Saturday, January 24, 2009

Midwinter --3. Google for libraries?

At the Serials Solutions breakfast they introduced a new beta product, Summon.
Jane Burke described federated searching as a, "mature technology" well if that is mature then it is going nowhere because it sucks. But this new product is quite cool.
They want you to think of it as Google for libraries or a 'unified discovery tool." Lots of people have said that before, including many federated search fans, but this really is impressive. They pre-index your content (since their Knowledge Base already knows what databases you have access to and what digital content you subscribe to.) The user searches in a very Google like interface and gets immediate access to fulltext with one click. Expect to hear more about this. Now it just depends on how they price it. If we can ditch MARC records for digital journals in the catalog, the federated searching module, and perhaps iLink for our OPAC, this might be worth it.

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