New Technology at the Library

Preparing for a presentation on emerging technology trends (see post below) made me think about what’s new and happening in terms of technology at the Consortium Library. 

  • Federated Searching – This past year we acquired 360 Search (and a new link resolver) from Serials Solutions.   We picked this solution for several reasons – a simple search interface, a good knowledge base for the link resolver, an API that returns XML, and a reasonable price.  Late this Spring we started  integrating it into our website as QuickSearch (you have to be on campus or have a login to access it).   This Fall we will start to get a better idea of how it fits into  the discovery process and the implications for library instruction.
  • Research Guides – We joined the growing band wagon and got a subscription to LibGuides, a content management and “knowledge sharing” system.  In what is for us an amazingly short amount of time (this Summer) we published over 50 Research Guides in the various subject disciplines.  We now link from our Find Articles by Subject page to the new guides.  The guides are an improvement over our previous home grown system for Find Articles in a number of ways–easy for librarians to create content, flexible page layout, supports tagging and other Web 2.o goodness.  More guides are sure to follow.
  • Blogging – We installed a version of WordPress MU and offered it  for professional website/blog for individuals and group blogs.  We were already running a number of individual WordPress installations which migrated easily to the new installation.  The number of public blogs is low but managing one version of WordPress MU is way better than separate installations.
  • Video Tutorials – Over the past year, the subject librarians had created a lot of screen casts on how to use different library services and resources.  We finally got them organized  with layout that emphasizes the “video” part.