Library of Texas (LoT) Working Group Meeting - Conference Call
March 26, 2012
Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC)
1201 Brazos, Austin, Texas 78701
Attending: Eddy Smith (Chair), Judith Hiott, Tracy Holtman, Chris Peterson, Janice Sutton, Margaret Sylvia, Betty Thompson, Beverley Shirley, Jay Velgos (Guest)
OCLC Metasearch. Working group members reviewed their impressions of the OCLC Metasearch tool that is a component of TSLAC’s contract with OCLC for an interlibrary loan service. Consensus was that the tool is not currently suited to the needs of our target audience and that it is unlikely develop to meet this audience’s needs in the near future. Group recommended that TSLAC stop developing the OCLC Metasearch tool for Texas libraries.
Statewide Resource Sharing Summit. Persons who were present at the February 27 – 28 Statewide Resource Sharing Summit sponsored by TSLAC reported on the discussion of LoT that took place at that meeting. In the list of TexShare priorities, LoT only received a couple votes; some people at the meeting recommended TSLAC stop funding LoT. However, there was a feeling in the room that there needs to be a tool for unified searching. Some academic librarians wanted the new discovery technology rather than a federated search technology. The academic audience was not interested in a statewide catalog or a collection of statewide catalogs.
There was a feeling among members of the working group that there is a place for a LoT-like tool for use by smaller libraries that are using only the core TexShare content. The continuation of this discussion is covered under the final agenda item, “Options for future of resource discovery.”
Problems with LoT usage statistics. Currently the LoT federated search tool and a “database menu” screen are authenticated with the same computer script. Therefore, we are not able to independently count the number of LoT uses; we do not have an objective, quantified measure of how much LoT is being used.
Options for future of resource discovery / next steps. There was a feeling among group members that there is a place for federated search. Discussion points included:
Branding: Must re-work and re-brand the federated tool. Many persons will never use a tool called “LoT” because they associate it with earlier, less reliable and less effective versions of the tool
- Library catalog searching must be simplified; there are too many choices.
- The ILL Navigator service meets catalog searching needs, although it does not show real time availability
- Some librarians are still using LoT for copy cataloging; although CatExpress (an option with the ILL service) could meet copy cataloging needs, many small libraries find it easier to copy from other library MARC records
- People want “information now” searching. They want discovery of what they can get to right now (not just a lot of catalog records)
- The main searches should be for articles and e-books
- Part of making the tool more user-friendly is to make a better default search
- There is need for a core level tool provided for free to small libraries; something more robust is needed for large libraries – but this should not be based on LoT technology.
- Small libraries are not interested in an administrative module
Some New Ideas: Jay Velgos presented some ideas for a new, integrated service that would include
- A Texas Catalog search
- A TexShare Database federated search
- A genealogy module
- An e-books search
- A feature for magazine browsing
The group encouraged further exploration of these ideas.