Smulewitz raised several questions regarding the implications of the UMDNJ merger for DIG. In particular, she highlighted the need for a merger plan pertaining to e-resources and systems. She proposed an RUL-wide meeting to discuss matters related to collections analysis, product licensing, authentication protocols, and systems administration. Deodato mentioned the AUL-RIS’s report at a recent NBLF meeting which suggested that several committees are in place to address these concerns and a joint meeting of these groups is scheduled for January. Regardless, DIG will obviously want to keep abreast of developments to ensure that the products it administers meet the needs of UMDNJ users. McDonald mentioned that he and Hoover are planning to meet with UMDNJ reps to learn more about their system requirements. In the meantime, Deodato will schedule a meeting with the AUL-RIS to assess the impact of the merger on issues related to RUL’s federated search, link resolver, and indexes & databases. Pending the approval of the AUL-RIS, DIG will also invite UMDNJ’s Systems Librarian (Fengzhi Fan) to its February meeting to discuss how the group can best serve the needs of UMDNJ users.
This semester DIG held two “refresher” workshops on the features, functionality, and configuration of Searchlight. Now that more librarians have had an opportunity to increase their familiarity with the product, DIG intends to issue a second call to selectors inviting their input on its configuration. Selectors will be asked to review the current configuration and suggest any changes to the databases assigned to their subject area(s). Deodato will request an opportunity to present the invitation at an upcoming LRC meeting.
At its August meeting the committee had decided to postpone the release of a redesigned custom Searchlight interface. Deodato asked whether the group wished to move ahead with the new interface for the start of the spring semester. McDonald noted that the timing would conflict with the website redesign effort and that some of the coding for the interface has yet to be completed. He added that the move to a new discovery layer would likely pre-empt the need for a separate Searchlight interface but the design work that went into it could be usefully applied to whatever product might replace it.
Given that RUL may be considering replacing its current link resolver, the group debated whether link resolver testing should be dropped as one of this year’s annual goals so that its members can devote more time to higher priority projects. The group had begun testing last year but the results were invalidated due to faulty data collection methods. Rather than continue testing the current product, the committee decided to devote its efforts to revising the protocol so that is available to test whatever product might replace it.
Another one of DIG’s goals for the year includes holding staff workshops on “Get it @ R.” Deodato called for volunteers to coordinate the presentation. Some members questioned the value of demonstrating a product that might soon be replaced. Others suggested that the basic principles of openURL were the same regardless of product. The item was tabled for the next meeting when the group might have more information about whether a product switch was likely and other members of the committee with greater expertise in this area would have an opportunity to comment.
Deodato announced the formation of the Webscale Discovery Service Evaluation Team charged with the task of researching, evaluating, and selecting a discovery service for RUL. The team will be chaired by Smulewitz and Deodato and features several members of DIG. The group briefly discussed the recent product demos, the last of which (Ex Libris’ Primo Central) is scheduled for tomorrow. It was pointed out that while the demos were informative, attendees may not have been prepared to ask critical questions at that point. One of the first tasks of the evaluation team will be to develop an assessment rubric which will be used to comparatively evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each product. This will be an important tool for framing future discussions. Additional demos or vendor meetings can be scheduled at a later date if necessary. EBSCO has already set up a trial for EDS. The link can be found on the DIG Sakai site with today’s meeting documents. The trial is not fully configured (i.e., it doesn’t include our catalog records) and has not yet been shared RUL-wide. DIG members are encouraged to check out the preview and share their thoughts.
Smulewitz suggested scheduling a meeting with EBSCO representatives to discuss outstanding issues related to Searchlight and LinkSource. Smulewitz, Pecoraro, and Warwick will work on compiling a list of concerns to be submitted for review and let the group know when the meeting is set.
Since the December meeting was pushed back later in the month, DIG’s January meeting will be cancelled. The group will resume its regular schedule the following month. The next meeting will be held on February 13th at 10am.
Meeting adjourned at 11:45am
Respectfully submitted by Joseph Deodato