My biggest priority was to stop sending people to a million different websites and try to keep our visits on our own website.
Ipswich, Mass. (PRWEB) February 11, 2014
Richland Library in South Carolina has created a truly unique user experience for its library customers, with the help of EBSCO Discovery Service™ API (EDS API) from EBSCO Information Services. By implementing EDS API, Richland Library was able to use its own website applications for its discovery user interface and still provide users with all the functionality offered in EBSCO Discovery Service™ (EDS).
Although Richland Library wasn’t initially looking at discovery services, librarians soon realized after an evaluation that EDS API can help develop the ideal user experience while also enabling creative control for its library. EDS API is a unique solution that complements and enhances the search experience for libraries with custom discovery solutions by providing access to premium content available through EBSCO Discovery Service, as well as a robust set of features and functionality. With EDS API, libraries can integrate critical components of EDS into their library solution including rich metadata, superior relevancy ranking, full-text linking, (including SmartLinks™), persistent links, custom links, facets, limiters and expanders, and book jacket images.
Virtual Services Manager at Richland Library, Kelly Coulter, says they were focused on bringing services to their website so library customers could find what they were looking for with ease and also interact with the library in the way that they expect to. “My biggest priority was to stop sending people to a million different websites and try to keep our visits on our own website. That way we can control the user experience more than if we’re just a portal sending customers off to other websites.” Coulter recently gave a presentation at Computers in Libraries based on this goal entitled “The Ideal User Experience.” The presentation still gets visits every day—even nearly one year later.
Coulter explains how the process works for her library, “Our website makes an inquiry to EDS and passes along the search parameters. It then pulls back the information it can get from EDS and presents it on the library website in a way that’s formatted and styled to look like our website."
Coulter had a commercial background before coming to the library and knew what was involved in order to be the go-to information source for library patrons. “I know from my background outside of libraries that you can’t train your customer to do anything. It has to be easy for them or they’re going to go somewhere else. I knew we had this really limited window to grab them and give them what they needed before they were just going to go to Google.”
Coulter’s vision of bringing services into the website rather than sending people off the website was a huge undertaking and involved many members of her team but Coulter says working with EBSCO has been very positive. “Everybody at EBSCO has been great. It can be iffy whether someone is willing to kind of get down in the weeds with you to do some of these things. It’s an inconvenience for a vendor to revamp things or think about things in a different way. I’ve had a really good experience so far.”
Over the next few months, Richland Library hopes to do more usability studies and to see how the library customers are interacting with the library website. They plan to take advantage of some additional features and functionality that EDS provides including adding more facets to the interface to cater different user-level search needs.
EBSCO Discovery Service brings together the most comprehensive collection of content—including superior indexing from top subject indexes, high-end full text and the entire library collection—all within an unparalleled full-featured, customizable discovery layer experience.
About EBSCO Information Services
EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is the leading provider of resources for libraries including EBSCONET®, EBSCO’s total e-resource management system, and EBSCOhost®, the world's premier for-fee online research service, including full-text databases, subject indexes, point-of-care medical reference, historical digital archives and e-books. EBSCO provides more than 375 research databases and more than 500,000 e-books plus subscription management services for more than 360,000 unique titles including more than 57,000 online titles. Through a library of tens of thousands of full-text journals and magazines from renowned publishers, EBSCO serves the content needs of all researchers (Academic, Medical, K-12, Public Library, Corporate, Government, etc.). EBSCO is also the provider of EBSCO Discovery Service™ (EDS), which provides each institution with a fast, single search box for its entire collection, offering deeper indexing and more full-text searching of journals and magazines than any other discovery service. For more information, visit the EBSCO Web site at: http://www.ebsco.com. EBSCO is a division of EBSCO Industries Inc., one of the largest privately held companies in the United States.