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Usability, analytics, and instruction emerged as hot topics for discussion at the North Carolina Summon Users Group Meeting, held May 18 at Duke University. Librarians from seven universities across the state used lightning talks and roundtable discussions to hash out ideas, pose questions, and share solutions relating to their use of Summon.

The event began with a tasty lunch from Foster’s Market in Durham, accompanied by networking and friendly conversation. The official program kicked off with a presentation from Serials Solutions’ Eddie Neuwirth, who gave the crowd a preview of new Summon developments.

Five lightning talks highlighted projects and analysis taking place at North Carolina universities:

Anita Crescenzi and Kim Vassiliadis of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill delivered some preliminary results from a large scale usability study of their library’s entire web site.

Ginny Boyer described a study that explored librarian perceptions of Summon at ECU, and the positive effects of greater exposure to the tool.

Karen Ciccone (pictured, right) of North Carolina State University (NCSU) shared her library’s successful decision to brand Summon as an easy-to-use articles search as part of a suite of discovery services.

Duke’s Michael Peper reported on a promising experiment to load digital image collection records into Summon, along with thumbnail images.

Patrick Carr from East Carolina University (ECU) raised a number of questions about Summon’s effect on other electronic resources by presenting usage data from before and after a Summon implementation.

The following roundtable sessions provided a chance for small groups to choose topics and discuss them in greater detail. One group explored the challenges of teaching Summon as part of a library instruction curriculum, highlighting the difficulty of establishing a consistent approach to Summon across librarians and faculty. Another group stressed that the ability to deliver the content found in Summon is just as important as the ability to discover it.

The half day meeting ended by 4:30pm and attendees felt it created a valuable opportunity to network and collaborate with other Summon Users. The variety of topics and understanding of how Summon is used at different universities provided a great learning experience.  This was the first Summon User Group meeting in the region and there is interest to do another program in the future.

23 May 2012 | Posted by Kristen Wilson

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