SMU Libraries are pioneering a revolutionary service that allows students and faculty to search the library the same way they search the Internet.
The Discover SMU Libraries service, found on the SMU Libraries’ homepage in the Quick Search box, lets users search thousands of the libraries’ resources – books, articles, newspapers, databases and more – from a single search box. The SMU Libraries are one of a handful of university library systems around the world who are pioneering this simple, instant search of library collections.
Studies show that students and faculty prefer the quality of information found in libraries, but find web-style searching simpler and more straightforward. The Discover SMU Libraries service is designed to mimic open web search methods, delivering the kind of content that only the library holds.
“Offering this revolutionary service to our community [was] a culmination of several months of investigation, evaluation and planning by SMU Libraries and Office of Information Technology staff,” said Toni Nolen, IT Services Librarian at Fondren Library Center, who led the implementation effort. “We are excited to introduce this user-friendly service that will help researchers find the best information provided by the SMU Libraries for their needs.”
The Discover SMU Libraries service was created by Serials Solutions, a Seattle-based company that specializes in developing technology that enables university libraries to more easily manage their electronic content collections. The company developed the service in conjunction with universities on three continents and also works with thousands of publishers to pre-load content into a single repository of information – much like the web, but specific to each library’s holdings. The service’s technology allows searching to be precise and fast so that students and faculty spend less time hunting for the right information.
The Discover SMU Libraries search includes records from the SMU Libraries catalog, SMU Libraries Digital Collections, Central University Libraries research guides, and may index some or all of the libraries’ databases and journals.