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Saturday, November 8 • 11:45am - 12:15pm
Thinking the Unthinkable: A Library Without a Public Catalogue

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Two years ago Utrecht University Library in the Netherlands made the unconventional decision to focus on delivery instead of discovery. We noted that our users find their research and teaching material more and more outside the framework of the library, in larger and stronger search engines like Google Scholar. This makes the catalogue as a discovery tool less relevant. Our principle idea is that it does not matter where our patrons find their material. What matters is that they can use the relevant material they find. This idea had major implications for both our library and our users. In 2012 we decided to shut down the discovery system Omega, custom-made for finding electronic material owned by our library, and not to implement another library discovery service. After nine months of preparation, on September 1st, 2013, Omega closed. Now we have decided to close our own public, traditional library catalogue too. Instead, we want to guide our users to find our collections through better and modern web-search engines.We think that there is no future for library discovery tools. In the presentation I will explain how we came to our decision to focus on delivery instead of worrying about discovery. I will tell what actions we undertook to prepare ourselves and our patrons to a new situation and I will show what obstacles we still have to overcome to facilitate delivery. And, of course, I will give an impression of the reaction of users to the recent changes in our library.

avatar for Coen Wilders

Coen Wilders

Subject Librarian History, Utrecht University Library
Dr. Coen Wilders (1978) is a subject librarian history at Utrecht University Library, amongst others involved in projects related to collection management and Open Access.

Saturday November 8, 2014 11:45am - 12:15pm EST
Ashley Room, Courtyard Marriott 125 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401