Investigations into Library Web-Scale Discovery Services
Web-scale discovery services for libraries provide deep discovery to a library’s local and licensed content, and represent an evolution, perhaps a revolution, for end user information discovery as pertains to library collections. This article frames the topic of web-scale discovery, and begins by illuminating web-scale discovery from an academic library’s perspective – that is, the internal perspective seeking widespread staff participation in the discovery conversation. This included the creation of a discovery task force, a group which educated library staff, conducted internal staff surveys, and gathered observations from early adopters. The article next addresses the substantial research conducted with library vendors which have developed these services. Such work included drafting of multiple comprehensive question lists distributed to the vendors, onsite vendor visits, and continual tracking of service enhancements. Together, feedback gained from library staff, insights arrived at by the Discovery Task Force, and information gathered from vendors collectively informed the recommendation of a service for the UNLV Libraries.