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Nov 5, 2013 (4 years and 8 days ago)

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1



Library Automation to Resource Discovery
: A Review

of Emerging Challenges
1



Abstract

Purpose

-

The o
bject
ive

of this study is to analy
s
e the
paradigm
shift of library automation to
resource discovery
by exploring the applications of resource discovery
.

The present status of
India on adapt
ing
resource discovery applications

is discussed
.


Design/methodology/approach

-

An
evaluative method to examine the status quo of India
automation
and resource discovery scenario
is drawn with a related literature revie
w. Moreover,
various
pertinent
global challenges of embracing discovery tools in the digital environment are
highlighted
.


Findings

-

The growth of the Indian library automation industry is
booming
. However, library
software adaptation,
next
-
gen
eration

ca
talogues enhancements

and community development
avenues are
dearth,
seemingly remote and far from satisfactory.

Originality/value



Focuses on the emerging scenario of resource discovery
applications with an
overview of global challenges.

Keywords
-

Libr
ary automation, Integrated library management systems,
r
esource d
iscovery
tools, Unified resource discovery, Discovery interfaces, India

Introduction

The emergence of information technologies have brought about enormous changes to the
evolving society, e
specially in education, learning and research arenas shaping our collective
future progressive

by
adapt
ing

change
. Spurred by the technological advancements, libraries are
marching
ahead as
a complete automated medium
of

hi
-
tech grounds for resource disco
very
,
with

pervasive
computer
application
s.

As a major trend in library automation industry, discovery
system model envisages a collective set
-
up, where content integration from variety of
information
products and services are represented with consolidatin
g index replication and
searching massive metadata for easier navigation and

retrieval
, regardless of where the located
resources are

(Breeding, 2009b).
Burke (2011) described what it means to be discoverable: “is
that all of the library’s collections, i
n all formats, need to be searched together and displayed in a
single result set.”
Resource discovery is the cross
-
domain information needs of users who require



1

Babu, Preedip Balaji & Krishnamurthy M. (2013).
Library Automation to Resource Discovery:
A Review of Emerging Challenges
.
The Electronic Library,
Vol. 31 No. 3.


2


access to information about relevant resources irrespective of where they are located, how they

have been stored or by whom (Onyancha
et al.,
2001). Even as the discovery
-
based, next
-
generation of library

catalogue
s

overhauling begun, the functions of libraries are growing
potentially in values and services
, their

role of conventional services are
strategized
to repurpose

the

modern
services in spite of the

Internet
’s


competition.

M
obile web too is encroaching into
the library services through S
hort
M
essage
S
ervices (SMS)
, mobile OPAC and mobile
applications, taking advantage of the smart phones
market and mobile internet penetration
among the avid readers (Mills, 2009). As this
transitioning phase

is obvious, the emergent web
,
recommender systems

and its search agents are slowly
outstrip

the niche market of information
services hitherto what was
rendered by library services community. A study
by
OCLC

on

Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources”, found that search engines are the desired
destination for research with a snowballing rate of 84 %, where electronic information searches
begin

(OCLC, 2005).

As the libraries are facing these challenges, reinventing the library services
in the evolving digital information ecosystem is apparently essential. Various discovery tools,
platforms and
unifying
layer
s

are being experimented to build on t
op of the existing information
architecture models to accommodate the entire gamut of electronic resources on a larger scale by
preindexing to facilitate improved, relevant and contextualized search outputs with different
salient features like relevance ra
nking, multilingual support, faceted navigation and embedded
social web. Next
new
on the horizon is digital assets management solution
s
with hosted
-
service
models
,

on which
leading library automation

industry players OCLC
, EBSCO and ProQuest

are
thinking
big to bring

up

web
-
scale management services exploring cloud
-
based applications and
cooperative intelligence as a potential alternative to the existing integrated library management
systems (ILMS)

to manage extensive digital resources
.

Library informat
ion search has been perceived and transitioning to a resource discovery
destination where the entire library resources are more unified, seamlessly integrated and
indexed with add
-
ons and applications to
retrieve

resources at one
search box

from

database
s,
e
-
journals, catalogues, and digital collections
.

Searching library resources is
increasingly
getting
akin to finding
through
faceted
browsing
or integrated

approaches

which
are

largely
accommodated by compiling an enormous index replacing
the
federate
d search, which crawls
the
silos of
catalogues, databases,
then
digital collections and so on
, whereas integrated approach
search all these things at once (LibraryJournal Reviews, 2011)
.
. Library automation is
embarking upon a new
era

where data, communi
ties, and services are enhanced with intelligent
applications and functionalities to provide a centralized, intuitive, and configurable system of
modules interacting with each other overcoming restrictions on local hardware and saving capital
costs (OCLC,
2011).

The overarching digital economy
has made libraries to re
-
invent their existence through
web
-
based library services, ushering in great times ahead for the

digital natives.


As the user
behaviour towards information approach
has been

radically chang
ing to mobile accessibility, e
-
3


books, electronic tablets and widgets

with less

face
-
to
-
face interactions
,
so do
es

the complexity
of finding exact, hidden, relevant resources have likely increased on the web. Internet has
redefined the availability of infor
mation bringing in a sea of change, but complications of
locating the precise and accurate results for research remain to be puzzling and unaccomplished
,
with a sea of noise
. Even as the future of cataloguing is widely debated, as multitude of library
res
ources are being born
-
digital, the future of library control will be collaborative, decentralized,
international in scope, and web
-
based (Foster and Howard, 2008) having an integrated catalogue
into all aspects of its program
me
s and services (Gorman, 1995)
, catapulting into a new milieu.

The digital information growth has immensely affected the perceptions of information seekers.
Libraries and cultur
al

organizations have automated and developed library management systems
over the years, when the face of l
ibraries were embracing the mechani
s
ation techniques
especially for routine housekeeping processes in the late 1960s. In the beginning, the library
automation was mainly adapted for

in
-
house operations and developing machine
-
readable
cataloguing records.
However, the birth of Internet economy in the 1990s have vastly
necessitated the online services and opened up plethora of opportunities for libraries to provide
web
-
based services. Although Google has captured the search technology market globally, its
se
arch experience is felt like lost in maze
contrasting to
what libraries do
-

select, acquire and
organize information in a systematic way. As Walker (2009) quoted that “a
lthough most students
today would cite Google as their premier source of research, to
date, Google


and other such
search engines


is unlikely to fully satisfy the researcher who seeks credible and unbiased
scholarly content, which is not always available free of charge.”



Open
content platforms and
systems have widely gained attention a
s they don’t hold the data
hostage but stimulate a collaborative, contributive and open content development environ.
Breeding (2009a), underscores the importance of open system for libraries: “In the early days of
library automation, when proprietary syste
ms dominated, the need for standards was paramount
since other means of interoperability and data exchange weren't possible. Today's focus on
Application Programming
Interfaces (APIs)
, web services, and open source systems make it
possible a level of openn
ess far beyond what was feasible in earlier times. In today's world where
libraries face incredible challenges to be ever more interconnected within their broader
organizations, in cooperative arrangements with other libraries, and with their users, we nee
d to
constantly work toward higher levels of openness.”

The growth of open
-
source based
applications, scalable metadata, and discovery products are
transforming
the library automation
into an all
-
new experience known as resource discovery,
drawing

close to

unleashing
the
potential of
discoverability of multitude of data. Library users’ expectations go far beyond
finding not
just
bibliographic
data
, but
having
features
on library catalogues
to browse, navigate,
share and more importantly being part of the r
esource discovery process by contributing in the
way of tagging, reviewing, suggesting and creating lists etc, on which the fundamentals of
Library 2.0 are firmly grounded. This emerging phenomenon in the library automation is being
4


emphasi
s
ed to bring abo
ut tremendous promises in the way the patron search the library
catalogues and library web portals. Libraries need simple, yet intuitive web interfaces, with
reflective and combined search results to engage patronage to delve deep into library resources
fo
r exuberant resource discovery. Discovery interfaces combined with integrated library
solutions have evolved with many such advantages:


1.

Integrated web
-
accessible Online Public Access Catalogues (OPAC).

2.

Web 2.0 features with customi
s
ed search engines on li
brary websites searching library
resources
using

search engine
optimisation
(SEO)
techniques.

3.

Personali
s
ed service features including mail delivery alerts,
print, save
, export

and email
, etc
.

4.

One
-
stop resource portals incorporating meta
-
searching discover
y tools, federated search
options and browsing
functionalities
.

5.

Mobile accessible features
and content
comprising of
text alerts,
SMS

reference
,
library
applications for mobile

phones
,

mobile OPAC etc.

6.

Multilingual support with filtering to languages,
federated
and advanced search options and


7.

Upcoming web
-
scale discovery
, digital

asset
s curation and

management services.


Applications developed by committers, community developers, vendors and academic library
implementations have succeeded in many insta
nces to deploy innovated resource discovery
products to bridge the gaps in integrating functional silos of different modules of library
catalogues and resources. Coombs and Hollister (2010), list out the below federation search and
discovery tools of new
applications being tested, integrated and augmented for academic
libraries in the North America widely. LibraryTechnology.org website also enlists various
discovery products merged with integrated library management systems and discovery interfaces
(see: h
ttp://www.librarytechnology.org/discovery.pl). For comparing the various leading unified
resource discovery applications visit https://sites.google.com/site/urd2comparison/home.


Federated Search Tools

Next
-
gen Catalogues

Discovery Platforms

dbWiz

Scrib
lio

Summons

Pazpar2

SOPAC

EBSCO Discovery Service

LibraryFind

VuFind

WorldCat Local

Solr

Blacklight

Primo Central


Table I
. List of few emerging discovery tools and platforms.


Figure 1 shows the evolving features comparing the old catalogue with ne
w cataloguing features.

Library Automation in India

5


In India, the library automation began its journey in the late decades of 20
th

century. The first
use of computers for libraries was in 1965 at Indian National Scientific Documentation Centre
(INSDOC)
, the present National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources
(NISCAIR) at New Delhi (Sharma, 1993). In the 1980s UNESCO
-
supported CDS
-
ISIS software
package was first used under the National Information System for Science and Technolo
gy
project; Defence Library Management System was developed by
DESIDOC in 1988;

6




Figure 1
:
Old
c
atalog
ue s
earch
v
s
.

next
-
gen catalogue features.

Faceted Browsing


Tabbed Se
arch

Integrated Search

Old
Ca
talogue Search


7



Catman

software

was developed by the Indian National Scientific Documentation
Centre,
implemented at the National Science Library
(Rai and Kumar, 2011). Special and technical
libraries attached to different federal R&D institutions such as CSIR, ICMR, ICAR, and DRDO
followed the suit and this led to the growth of library automation
in specialist libraries
.

P
ublic
sector libraries
such as
BHEL and SAIL had eventually joined the bandwagon (Haravu, 1993).
Given the massive higher education growth in engineering, medicine, education and social
sciences the
Indian
academic libraries have
embraced the library automation far and wide.
According to a report by Association of Indian Universities there are more than
475 universities
in India as of 2009 (Dongaonkar and Negi, 2009).
Although India became a leading country in
information technolog
y sector in the recent times, the culture and education sectors
were not
prioritised
by

proactive
policies,
and effective
programmes
.

The spending of government on
information services and library sector is long overdue especially in
various
state public l
ibrary
departments. The slack of these developments have largely affected the library automation
activities in India, even the basic library services like inter
-
library loan
s
, resource sharing and
networking of libraries not being
materialised

on a large
-
s
cale for the millions of users hindering
advocacy and promotion of libraries as public access avenues for education, literacy and
intellectual engagement.

Library automation in India is still in the early stages of development, and the discovery services
market is yet to catch up, even though the library automation industry has considerably expanded
alongside the information technology sector growth. Unfortunately, culture sector on a whole did
not strengthen the cyberinfrastructure, so the enhancements, f
inancing and development
could

be
streamlined.
Of late, t
he government spending on the knowledge infrastructure has been
emphasised
with few national initiatives taken up to develop
consortia and networking of
libraries
to facilitate

interdisciplinary and
mutual information access, cutting across all the
financial constraints as a developing nation
India is
encountered with. INFormation LIBrary
NETwork is a national inter
-
university centre for networking and resource sharing started in
1988. Under the aegis

of INFLIBNET, National Library and Information Services Infrastructure
for Scholarly Content (N
-
LIST), project covers about new 6,000 government, government
-
aided
and unaided colleges across India to enable them to have electronic resources access, affili
ated
under 300 odd universities, with a total registration of users 2,17,774 as on 31 October, 2011
(INFLIBNET, 2011). The federal cyberinfrastructure project National Knowledge Network is
aimed to connect all the research and higher education institutions

on a high speed network for
research and resources sharing, started in 2008.


The software development for libraries by committed programmers
, volunteers

and community
software developers is at its embryonic stage. National Informatics Centre has taken

initiatives to
automate the public libraries with e
-
Granthalaya
library automation
software.
Confronted with
perennial problems in mechanization of libraries and

administration (
Vyas, 1997;
Matoria,
8


Upadhyay and Moni, 2007; Joshi & Nikose, 2010),
the pres
ent conditions do not auger well for
Indian libraries
be
cause,
enhancing library automation to resource discovery applications
are
handicapped with

the below, which

could be relatable to other developing countries too.



Lack of willingness, attitude and in
difference of library staff with little training and
development avenues and exposure



Non
-
supportive attitude of top management
and administrative apathy



Poor government funding for libraries,
inordinate delays,
and slack of coordination by
both federal a
nd state governments



No strong leadership, authority, professional engagement for advocacy and community
ignorance


Resource Discovery Scenario
in India

Although many indigenous private library software like Libsys, Libsoft, Libgenie and host of
public s
ector organizations’ developed software
-

Granthalaya, Sanjay, Maitreyi have originated
in India, the need
-
based development

and library community

consultation,
to
customi
s
e to the
needs of Indian libraries remain to be not conducive with lack of platform
s for programming,
cooperation, and community networking opportunities (Rai and Kumar, 2011). The competition
of library automation industry is gaining momentum as more and more vendors from other
countries
such as Alice for Windows, VTLS, Techlib Plus
and

open
-
source software Koha have
tested the waters in Indian shores (Husain and Ansari, 2007). In spite of the growing proprietary
products in library automation industry,
indigenous ILMS software
called NewGenLib

was
developed in India by Verus Solutions

Private Limited with the domain expertise of Kesavan
Institute of Information and Knowledge Management, Hyderabad
.
An example of NewGenLib
search results interface is shown in figure 2, could be the first
-
of
-
its
-
kind instance of next
-
generation catalogues

in India with its search features and refining results

by author, subject
implemented at the Osmania University Library
.
NewGenLib website claims that “in the last 2
years 2,500 libraries across 58 countries deployed NewGenLib ILMS (see:
http://www.veruss
olutions.biz/digitalLibrary.php)
,

evident to the growth of
library automation
.
Amount of time being spent on administrative tasks is reduced, speed of in
-
house library
workflows streamlined, but more importantly discovery layers are
getting
integrated with

ILMS
(See figure
4

showing
University

ILMS
integrated with VuFind discovery tool at Bangalore
University
L
ibrary

web OPAC
). Similar
ly,

open source ILMSs adaptation have been increasing
worldwide, since open source ILMS are free of cost

with no
lock
-
ins o
f data are hidden,
customi
s
ability,
and
compatibility across various platforms and community engagement for
further development are promising to be sustainable enough, especially for developing countries.
9


Citing
the example of
Koha software, Uptat
-
Digrajk
ar (2011), highlighted the
cost benefits and
core services as
great advantages of using open
-
source IL
M
S over the proprietary software.



Figure
2
.
Osmania University

L
ibrary, using NewGenLib.

Many libraries have adapted Koha as an ILMS,

and

Delhi Publi
c library was the first in India to
put Koha 3.0 in production (Breeding, 2008a). Many other libraries are working towards using
of open
-
source based integrated library solutions. National Research Centre for free/Open Source
Software, a research centre w
ith Anna University, Chennai ha
d

helped in launching Koha
supported centrali
s
ed Online Public Access Catalogue of 4028 public libraries spread in 32
districts with over 3 million records in the southern state of Tamil Nadu (Arivoli, 2010). Koha
wiki worldw
ide community indicates that India has 25 instances of Koha installations (Koha,
2011). Government of Kerala has approved in principle the use of Koha for state
-
run libraries
(Koha, 2008).
Koha as an integrated library system is widely known for its featur
es

Indic scripts
supporting multilingual collections, Unicode
-
compliance, tagging,
creating lists

suitable for
Indian libraries. Though the feasibility of resource discovery platforms are experimented
globally, it is still an alien to the Indian
library
au
tomation industry, as there are
only few
sporadic trail access instances and
implementation are sparse

in India (See:
http://www.cftri.com/lb/23/news.html).
Academic libraries are slowly taking up the library
automation and SOUL library automation softwar
e is being used by
government
-
funded
institutions with a statistic of 2016 installations as on May 31, 2010 (see
http://www.inflibnet.ac.in/soul/).


Status Quo of
Library Automation


10


In spite of the information technology revolutionizing library servi
ces, training and development
of personnel is a challenging task. Strategizing on human resources development is critically
important, that is why organizations should support and encourage their staff to actively
participate in associations, since librar
ians who participate actively are more 'marketable,' more
likely to be promoted, and more likely to succeed in their careers (Frank, 1997). Neelakandan
et
al.
, (2010), reported the issues in creating departmental library at the School of Chemistry,
Bharath
idasan University attributing to lack of infrastructure needs. Undertaking a survey of
automation in college libraries in Karnataka, (Kumar and Biradar, 2010) found “the low level of
automation in college libraries, major reasons being lack of manpower, sk
illed staff and
training.” These findings are also comparable with financial constraints, want of parent
organization’s support and lack of computer facilities (Mulla, Chandrashekara and Talawar,
2010). Rai and Kumar (2011) investigated the features of si
x web
-
based library automation
systems
-

Liberty, Virtua, Libsys, Alice for Windows, NettLib and E
-
Granthalaya ranked them
respectively as best performing ILMSs. Although, Koha has become a popular ILMS in India,
proprietary software is also gaining conside
rable prominence. For example, state public library
projects such as Connemara Public Library (see: http://connemara.tnopac.gov.in/) is
implemented on Koha and West Bengal Public Libraries Network is developed on Libsys, a
proprietary ILMS (see:
http://lib
sys.wbpublibnet.gov.in:8080/sclopac/GwtOPAC/GwtOPAC.html).
See figure 3 the
State Central Library Catalogue of Tamil Nadu hosted at Connemara Public Library and its
advanced search features and filtering search options.
In India

both

open source
software
a
nd
proprietary ILMS market
are

thriving to carve a niche for the expanding higher education
sector
.



Figure
3
.

Koha’s search features

-

Connemara Public Library

catalogue
.


Although generation gaps and perception of library staff towards computing techn
ologies have
been major hindrances, lack of government support
for libraries
sidelined the development of
library automation to a great extent. Moreover, organizational support meted out to libraries
development
, and lack of initiatives by federal and stat
e
governments

remain to be oblivious.
11


Given the level of expertise the library personnel possess

and
the scale of development taken
place in next
-
generation cataloguing
technologies
,

it
is
much

the same as what

Manjunath (1998)
apprehended
13 years back
f
or the growth of libraries:



Fear of adverse impact on employment



Apprehension that the technology could be too expensive



The library staff have to undergo extensive training



Lack of support from the
top
management,

and

budget constraints and



Retrospecti
ve conversion of data


As far as library automation in India is concerned, the growth has been witnessed across the
academic sector. But the next phase in the transition
-

resource discovery approach is not on the
anvil yet due to the lack of local initiat
ives,
unmet organizational infrastructure needs and
need
of
unstinted
support of
all
stakeholders. As

libraries are reeling under the perils of non
-
autonomy, apathy of administration

and the pall of financial woes,

it is seemingly difficult for
the ad
a
pt
at
ion of next
-
generation catalogues and resource discovery tools with no critical
investments. Although new
-
breed, path breaking
resource discovery
technologies are
of
paramount importance for libraries
, the utilit
ies

of discovery system can be projected t
o be low in
the view of the prevailing circumstances in India, largely ascribed to the lack of initiatives,
programmes of reviving the cultural sector and full
-
fledged support of government for libraries
.

If all the stakeholders engage, advocate and
strive

to
raise the profile of libraries the days are not
far off to see the libraries as
better places for learning, education
and resource discovery
.


Figure
4
. VuFind

-

d
iscovery
t
ool
Integrated
with ILMS
at

Bangalore University
L
ibrary.

The Paradigm Shift

to Resource Discovery


Global Challenges

According to a recent LibraryJournal review (2011) on discovery interface experiences, it was
stated that

Patrons are used to Google. They don’t want to use different search methods to
12


explore different database
s. Discovery services promise to enable all of a library’s material

print and ebooks, journal articles, streaming video, everything

to be uncovered through one
search box…instead of crawling through the catalog
ues
, then the databases, then the various
eboo
k repositories, and so on, it compiles an enormous index of all of those things and searches
it all at once.
"

Since

the stage is set to have research experience of resource discovery, it is
imperative for libraries to provide information with tailor
-
made e
xpansive representation of
library collections and
relevant
content. Finding a way to combine the best of the just
-
in
-
case and
just
-
in
-
time technologies using preharvested, premassaged and preindexed approach of search
engines to meet changing user expecta
tions is the current challenge for librarians and their
vendors (Walker, 2009). According to a report by Research Information Network (2008) on
building research tools from physical artifacts and resources of museums, the findings
were
reiterated that: “te
chnological developments offer opportunities for cross searching, for making
records findable by Google and other search engines, for linking to associated documentation,
and for integrating museum catalogues with other resources, such as library catalogue
s. In order
to realize the potential of the beneficial changes that are now being offered by technological and
related developments, there needs to be a change...to encourage more openness, more sharing
and more collaboration.”

Examining the various upfron
t issues of resource discovery with
a
grid computing standpoint,
Kaur and Sengupta (2007),
argued that

“various technical constraints and geographical
limitations such as autonomous, heterogeneous resources, dynamic nature and status of
resources, geogra
phical dispersion of resources, large number of users and large distributed
networks, different operating systems/platforms, different administrative domains, lack of
portability, availability status of resources and different technology policies.”

Strengt
hening the library automation today needs meticulous planning of discovery interfaces,
indexing systems, configuring with the workflow modules of ILMS, but also consistently
integrating them on a portal to enable users to have access to heterogeneous resou
rces
at

a one
search box
. Borgman (199
6
), argued that “online catalogs continue to be difficult to use because
their design does not incorporate sufficient understanding of searching behavior; information
retrieval challenges, query models and processing,

and interface design are the important areas
evoking for a next
-
generation catalogues.” In order to achieve this, the architecture of integrated
library management systems (ILMS), have to be scaled up with the other modules that would
interact with each o
ther in a collaborative way in terms of localisms, vendor administered
content and external systems.
D
evelopment
of
smart
integrating
discovery
tools
, local indexing,
and application programming interfaces (API
s
) call for a strategic approach

for ushering
in
discovery experience of library resources
.

Underscoring the importance of online retrievability of resources
Cerbo has
( 2011) argued that
“all of a university’s theses, faculty publications, student projects, institution research, gray
13


literature, and

more can and is being placed online for users to access, but if that information is
not easily retrievable, the benefit of having all of that information together is lost.”

Even
when

the library automation operations
were

commerciali
s
ed in the late 20
th

century, open
source applications came as a revolution in the library automation marketplace both in terms of
cost
, economy

and

customisation.

Alongside scaling up the cyber
infrastructure f
or

libraries
,

library personnel
need
to project the libraries not o
nly in user services but also in planning of
web

services to raise the profile
and to keep up in the race of information services delivery.
As
Internet is positing to
have more

open content
,

striving for neutrality and freedom
,
breaking off
market monopoli
es,
libraries have to display their content simply as easier as
retrieval
on search
engines with targeted information marketing approaches to facilitate optimum use of library
resources
. A survey on United Kingdom Higher Education libraries commissioned by

JISC and
SCONUL pointed out in their report “that adaptation of new developments such as vertical
search is relatively low; however libraries are increasingly aware of the need to 'liberate' their
data for users to create new services and applications and

approach development of open
interfaces within a Service Oriented Architecture and developing Web 2.0 models (Adamson
et
al
., 2008). In its recommendations, the survey concluded that:



Libraries reviewing Library Management Systems contracts should seek i
ncreased value,
looking at ways to improve services by implementing features around the core LMS.



The focus on breaking down barriers to resources is endorsed, involving single sign on,
unifying workflows and liberating metadata for re
-
use.



Service Orien
ted Architecture
-
based interoperability across institutional systems is
emphasized as the foundation for future services and possibly the de
-
coupling of LMS
components

Libraries need inherent and cohesive interfaces with enhanced search capabilities which
ensure
the precision, predictability, and scope in tune with the users’ demands. Breeding, (2008b) in his
comparison described the library automation in its current conditions as siloed, closed,
monolithic and brittle against the SOA architecture, and its
enhancements which are shared
services, collaborative, interoperable and integrated.

Coming up with a single
search

box is an arduous task involving costs, maintenance and
management
of massive local indexed data
,
hosted content and finding resources at a
rticle level,
display
ing

of merged data from local holdings
etc
. See the example shown in figure 5, where the
catalogue and article results are displayed from a single search box.
. According to Prescott and
Erway,
(
2011), integrating collections at the i
nstitutional level is the first step to exposing them
to aggregators and search engine spiders for network
-
level discovery. In their concluding
remarks they further stated that:

14


…resources are often compartmentalized in a plethora of informational silos,

each with its own
dedicated system, search categories and user interfaces.

The result of this segregation is to place
the burden of discovery on individual users, who may or may not be methodologically and
technologically equipped to conduct searches in m
ultiple information repositories. The
challenges inherent in this informational divide ultimately expect researchers to
compartmentalize their interests in a similar manner, rather than encouraging more multi
-
disciplinary approaches that focus on the resea
rch inquiry.


The figure
5

is an example of unified, web discovery platform of University of Virginia library
developed using Blacklight
back
-
end
application. As we can see the library portal is integrated,
fine
-
tuned to search across the stacks of online
resources, then narrowing down the results by
videos, articles, formats etc.

For the search “music”, catalogue and article results came on
display,
while the

results can be still be narrowed down to “music results” and “video results”
,
thus

making up a won
derful resource discovery
navigation
process
.




Figure
5
.
An example of
University of Virginia
L
ibrary
catalogue
.

Figure
6

captures the
resource discovery process

in
its
interconnected
workflows

to architect the
unified design in order that

online libra
ry services

can be strengthened to interact with the
existing information architecture models
. Each
one
of
these
components is interwoven
with other

in the fabric of resource discovery development and success of
web
library services heavily
depend on how t
hese components interact with each other
.

15



Figure
6
.
A workflow model of
u
nified resource discovery process.

Unified Resource Discovery Development
-

Emerging Challenges

In order to provide unified access, brokering architectures to integrate access to t
he library
catalogue and the library’s digital collections through standard protocols is one way; another way
is to build a central set of indexes for resource discovery purpose with an architectural model
which would facilitate building robust, scalable,
and interoperable heterogeneous distributed
library systems (California Digital Library, 2008).
The emerging resource discovery applications
could mesh bot
h the real and virtual worlds with innovative applications for virtual references,
enhanced functiona
lities and increasing user interactivity.
Library portals
can be

equipped as a
starting point for research, even as the technology, resources and support should be brought
together
, however,

the various challenges are
still

elusive

and discovery products

and
implementation processes have some negatives too
. Libraries are under the pressure to find
viable models to sustain the library resources findable
to augment
end user discovery.
Illuminating the ground realities of search of resources Bates (2003), no
ted that:

people do not
just use information that is easy to find; they even use information that they know to be of poor
quality and less reliable

so long as it requires little effort to find

rather than using information
they know to be of high quality
and reliable, though harder to find.



Emphasizing the importance of cooperation for achieving resource discovery Breeding (2011),
stated that “to the extent that libraries favor this approach of discovery based on consolidated
indexes, they have an intere
st in the highest level of cooperation between the publishers and
providers from which they licence content and the organi
s
ations that offer discovery systems.”

16


Garraway (2010), described the below when adapting to unified resource discovery process in
Un
iversity of Auckland Library, New Zealand:

1.

Local data sources requiring development time to enable an export to Primo.

2.

Negative user reaction to response time of federated searching for remote data sources
resulting in this functionality being switched off
.

3.

Aggregated content in commercial databases that cannot be connected for federated
searching or is not available for pre
-
indexing.

As academic libraries
are building

up more digital
collections
nowadays,
the situation gets
complex

a
s Dempsey (200
3
) puts i
t “the digital environment is one that lacks consistency; it is as
if each book coming into the library was a different shape and had to be read in a different way.”
Moreover, the advanced features like semantic digital library, linked data, folksonomies,

faceted
infrastructure and Web 2.0 can be envisaged
for semantic web services

if

potentialities

of

web
-
based library services,
metadata re
-
use
, and open content development

are harnessed.

Rescaling
the library infrastructure with state
-
of
-
the
-
art facil
ities, web discovery layers and
migrating data
to
discoverability

undoubtedly became

need of the hour. The emerging information ecosystem
can be characteri
s
ed with the following challenges in developing unified discovery platforms for
sustainability:

Loca
l Indexing and

Custom Search Engines


As more and more information resources are born digital or converted to digital media, it is a
huge task for the web crawlers to index all the documents available on the Internet. Again the
success on retrieval of th
e web documents depends on the markup language schema and
keywords

and sitemaps

assigned to web
sites

for search engines MSN, Google and Yahoo to
retrieve. Getting information resources visible on the Internet search engines is a big challenge.
Developing a
pplications and tweaking the presence of heterogeneous information resources of
libraries for more visibility on web require long
-
term investment of organizations and librari
es
.
New search engine technologies, such as Endeca, FAST, and Lucene are promising

search
technologies. But, when the content of resources are not under library’s control, preprocessing
the multitudes of resources is not possible
, especially the hosted content and indexes

(Walker,
2009 p. 86). Customi
s
ed search engines are the area that

libraries
should
look up to
build
customised search engines to retrieve local web pages

such as library guides etc
. Library site
indexes, keywords of web pages should be more meticulous which enable library web pages
to

get
top
hits on the web
.

Reminding

to strategize the web presence of libraries Breeding (2008c)
added: “more than anything else, the key to increasing interest in your library's web presence
involves offering compelling and interesting content. Design your site to enhance, promote, and
del
iver access to the library's collections and services. While it's probably necessary to also
17


include information about policies, rules, and regulations, these are not what attract patrons to
your website.”


Future of Cataloguing and
Metadata Standards

I
n the rise of resource discovery

phenomenon
, the need for quality and consistency of
bibliographic records are widely questioned (Bade, 2008).
T
he future of bibliographic records
and cataloguing is debatable given the
evolving metadata

schema
s

and standard
s

for
bibliographic control.

Newer universal cataloguing standards and networking protocols
for
harvestable records,
subject
access points, indexing fields
in
catalogues
have to be deliberated
for their universal acceptance and consensus to keep the
moment
um
up

for

developing database
models,
sharable structures and metadata
frameworks
. As the granularity of metadata is
examined

for semantics
, its applications for ‘semantic web’ is
realisable

with research in the
frontiers of
linked data,
knowledge organisa
tion systems
and ontologies development. Even the
existing metadata standards and schemes like
Machine Readable Cataloguing (
MARC
)
,
Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS), Metadata Object Description Schema
(MODS) are paving the way to have imp
roved cataloguing standards and models
.

Resource
Description and Access (RDA)
,

standardised

i
nternational
a
uthori
ty

files
,

controlled vocabularies
and Resource Description Framework

(RDF)
models for resource discovery

are envisaged in that
direction
.

In o
rder to achieve the shareable data models with high level of
intelligibility,
interpretation and interoperability among various brands and generations of technical systems the
institution
s

and adaptations are critical (Bade, 2008).

In this connection,

OCLC
’s Virtual
International Authority File and FAST Linked Data

being
experimented jointly by Library of
Congress and OCLC

are the ongoing research projects
.

Web Scale Discovery Services
for Unified Access

and Interoperability

The library’s hybrid resources
in its entirety in a distributed environment with catalogue records,
cooperative catalogues, institutional repository collections, and e
-
resources complicate managing
the resources in a distributed environment and digital collections are posing a complex s
tructure
against the standalone collections of physical resources. Hence, bringing the siloed modules onto
the resource discovery platforms is a challenging task. The nature of digital collections is
difficult to manage as (Walker, 2009) puts it:

1.

Many dif
ferent


and emerging


metadata formats are used to describe the resources and
are not always applied consistently

2.

Complex licensing requirements make for complex presentation of the resources and
access to the resources

3.

Each resource typically has its ow
n interface and its own authentication method.

18


Moreover, as a key issue, ensuring interoperability to enable unified access extend their search
by increasing the opportunity for discovery of resources and providing additional resources
related to its local

collection (Pandian and Karissidappa 2007, p. 43). In a technology
-
enabled
distributed library ecosystem, interoperability means being able to search, browse, and retrieve
information from distributed libraries based on a variety of software solutions, se
arch and
retrieve protocols and metadata formats (Arms, 2000).
Architecting a comprehensive
digital
resource management model, the
future
library management systems
should be

robust,
scalable,
based on

service
-
oriented architecture

and software as a servic
e (SaaS) models
,
to
replace

the

monolithic legacy architectures of the past. The need of web scale discovery services is
necessitated
to have single, unified

search tool

seamless
ly

integrat
ed

for single or consortium
of
libraries
with shared

integrated lib
rary systems (ILS). With shared features among group of
libraries, it become easier to manage content, and services like library loans,
and
service requests
are more streamlined saving resources, staff time and cost.
. Sensing a desperate necessity for
res
ource discovery
Vaughan has
(2011) stated that the “library (or systems supported and
maintained by the library) is often not the first stop for research

or worse, not a stop at all.
Users accustomed to a quick, easy, “must have it now” environment have de
fected… given that
these
w
eb scale discovery services include or even primarily focus on indexing a large amount of
scholarly research, such services can serve as another tool in the library’s arsenal. Results
retrieved from these services


largely conten
t licensed / purchased by libraries


is accurate,
relevant, and vetted, compared to the questionable or opinionated content which may often be
returned through a web search engine query.”

Web scale discovery services are potential tools transforming the n
ature of library systems.
These tools are capable of indexing, searching across local content and

hosted

systems with
advanced retrievable features. There are
different

vendor products available in the market
, few
of them are OCLC
’s

WorldCat,
ProQuest’s
Summon, EBSCO
’s EBSCO

Discovery Services,
and
Ex Libris’s Primo
.

Developing Full
-
text
Metasearching Tools

As web presence of libraries is growing into a robust, sophisticated mechanism for resource
discovery, full text searching is necessary
.

U
nfortuna
tely OPACs of many software packages
provide advanced search features of retrieving bibliographic records, and none of them helpful in
full
-
text search. In complying to the library standards and protocols, SRU/W, Z39.50 feature, and
Dublin Core (DC) metada
ta
,

this has been tested by using a longitudinal study on Koha, GSDL
and Fedora Commons. Anuradha,
Sivakaminathan and
Kumar (2011), have demonstrated the
full
-
text indexing and searching features in Koha Version 3.0.2 by integrating it
with open source
dig
ital library software packages
-

Greenstone Digital Library Software (
GSDL

and

Fedora
Generic Search Service (FGSS), both independently. As information resources are diversified
, as

in
aggregation
s

as e
-
Journals, e
-
Books,
and digital collections, it is
e
xtremely
essential
facilitating full
-
text search

on library catalogues
.


19


Local
Holdings Vs.
Search
Display

Should

physical

and electronic holdings
of libraries
be displayed
by category
? Whether the entire
library resources should be indexed centrally or t
he hosted index should be displayed

separately

on library catalogues
?

Describing the transition of physical resources to digital collections Katz
(2011
)
wondered that

definitely it’s not a
stable playing field


from the experience
of
resource
discovery i
m
plementation
at

Villanova University
. He reasoned that
:

“Villanova's decision to
keep local holdings out of Summon and present two lists separately in our VuFind instance was
influenced by the sense that searching for book
-
like items in our physical locati
on and article
-
like items in our electronic holdings were two distinct tasks, and merging them into a single list
would potentially bury useful results in a sea of noise.”

It remains to be observed as to whether
different display options for local holdings

versus electronic holdings

should be differentiated
;
whether article level
and format level
display should be
maintained
. An example of different
catalogue search boxes is shown in figure 1 even as the search presentations approach
varies

one
library to a
nother
.

Burke (2011) had noted the three important searches which are federated
search, hybrid search and web
-
scale discovery for the library discovery services.

User Empowerment and Data Security

As Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 principles widen the concept of

user
-
centric approach, it is
increasingly important to equip library systems to be interactive enough for the users to tag,
create lists, and share
data
on the library portals

using social media and mobile apps
. As social
media is surging ahead crowdsourc
ing is getting populari
s
ed for achieving more visibility,
awareness and usage among different user groups. In the marriage of web 2.0 and social media
the sociali
s
ing web offer more benefits re
-
creating a wonderful experience for users to
recommend,
review
,
append and direct
peer groups

on the web

for finding information resources
.
Managing the users online through authorization and authentication is a critical area to ensure
data security
,
and
privacy of the patrons

should be given utmost importance.


Howe
ver,
accessibility and usage of
resources
by single

sign
-
on

access
and
necessity of
multiple
access
points
remains to be evaluated.


Concluding Remarks

As emerging discovery platforms for libraries offer enormous potential
,

they certainly
leverage

implem
entation of other web
-
based library services (Clarke, 2006). Transitioning to the next
phase in the library automation history, discovery platforms promise an impeccable

resource
discovery

experience for users, if the resources are relevant, contextual an
d convenient
, most
importantly retaining them on library portals
. For the researchers finding the right resources
through the medley of
overloaded
information resources is a demanding job and a pressing need
for which discovery platforms would give a major

fillip. Although the technological adaptation
and diffusion vary to different countries,
in
India
the library automation industry’s growth has
20


been rather
slack and sluggish.

S
till
,

as a growing economy
it
has tremendous potential to
transform
the library

experience and bring about the
much
-
awaited resource discovery existential
change.

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