Volume 11 Number 1
What tools and techniques can we use to guide our students and other researchers to vetted, librarian- selected resources? This and other related questions continue to vex us even as progress is made.
More than half of the SUNY libraries have opted for the 360Search federated search software and service as, at least, a partial answer to this question. 360Search (from Serials Solutions) allows for a single search to be sent to multiple databases and other electronic resources simultaneously. Likewise, librarians can create groups of databases (and including the local library catalog and other OPACs) based on subject areas/research disciplines that are searched all at once.
With this development we see a partial fulfillment of one of the Shared Search & Discovery Services Committee's (SSDSC) recommendations to S.A.C. A superlative implementation will require attention to another of the group's recommendations. That is, the need for continued and renewed emphasis on bibliographic instruction.
Main campus contacts have begun working with Serials Solutions on 360Search implementation. The vendor requests information from the library about database groupings, subject categories, and software customization. That is then taken and put into place by the vendor. Approximately six weeks time is needed for the intial set-up.
OLIS acknowledges and commends the SUNY librarians involved in 360Search implementation. Full use should be made of the various Serials Solutions resources. In addition, a SUNY email group (email@example.com) related to Serials Solutions' products is a valuable resource. Those newer to federated search software can use the list to hear from those who have had more experience.
SSDSC's recommendation of 360Search was based partially on the positive views of Serials Solutions as a responsive and supportive commercial partner. This was also seen in the business dealings related to 360Search. Comparisons are a bit tricky, but the offering to SUNY was at approximately half of the regular cost. This, and instead of limiting the number of databases, the SUNY offer is for an unlimited number of commercial database connections. For the existing SUNY customers, this has meant increased capabilities for less money.
"As you know, as prior customers we are all set up so we should be OK. We appreciate the savings your good [OLIS] efforts are sending our way. It almost offsets the budget cut for this year." Maryruth Glogowski, Associate Vice President, Library & Instructional Technology, Buffalo State College.
In addition, the vendor has been accomodating in terms of credits/refunds for those existing customers -- Buffalo Center, Buffalo State, Empire, Erie, FIT, Fredonia, Jefferson, Nassau, Oneonta, Purchase, Rockland, Stony Brook, Stony Brook HSC, and Westchester. New 360Search libraries -- Alfred U./Ceramics, Brockport,Canton, Cayuga, Cobleskill, Columbia-Greene, Downstate,Dutchess, Finger Lakes, Geneseo, Herkimer,
Maritime, Monroe, New Paltz, Niagara, Potsdam,
Schenectady, and Suffolk.