Library of Texas (LoT) Working Group Meeting - Conference Call
April 11, 2012
Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC)
1201 Brazos, Austin, Texas 78701
Attending: Eddy Smith (Chair), Jeannie Colson, Judith Hiott, Tracy Holtman, Janice Sutton, Margaret Sylvia, Betty Thompson, Beverley Shirley, Jay Velgos (Guest)
Is LoT a useful tool to continue to provide and develop? As it is currently configured, LoT is not a useful tool. While some distance learners are using the catalog search function to find materials in locations near to them, for the most part LoT is not needed to provide catalog searching. Libraries with the money to provide a true discovery service prefer the more robust functionality of discovery products. Smaller libraries that do not have the money or need for a full discovery service would find LoT useful if it was re-structured into an article and e-book search tool that yields full text results. The group recommends that TSAC and the Houston Area Library Automated Network (HALAN) should work through August, 2013 to improve the tool to make it easier to use, to rebrand it, and to promote it to libraries. I June, 2013, the group should review the progress made and vote again regarding usefulness.
Redefining LoT’s primary audience (Think about comments from the Summit and from the LSTA Five-Year Plan evaluation. The group determined that the target audience is libraries that do not have discovery tools, with focus on small-to-medium public libraries. They recommended that the tool be freely available to all TexShare libraries, but that development should focus on the needs of the small public libraries.
LoT and searching library catalogs. The group recommends that, since the tool already has functionality to search across library catalogs, the catalog search should continue to be an option. Catalog searching, however, should not be part of a default search. With regards to maintaining and adding library catalogs, the group recommended that catalogs be added only when a library specifically asks that its catalog be available for its patrons to search through LoT. When a library’s search is broken, HALAN will turn that library “off.”
LoT and e-book searching. LoT currently searches three e-book targets. HALAN will add these targets to the database search. We will consider generating a separate e-book search.
Re-branding LoT. The group voted to move forward with re-branding LoT. Members recommend contracting with a professional to accomplish the rebrand. TSLAC should create a Web place for the Working Group to discuss re-branding.