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Foreword to "Planning and Implementing Discovery Tools in Academic Libraries"

Jaggars, Damon E.

The time is ripe for a thorough discussion of resource discovery tools in the academic library environment; and not merely an offering of practical advice on selection and implementation, but also a critical analysis of why such tools have gained importance in the marketplace, their affordances, and their limitations. Framing this discussion are two critical shifts in how academic libraries view the information discovery landscape, both driven by recent trends in user behavior and design practice, as well as the continuing development of the discovery tool market itself. A move from the disjointed world of Online Public Access Catalogs (OPACs) and native database interfaces to the discovery layer represents a significant shift in focus from the primacy of content and its providers to that of the user and the needs of scholars. Changes in the expectations users bring to the discovery experience, brought on by faster, more satisfying interactions with mass market search engines (think Google) and the consumer Web (think Amazon), extend academic libraries' attention past content provision to ensuring that resources are easily discoverable and accessible within an increasingly networked scholarly life. This shift from content-centeredness to user-centeredness is abetted by the rise of user-centered design and usability assessment, which push academic libraries toward more flexible discovery environments featuring more agile architectures and continual cycles of innovation, testing, and improvement.


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Planning and Implementing Discovery Tools in Academic Libraries
IGI Global

More About This Work

Academic Units
Libraries and Information Services
Published Here
July 27, 2012