While the Discovery Services Advisory Group (DSAG) has been active since 2016, some of our Library colleagues may not know what the group does or who is involved, so here are details about the group’s purpose, activities, accomplishments and membership.
Prior to DSAG’s formation, a number of Library initiatives were carried out through three councils (User Structures, Assessment and User Experience). Some of those councils had task forces and working groups, one of which was the Summon Working Group.
As the council structure changed, there was still a need for the kind of cross-departmental, widely representative discussion that they enabled, particularly in the Summon Working Group. DSAG began as a continuation of that group, but with a broader perspective. Summon is still the discovery system that the Library uses to integrate searching across our databases, so DSAG does still evaluate new Summon features and responds to issues that users report with Summon. But the group also looks at the impact of discovery tools across all of our systems, and keeps up to date with trends in discovery systems at other Libraries and via other vendors. (See Discovery Services Advisory Group Charge)
The Discovery Services Advisory Group provides guidance in carrying out Goal 3, Strategic Initiative 7 “Develop, improve, and unify discovery systems to meet a range of user needs” from the Library’s Strategic Plan. The group has been particularly active in advising on the development of the new Library home page “Search” tool, which now integrates results from Summon and other sources in a way that helps less experienced searchers recognize what they’re looking for in a set of results.
Some members of DSAG, along with former member Joelen Pastva (now at Northwestern) are currently engaged in conducting a Systematic Literature Review of publications that assess discovery systems (not just Summon). This kind of activity helps the group to establish expertise in the range of discovery systems people are using, how well they work, and what the Library community is doing to improve them.
The group also evaluates the connections between related Library systems, suggesting improvements where possible, so that students and researchers can have a seamless research experience, whether the item they need is available electronically, on our shelves, or via InterLibrary Loan.
DSAG members are:
Bob Sandusky (co-chair)
Tracy Seneca (co-chair)