  se,   but  one  that  our  users  discover  when  they  use   Summon  because  it  pushes  all  the  full-­‐text  traffic   through  the  resolver    
  12. 12. MarkeJng  &  Branding  •  To  name  or  not  to  name  •  Library  has  new  website,     now  with  “OneSearch”  •  Engaged  in  conversaJons   –  New  way  to  search  the  library   –  Discover  new  resources   –  Search  across  Research  Guides,  Databases,  Digital   Library,  Finding  Aids,  Catalog  –  all  from  one  search   box  
  13. 13. User  Assessment  •  Undergraduates   –  Love  the  “OneSearch”  box   –  Get  relevant  results  to  their  research  •  Faculty/Graduate  Students   –  Find  results  overwhelming  and  it’s  too  hard  to  drill   down  to  a  specific  item   –  More  ojen  do  known-­‐item  searching   –  Direct  them  to  familiar  tools  •  InstrucJon  Librarians  have  mixed  feelings  about   discovery  tools   –  Based  on  discipline    
  14. 14. Upcoming  Plans   •  Beker  mobile  intergraJon   •  Summon  API   •  Mashups  with  other  systems  to   streamline  research  process  and   beker  integrate  with  website   •  Further  analyze  usage  data   •  Keep  conversaJon  going  with   Serials  SoluJons  on  making   ongoing  improvements  
  15. 15. Thanks!  Rachel  Vacek  Head  of  Web  Services,  University  of  Houston    Libraries  @vacekrae      Presenta/on    available  online: