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Web-scale discovery has transformed libraries in a very short time, and the impact was evident at ER&L. Read about the effect of discovery on libraries through the eyes of John Law, Serials Solutions VP of Discovery Services and his panel facilitation and observations.

John Law: The panel session I facilitated, Analytics Data in the Discovery Age, illustrated a transformative impact. Librarians from four institutions presented on how they are leveraging the Summon service to streamline their user experience, the usage data they are collecting and analyzing to assess user behaviors and make design decisions, and the extraordinary effect on the usage of electronic resources.

I also participated in a panel discussion on NISO’s Open Discovery Initiative. This group, comprised of representatives from libraries, publishers, and service providers, worked together to identify the requirements for best practices within library discovery services. 

Another session on discovery services, Reconciling the Idealist and Pragmatist, shed light on a challenge creating an uncomfortable shift in the library landscape—the need to focus attention on service delivery as a priority. The session highlighted that some traditional practices of libraries need to be reconsidered in order to deliver a better user experience. It’s a trend that is not comfortable for all staff and the tension, if unaddressed, can result in cultural dichotomy. Hopefully this dialog will continue when attendees go back home to their libraries.

It was great to see the engagement around web-scale discovery and the trajectory for discovery promises to bring even more ways to enable librarians to engage users and invigorate the research experience.

16 Apr 2012 | Posted by John Law

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