Thursday, 24 January 2013
Discovery tools and information literacy
In September we launched our new discovery tool at Newcastle. It's called LibrarySearch, based on Primo from Ex Libris. The team have put a huge amount of work into it and I'm more impressed than I expected to be! It's a much more user friendly way of finding our books and ebooks and of course, it also indexes a lot of our full text journal content, so can be seen as a one stop shop for many students.
More importantly, not all of our resources are indexed in library search, so how can we ensure students still use the most appropriate source. Will it just become the new Google?
There are lots of advantages still of using individual databases. Some, like Mintel, have unique information, others, like Scifinder's structure drawing, Proquest's deep indexing, Ovid's controlled vocabulary, have functionality which the discovery tool can't replicate. Are we risking dumbing down info skills for the sake of "meeting user needs"? are we really meeting their needs by giving them easy and quick and maybe good rather than definitely best?
I'm interested to know how other folks are dealing with this.