Presenter: Carol Pitts Diedrichs
Our users expect us to be available to help them when they need it. Many are used to the customer service options available to them from various online retailers. How do we bring these kinds of tools and services into our existing array of offerings?
Rather than the user having to figure out how we might classify or categorize content on our websites, we need to make it easier for them to do quick and dirty searches that pull up relevant content first. The silos of information most of us carefully maintain presents a barrier to information for users who expect to be able to do those quick and dirty searches. Discovery layers promise to pull all the silos together, and we will know we have succeeded when users go to the library’s search site as often as they go to Google.
Our silos contain rich content, but it isn’t obvious to our users. We need tools that will pull the metadata and display it in a visual way that emphasized the relevance and importance of it.
Lipstick on a pig 2.0? The discovery layer interfaces we have are good transitions, but they still don’t address the underlying problems with our ILS interfaces and how they do not make full use of the rich metadata we provide.
Our users are going to bypass the library website — we will have to take our content to them. We need to move our resources into the arena of our online competitors like Google and Amazon. One great example that I have heard often is including links to our digital collections in relevant Wikipedia articles.
“Discovery happens everywhere, and discovery without fulfillment disappoints.” –Lorcan Dempsey
In the future, we will capture publisher metadata, aggregate special collection content with traditional resources, and make use of the catalog in unconventional ways. One library created a record entitled “Oprah’s New Pick” so that users could get into the queue for copies even before it was announced.
“Take some chances. You can always swim, but maybe you can fly.”