Improving library resource discovery: exploring the possibilities of VuFind and Web-scale discovery

Danya E Leebaw, Brian Conlan, Kasia Gonnerman, Sarah Johnston, Christina Sinkler-Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Like many libraries, the Bridge Consortium (the shared library of Carleton College and St. Olaf College) had outgrown the existing catalog and needed to find an improved search interface for collections. Seeking something that would work with the existing Innovative Interfaces Inc.'s Millennium integrated library system, researchers explored everything from catalog enhancements provided by Innovative Interfaces to a completely separate, Web-scale discovery tool. For the past year, they worked to implement VuFind as a catalog overlay, continually customizing and enhancing it based on user feedback. At the same time, they continued to research a broader solution and recommended a discovery tool to their consortium leadership group that they believe will redefine student research at their colleges and give new shape and direction to their consortium. By thinking of discovery as more than a product and staggering their implementation, they were better able to meet their consortium's needs. This article details their evaluation process and provides reflection on the decisions made. Many libraries are considering Web-scale discovery products. As part of the process, they confront questions about open source tools, Web site redesigns, incorporating user feedback, and consortial needs. The researchers hope to contribute to these libraries' processes by outlining their process and considerations, and what they learned along the way to arrive at their current solution.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-189
JournalJournal of Web Librarianship
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • catalogs
  • User interface
  • library discovery tools


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