the googlisation of the library catalogue

In the last couple of weeks the uni I work at has introduced a new way of engaging with its library. They have introduced a service called “Discover It” which is basically a google type search function available from the library homepage that searches all library resources (from the catalogue, from online resources, from databases the library subscribes to). At first I was a little bit skeptical as to how effective it would be. Teaching in a program that offers introductory information literacy this means changes to our course material for 2012. Today I went to Discover It to start to play with it. I was pleasantly surprised. At a staff meeting earlier in the week there was a lot of negative talk about how students wouldn’t know what type of resources they were finding, blah blah blah…but the interface is very clear and far cleaner to navigate than the old way of searching the catalogue. I do however hate the resdesign of our uni website. I think there is far too much white space and it looks unfinished and very messy. What do you think? Time will tell if this flattening of the catalogue in the style of google will be successful for the users of the library, but it is exciting to see the library embracing some change.

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10 thoughts on “the googlisation of the library catalogue

  1. And look, by clicking on your interface link, there’s your book! That’s awesome.

    I like the Discover It feature on your uni’s library webpage. I’ve seen similar features at my undergrad uni’s, USQ’s library page, and I think some public libraries have embraced that feature as well. It’s really handy and i think it makes searching for resources that much easier for people who don’t know much about how to conduct a search.

    I also agree with you about your uni’s website – it really does look unfinished and messy! Not sure what they were thinking there really. It requires a bit of scrolling and searching to find things – not really well-set out, is it?

  2. I think its a good idea to have a search function on the home page. The layout of CQ Univerity “Discover It” sort of reminds me of QUT Library’s home page!

    On Logan Libraries we only have a very basic search functionality on the home page. That is a single text box located on the right hand side of the screen that is entitled “Search Catalogue > Go”. http://loganlibraries.org/

    The only other way to search our catalogue is by selecting Catalogue Search from the navigational menu which will then navigate the user to all the available types of searches listed and is rather extensive. http://catalogue.logan.qld.gov.au/#focus

    It will be interesting how it evolves for your uni!

  3. It’s not well set out at all! We’ve had it for about a month and I still find things very hard to find especially when accessing from home when we are forced to use the Staff Portal (hidden away at the top right hand corner) for everything…and they haven’t ironed the numerous logins either…something that was a problem in the previous versions!

  4. Then give them some ideas for improving it. For instance, what or how exactly it seems to be cumbersome or ask how they set up their search criteria on the backend.

  5. I like the overall design of your library website with the Discover It! as the main search bar to search for information. Also, they tried to make the page to look simple by having More Search Option if we want to find more about journal, database and ebooks. Its really a very good simplified design. In regards to the uni website, i find that there is an “Apply Now” bar that follows you when you scroll through the page, it is a little bit annoying; maybe they can set it in a static way in one corner instead.

  6. Hi @Fiona I think they have had plenty of feedback already judging by an email we all received last week. Hoping to see some change soon. Thanks @Hendralim…I hadn’t noticed the scrolling Apply now bar….interesting tactic to try and get people to apply I suppose…but yes a little annoying as well 🙂

  7. Great User experience to find resource.

    I like it because it is simple and it focus on the user-centered design, helping its visitors accomplish common goals and tasks.The Google way of finding research can provides content for users with disabilities.

  8. I haven’t hear of a single discovery layer implementation where there wasn’t a lot of negativity. In my personal opinion, a lot of that negativity is because LIS professionals hang onto a definition of information literacy that is all about the acquisition of skills. But you know what? There’s an alternative understanding of information literacy that is about experience – how people experience information. It’s my belief that we should be looking at people’s information experiences in the spaces they choose to occupy (like Google), and develop an understanding of those. I think the discovery layers we’re seeing now are a reaction to Googlisation. But we need to look a little further into this whole Googlisation thing, rather than just to assume that we need to keep towing the old info lit skills line.

    I’m not sure I’d that was coherent at all! It’s been a long day!

  9. thanks for this Kate. I really like the distinction between skills and experience you have highlighted here and it’s something I’m going to take to work with me today and add to our ongoing discussion. Because the way we have been teaching infolit is purely skills based…with little recognition of experience, space and users.
    Yes indeed…it was a long day yesterday 🙂

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