OU Conf: New library website

Wendy Chalmers and Jill Gravestock.

New library launched Oct 2007 – it’s THE library for OU students.  As a digital library but also links to others.

Big change to content-managed site, dramatic drop in number of pages.

New technologies – Google Scholar and SFX; online collections by subject; and one-stop search for articles and more

Online collections by subject – students wanted subject-based browse.  Subject librarians pick out collections specifically.

SFX – open URL resolver – link from an abstract to the full text via a db maintained by the library holding our eJournal subscriptions.  So if visit Web of Science, there’s a ‘Find it at OU’ buttons – takes you seamlessly through to the full text.  (This is very very good – saw it before in a Library presentation but it’s a great thing.)  Also can access via Google Scholar.  Go to ‘Preferences’, ‘Find in a library’, search for Open University – if you enable it, sets a cookie on your browser, so next time you find something in Google Scholar, you get a ‘Find it at OU’ button that transfers you to the full text.

One-stop search – federated search – this is another way cool thing.  Searches something like 80% of our eJournals via a single interface.  Divided by OU subject areas, doesn’t include legal databases (tech issue); can select subset of databases to search.  (This presentation isn’t doing much justice to how cool this is IMO – going through all the options at length, but hasn’t actually shown the cool thing: a one-stop search over the majority of the Library’s eJournal.)

(The combo of these two is absolutely wonderful – if you want to search eJournals, have a single place to do it, and can link straight through to the full text.  And usually without having to do any user/password gubbins beyond logging in to an OU machine. It’s like the journal search service you’d dream of – only issue is it doesn’t cover everything we hold, but almost-there gets you the vast majority of the benefit.)

Example from K214 Extending Professional Practice – frontline support workers in health and social care.  Course section takes through finding relevant info using electronic information sources.  Alas!  Tech issues mean they can’t do the demo.  That’s a real shame because it blew my socks off.

Can export refs to all sorts of things, including RefWorks.

s/o – an AL – just got broadband – the techie issue is their whole experience. Need to consider how robust it needs to be for people working in isolation. Most useful feature is ask a librarian.

Wendy – have tested on dialup, bit slower but does work.

Chris Pegler – has been OU student in past, used normal libraries – the frustrations of this don’t come close to those of a normal library up against time-pressure deadlines.  Librarians On Call extremely useful if you get stuck, very human face of the library.

Patrick – Earning 2.0 title by linking out to systems outside in the world – is the aim to use systems outside like Google Scholar>

Other presenter – trying to embed the library in other services.

Patrick – What’s phase 2 going to offer?  E.g. see what other people are engaging with – make library users’ actions available?  (Like Amazon-style stuff?)

Presenter – yes would like to but system not avialable, but national stuff on the way.

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Author: dougclow

Academic in the Institute of Educational Technology, the Open University, UK. Interested in technology-enhanced learning and learning analytics.