Last year, NewsBreaks published an overview of the major discovery services and shared their new features. It’s time for a look at some tools that may not be as well-known as the previously covered EBSCO Discovery Service, Primo, Summon, and WorldCat Discovery Services. Read on to learn about their unique features and what kinds of enhancements are planned for the future.
Tagline: “Search that is as intuitive as it is intelligent”
About: Libraries can integrate BiblioCore with their ILS, website, and choice of third-party content-enhancement providers. It replaces the traditional functionality of an online catalog to provide “a search interface [that] combines the ease of use that users find on Google and Amazon with the power and precision library professionals require,” the website notes. The search function offers natural language detection, full native Unicode support, auto-suggest for misspelled keywords, and limiting through an extended set of facets, as well as relevance-ranked results that adapt to a library’s data and circulation patterns.
Unique Draw: Beth Jefferson, BiblioCommons’ CEO and co-founder, says BiblioCore “is the only discovery service that is built to encourage conversation and community engagement right in the catalog. We aggregate the reviews, ratings, public lists and other content contributed by staff or patrons across all public libraries using BiblioCore. Additionally, libraries can also easily integrate their events, online resources, and blog posts right in the patron search path via the BiblioCore catalog.” Patrons provide positive comments and feedback on the social aspect of the service.
What’s Next: BiblioCommons is working on a redesign of its search page, says Jefferson. “Because BiblioCore exclusively serves public libraries, all BiblioCommons development plans are aligned to the strategic needs of public libraries. We are committed to ensuring public library websites are as functional, helpful, and welcoming as physical libraries. In addition to enhanced community engagement, future development will help libraries support formal and informal education and foster a lifelong love of reading throughout their communities.”
Encore Discovery Solution
Tagline: “The Encore Discovery Solution brings the complete library experience into the light.”
About: The Encore Discovery Solution helps patrons search for resources such as scholarly articles, books, and local digital collections. Thanks to Innovative’s partnerships with content providers, Encore can integrate additional resources such as ebooks for patrons to check out directly from the solution (via 3M Cloud Library or OverDrive) and a database of ratings and reviews that patrons can create and access (via ChiliFresh). Additionally, Encore is fully integrated with Innovative’s Sierra Library Services Platform and Millennium ILS for deep indexing capabilities and access to real-time data. With the Encore Duet option (seen in the image at right), libraries can deliver an integrated results set of local content along with full-text articles from EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS)—which works with tens of thousands of publishers.
Unique Draw: “While simple enough for new library users and deep enough for exacting researchers, Encore leverages exposure to local collections with real-time integration to the backend ILS/LSP system,” says Leif Pedersen, Innovative’s SVP of product and marketing. “At the same time, Encore works with other content providers to provide a full range of resources.”
What’s Next: “To complement Encore’s deep offerings, Innovative is actively working on Linked Data and how it folds into the discovery experience,” says Pedersen. “Future plans also include further personalization and additional partnership integrations. Our goal is to provide the best discovery experience possible with Encore, and we are utilizing feedback to improve every aspect of the user experience.”
Tagline: “Gather all your resources together in your own unique catalog, and create the ideal search experience for your users.”
About: Enterprise is fully customizable, providing access to relevancy-ranked materials from the library’s digital, database, and physical collections. It integrates with other SirsiDynix products such as Symphony and Horizon, BLUEcloud Campus, BLUEcloud LSP, and eResource Central (which allows users to access ebooks, audiobooks, and videos from library catalogs with one click). Enterprise supports multiple federated search sources so libraries can add databases to their catalog.
Unique Draw: Enterprise can be used by libraries of all types, notes Robert Storer, SirsiDynix’s marketing manager. “It uses robust, flexible search logic, and faceted results,” he says. “When used with eResource Central its digital capabilities grow tremendously. That creates an easy-to-manage solution for digital content from leading vendors like OverDrive and 3M with one-click checkout. In addition, for EBSCO EDS customers, the work we’ve done with EBSCO to embed EDS search results, interfiled with library catalog results—all on the same page—brings EDS results to the surface that the patron might have previously left undiscovered.”
What’s Next: “Our vision of delivering the Best Library User Experience (BLUE) is at the core of everything we do right now; and with Enterprise it’s no different,” says Storer. Later in 2015, SirsiDynix is launching BLUEcloud Visibility, a new linked data initiative and service, for all of its discovery products. “Library patrons perform searches at major search engines every day that could end in a library transaction, but they don’t. Our new service … puts local libraries’ catalog items in those search results. Imagine searching for Charles Dickens’s work ‘Great Expectations’ in Google and having one of the top search results be an eBook from your local library with a button that says ‘Check Out’ right on the Google search results page. Google knows where your patron is searching from, and through linked data, and more specifically BIBFRAME, Google knows about your collection and its location and suddenly a search that might have bypassed the local library before, not only includes the local library, but the search concludes with the library circulating an item.”
Company: Infor Libraries
Tagline: “The next frontier in library automation”
About: The Infor Iguana web portal and discovery solution brings the library’s website and catalog together in one environment. Library staffers can use it to create a flexible web portal for marketing library services and collections that offers resources such as interactive animations; support for widgets, Wikipedia links, and maps; personal profiles, lists, alerts, and social sharing; and an app for iOS and Android devices (as well as Windows Phone, coming soon).
Unique Draw: Eric Conderaerts, Infor Libraries’ product director for the library and information solutions, says there are four main reasons libraries should choose Infor Iguana.
First, “Iguana is a discovery service, but at the same time a lot more,” he says. The company calls it a marketing and collaboration tool, with solutions that facilitate website creation and search and discovery, as well as offer opt-in interest emails from the library; login services via Facebook, Google, and Yahoo; and integration capabilities with Pinterest and Facebook.
Second, in Iguana, “data is truly integrated,” says Conderaerts. “The application’s user does not want and does not have to choose a target.” For example, a single search can lead to results from a library’s collection and from its website.
Third, Iguana has a nontraditional look and feel, he says. It’s “modern, colourful, bright, personalized … and social.”
Fourth, Iguana is based on widget technology. Its recent versions have responsive design for use on mobile devices, and it has an implementation that is certified with Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
What’s Next: With the release of version 4 (the upcoming upgrade from the current version 3), new features will include official e-resources integration, updated relevancy ranking, multi-target searching (Conderaerts says that search results will display as one result set regardless of the data or technology used; searches in multiple targets are currently presented “per target”), and agenda and animations extensions.