Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

New Summit catalog for WSU

From our Library News feed (, here's some information on the upcoming new iteration of the Summit catalog used by WSU Libraries and by cooperating Washington and Oregon Libraries. We keep trying to make interlibrary loan easier and better, and hopefully this new version of Summit will help us in doing that.

New Summit Catalog Coming Dec 1
Post Time: 11/12/2008 1:02:11 PM
Posted By: (Corey Johnson)
Category: News

WSU Libraries, in cooperation with the 35 other WA/OR academic libraries of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, will be launching a new version of the Summit Catalog on December 1. We will be offering enhancements to the catalog while supporting Summit borrowing without interruption. New features include:

  • The addition of the 110 million book/media records from OCLCs WorldCat to those discoverable through Summit.

  • Access to about 50 million articles from OCLC databases such as ArticleFirst, British Library Serials, PubMed, and ERIC, through Summit.

  • An improved user interface with spelling assistance; book covers; post-search filters such as author, format, date, audience, language and topic; improved relevance ranking, syndication/tagging with online services like Google, Amazon and Facebook; citation creation tools and book reviews.

You can learn more about the new version of Summit at:

You can test a beta version of the new catalog at:
(You cannot order materials through this test instance of the new catalog.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

When librarians build a search engine...

I'm very curious to see what will come of Reference Extract, a web search engine "built for maximum credibility" that will weight results toward sites used heavily by libraries.

According to the article on Reference Extract in the Chronicle of Higher Education's Wired Campus, "The idea is to cull and promote recommendations from tens of thousands of librarians around the world."

I think this could be phenomenally cool, or a complete disaster. It would be nice to see a good marriage of search engine algorithms and librarian knowledge, something that would leverage the abilities librarians have developed as we evaluate information and attempt to teach others to do the same. It would be nice to have access to a search engine that was not so easily leveraged to bring up results corporations want us to see.

On the other hand, it often seems to me that librarians are really excellent at gathering and organizing information but not always so good at making it easily accessible to non-librarians.

Good luck, Research Exchange. I hope you do very, very well.