Creating Organizational Buy-in: Overcoming Challenges to a Library-Wide Discovery Tool Implementation

Creating Organizational Buy-in: Overcoming Challenges to a Library-Wide Discovery Tool Implementation

Meris A. Mandernach (James Madison University, USA) and Jody Condit Fagan (James Madison University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1821-3.ch024
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While launching a discovery tool can be technically easy, establishing a process that will result in organizational buy-in for the tool is an exceptionally important first step for a successful implementation. Many lessons about creating organizational buy-in can be learned from experiences with federated search software and next-generation catalogs. Libraries must grapple with three critical areas before discovery tool implementation. First, the library will need to consider how the discovery tool will affect key library departments and create a plan for addressing their concerns. Second, training will need to be developed for staff as well as end users. Finally, monitoring and assessing the discovery tool’s performance and impact will inform future decision-making related to the tool’s integration with the library’s other systems and services. Each of these areas will be explored in the context of existing library research, with illustrations from James Madison University’s discovery tool implementation.
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The vision for discovery software as a unified search of library collections has its origins in federated search, which combined library catalogs, databases, and journals in one search interface, providing a similar search to Google and other search engines (Cervone, 2005; Miller, 2004). This desire was based on knowledge of users’ expectations to simply search, not to choose among various databases (Alling & Naismith, 2007, p. 195; Cervone, 2005, p. 10; Randall, 2006, pp. 181-182; Tallent, 2004, p. 69-75). However, the performance of federated search software disappointed many libraries, with problems related to uncertainty about their precision and recall (Lampert & Dabbour, 2007; Tang, Hsieh-Yee, & Zhang, 2007; Williams & Foster, 2011).

The next development in discovery-style searching was the advent of next-generation catalog interfaces, which featured faceted browsing and an up-to-date look and feel for traditional library catalogs (Fagan, 2010). Studies of these interfaces found increased use of article databases as well as an increased use of narrowing facets such as format, media type, and library location (Allison, 2010; Ballard & Blaire, 2011).

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