Research News

Heard Libraries’ rebuilt digital footprint to enhance scholarship

Library users will experience faster, more robust searches and other digital improvements that foster learning and discovery, thanks to the July 24 launch of a new integrated library system, a refreshed website and a new online course readings system.

“Our overall goal has been to match the scholarly ambitions of our faculty and students with major technology improvements that bring print, electronic and digital materials into a single interface,” said University Librarian Valerie Hotchkiss.

Features of the integrated library system include the ability to personalize the web view and intuitive methods to save and share findings.

The new system, developed by the Israeli software company ExLibris, is a leader in its field, according to Hotchkiss. “Libraries at Harvard, Princeton, Emory and Duke universities, the British Library, and others around the world are working together to continuously improve and evolve the research capabilities of the system,” she said.

Campus training sessions will be scheduled in the fall, and short videos that explain how to find books, journals and other materials through the new system will be uploaded soon.

A total of 821 survey responses from students, faculty and staff as well as focus groups across campus have played an important role in shaping the new system’s features, Hotchkiss said. Library staff members have worked over the past several months to make a smooth transition.

Meanwhile, the refurbished library website offers a cleaner, streamlined layout that aims to be fully integrated with the university’s overall website design. The site is mobile-friendly and meets web accessibility standards. Features include prominent search boxes on all of the homepages and smaller search boxes at the top of every secondary page.

For the new academic year, faculty and students will also benefit from a new course readings system, which strives to boost student engagement with library resources and embedded librarians. Faculty will be able to create course reading lists quickly and easily with the application, which is accessed via Brightspace.

Click the feedback page to ask questions and leave comments about the new integrated library system and redesigned website.