library discovery, EBSCO Discovery Service, Encore, focus groups, surveys
The Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library, at The George Washington University, introduced Health Information @ Himmelfarb, a custom health sciences focused implementation of EBSCO’s Discovery Service (EDS) in the fall of 2012. Less than a year later, the Library Catalog was migrated to Innovative’s Encore. With two different discovery tools delivering some overlapping content and features, librarians wanted to know more about how the two services were being used.
A Discovery Task Force completed a staff focus group and a brief demographic survey of Health Information @ Himmelfarb users in spring 2015. All library staff who search the services were invited to the focus group. The demographic survey was embedded in Health Information @ Himmelfarb for three weeks and reached all users who accessed the service at that time.
The focus group revealed that staff use both discovery tools frequently and use them in somewhat different ways. Some needs were identified for follow up, including better integration of content from the main campus library. The demographic survey had 1,300 responses and confirmed that students were the primary audience for Health Information @ Himmelfarb and that they are using it primarily for class work. Use of Health Information @ Himmelfarb was evenly spread across the three schools Himmelfarb serves (Health Sciences, Public Health, and Nursing), and may indicate a continuing need to include a broad spectrum of resources in the service for searching. A follow up survey to learn more about user satisfaction with the two services is planned for fall 2015.
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