Library Technology Updates
Throughout the summer and into the fall, the Libraries have been actively engaged in developing and deploying new and innovative technologies to enhance access to Library collections and services. These special initiatives both supplement and complement Library pursuits in the areas of Scholarly Communication, eScholarship@BC, collection analysis, and other digital initiatives.
Here are a few summaries:
LibX Library Toolbar is a Firefox plug-in that gives your web browser quick access to Boston College Libraries' electronic resources. With LibX installed in your Firefox browser, all the power of Quest Library Catalog, FindIt full-text finder, Google Scholar, and more are just a click or two away. Visit the Libraries' page on LibX at BC for more information and a download link.
Research Guides are not new to the Library web site, but the way in which we create them has changed, using software called LibGuides. LibGuides@BC, created and maintained by Boston College librarians, provides research sources, strategies, and support to the Boston College community. Individual guides cover broad subject areas, specific topics, and general research techniques. There are four basic ways to access individual LibGuides: select by subject category from the Boston College Libraries' website; click on a tag or search from the LibGuides @BC home page; browse an alphabetical list; or connect via your Facebook account.
New Libraries web site
As with other campus units, the Libraries are migrating to the University’s new content management system. This process will result in a completely redesigned Library web site for the Spring 2008 semester.
Super Sleuth BETA
The Boston College Libraries are Charter Members of a small group of eight U.S. universities who are first-adopters of the Primo system, which is the system that drives Super Sleuth.
What is Super Sleuth, and what does it have to offer our users?
Users expect quick, easy and effective searching and retrieval of information and this is an attempt to be a one-stop solution for the discovery and delivery of local and remote resources, such as books, journal articles, and digital objects. Currently, users often have to search separate systems to find the information they need.
Web 2.0 Services
Super Sleuth also adds "Web 2.0" type features to the search interface. Web 2.0 refers to a second generation of Internet-based services - such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies - that let people collaborate and share information online in ways previously unavailable. Fundamentally, Web 2.0 acknowledges that users add value to the data provided by a given system.
In this spirit, Super Sleuth adds Web 2.0 interactivity to the catalog:
- The search results can be refined by using facets built on the fly by the system
- Users can add their own tags to records
- Users can create reviews and comments on records
- Users are offered a Google-like "Did you mean?" alternative when potential misspellings in search terms are found
- Users can push records/search results to Connotea http://www.connotea.org/ and to del.icio.us http://del.icio.us/
Super Sleuth is still very much in development and we will be assessing its effectiveness with a variety of users. Please feel free to contact me with any comments or suggestions.
Finally, a reminder about Google Scholar, which was mentioned in the summer 2007 Newsletter. The Libraries have made their e-journal holdings available to Google Scholar, so that Google presents accurate FindIt@BC links with your search results. To take advantage of this, you must set your Google Scholar preferences (click on Scholar Preferences to the right of the Search Box and then select Boston College Libraries (FindIt@BC) under Library Links).
Head of Reference and Instructional Services