Last week (Tuesday, August 18) Marshall Breeding and I participated in a webcast sponsored by Serials Solutions and Library Journal on the topic of “‘Web-scale’ discovery services”.
Our presentations complimented one another in that we both described the current library technology environment and described how the creation of amalgamated indexes of book and journal article content have the potential to improve access to library materials.
Dodie Ownes summarized the event in an article for Library Journal. From there you can also gain access to an archive of the one-hour webcast. (Free registration required.) I have made my written remarks available on the Hesburgh Libraries website as well as mirrored them locally. From the remarks:
It is quite possible the do-it-yourself creation and maintenance of an index to local book holdings, institutional repository content, and articles/etexts is not feasible. This may be true for any number of reasons. You may not have the full complement of resources to allocate, whether that be time, money, people, or skills. You and your library may have a set of priorities forcing the do-it-yourself approach lower on the to-do list. You might find yourself stuck in never-ending legal negotiations for content from “closed” access providers. You might liken the process of normalizing myriads of data formats into a single index to Hercules cleaning the Augean stables.
If this be the case, then the purchasing (read, “licensing”) of a single index service might be the next best thing — Plan B.
I sincerely believe the creation of these “Web-scale” indexes is a step in the right direction, but I believe just as strongly that the problem to be solved now-a-days does not revolve around search and discovery, but rather use and context.
“Thank you Serials Solutions and Library Journal for the opportunity to share some of my ideas.”