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Last week at the UKSG and ACRL conferences we shared more about Summon 2.0 the latest groundbreaking features and a new, modern interface for the Summon discovery service.  With the introduction of the Summon service just four years ago, we launched our mission to help return researchers to the library.  In order to meet this mission, we continue to innovate at a rate that keeps pace with ever changing user expectations.  Through ongoing usability studies, analyzing usage data from hundreds of millions of Summon searches, and by listening to our customers—top research libraries across the world—we’ve learned a lot that validates the direction that the Summon service is heading. 

In creating Summon 2.0, we collaborated with development advisors from Arizona State University, Chalmers University of Technology, Duke University, Grand Valley State University, James Cook University and the University of Huddersfield.  Representatives from the libraries at these institutions helped facilitate gathering librarian and student feedback on prototype Summon 2.0 designs.  And now that we’ve announced Summon 2.0, they can finally share their excitement.  Here’s what some of them have to say.

 “With Summon, Serials Solutions has built the library search engine that our users had been asking for,” commented Matthew Reidsma, Web Services Librarian at Grand Valley State University which was the first customer to purchase the Summon service in 2009.  “What they did differently was they simply listened, and they've continued to listen for nearly 4 years. While they've taken a great product and improved on it, incrementally, over the years, the new direction they are headed will really change the way our users do research. They've seen where research is headed, and found a way to build the discovery tool for the future, today."

Dave Pattern, Library Systems Manager at the University of Huddersfield, one of the first European libraries to go live with the Summon service in late 2009, added, “To say that Summon has revolutionised the way students and staff access library resources almost feels like an understatement— COUNTER full-text downloads have increased dramatically, students are now finding a much wider variety of scholarly materials for their studies, and our librarians are finally able to concentrate on teaching Information Literacy instead of database instruction.  The partnership with Serials Solutions has been an extremely positive one for the library and we genuinely feel that [our librarians and students] have been able to help influence the continuing development of Summon.”  

At the University of Chalmers, the library recently launched a completely redesigned website that relies heavily on both the Summon API and standard Summon interface to provide discoverability for its collections.  Daniel Forsman, Head of Information Resources and Discovery, Chalmers University, said “As part of our website project we conducted months of extensive ethnographic and usability studies carried out by internal staff in conjunction with outside website design experts.  We were able to share our findings with Serials Solutions and found that they aligned perfectly with the direction that Summon was heading.  This gives us the confidence to make the Summon service a centerpiece of our services.

“As an early adopter of Summon, I've long appreciated the continuous development and frequent enhancement model of the service,” added Alan Cockerill, Library Technologies Coordinator, James Cook University.  “The partnership in ideas between Serials Solutions and Summon clients around the world has resulted in a discovery tool adopted enthusiastically by our users. I'm very excited that Summon 2.0 will be a quantum rather than incremental step forward.”

We hope you’re as excited by Summon 2.0 as we are.  Stay tuned for more updates.

16 Apr 2013 | Posted by Eddie Neuwirth

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