Web scale discovery services (WSDS) are becoming widely adopted by
academic libraries for a number of reasons. These include, namely: to improve
the experience of students when searching for information; to offer a single
easy-to-use interface to the library comparable to that of Google; to increase
the visibility of the library resources; and to boost the use of quality resources
to advance learning and promote student success.
In 2012, the Durban University of Technology (DUT) implemented Summon, a
discovery service from Serial Solutions, to support the strategic objectives of
the library in pursuing seamless environments for access and delivery of library
resources. Apart from the Summon usage statistics, vendor usage statistics
for library databases, and library website statistics, there are no other
measures in place to determine the extent of Summon use at DUT.
The literature is abundant with models and approaches to evaluate electronic
information systems (EIS). This includes research on evaluating specific
aspects of WSDS, for example, selection and implementation, collection use,
usability and library instruction. The eVALUEd toolkit is purposely developed
for evaluation of EIS, and is used as a framework for the evaluation of
Summon. Using the themes and outcomes presented in the toolkit, and
supported by contemporary methodologies, this study provides a holistic
approach to evaluating Summon use among students, academics, and Subject
Librarians at DUT.
A case study method was used to investigate, gather, describe and analyse
data relevant to the research. The researcher used various survey methods to
collect data from the participants, including the use of questionnaires and
semi-structured interviews. The sample was drawn from first year students,
academics responsible for coordination of library training, and Subject
Librarians from the Faculty of Health Sciences. The findings provide comparative data on the information-seeking behavior of
students, the general use of library resources, the impact of information
literacy training on the use of Summon, the use of Summon for assignments
and projects, and the factors that determine the use or non-use of Summon
among the participants in the different courses. The study proposes new
ways in which Summon can be used, as well as a model to improve the use
of Summon at DUT.
Mini Dissertation (MIT)--University of Pretoria, 2015.