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More than 80 librarians and a handful of discovery service vendors met in Houston for “ReDiscover Discovery” the 2nd annual Discovery Day Camp hosted by the University of Houston, a Summon customer.  This free, full day event focused on new and developing trends in library discovery systems and provided attendees with an opportunity to discuss the implementation, usability and evaluation of discovery tools.

After a rousing welcome to all attendees from Dana Rooks, Dean of Libraries at University of Houston, attendees were treated to a thought-provoking keynote presentation and a panel discussion featuring librarians from Sam Houston State University, University of Houston, the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School, Rice University and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.  The panel was moderated by Rachel Vacek, Head of Web Services at University of Houston Libraries.  A live tweet from Vacek echoed an important point of the day, “Who are we developing these discovery tools for? We need to understand our users and always do usability testing.”

Eddie Neuwirth, Sr. Product Manager for Discovery Services for Serials Solutions, participated in a vendor demonstration session.  His presentation, entitled “How Summon Meets User Expectations: A Mission to Return Researchers to the Library,” outlined the real problems libraries are trying to solve with discovery services.  He stressed the need for libraries to provide a discovery user experience that meets the ever changing expectations of students.

Two breakout sessions allowed for small group discussion on topics ranging from instruction, user experience and usability, system integrations and APIs, metadata for discovery, unique collections and usage data and analytics.

Dean Rooks gave special thanks to the entire event planning committee at the University of Houston, including Richard Guajardo (Chair), Head of Resource and Discovery Systems, and Kelsey Brett, Anita Dryden, Alex Simons, Rachel Vacek, Annie Wu and Frederick Young.  And, thanks to many additional staff members at the University of Houston for assisting in making the Discovery Day Camp a big success.

(Photographs provided by Katie Buehner, Music Librarian, University of Houston.)

26 Oct 2012 | Posted by Richard Guajardo

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