Call for Speakers: NERCOMP Shifting Models of Discovery & Access Day-long Workshop

NERCOMP Shifting Models of Information Discovery and Access SIG
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA February 1, 2010
Deadline for proposals: October 20, 2009


Libraries continue to migrate from out-of-the-box interfaces that search single collections to new products that promise, in various ways, to do a better job connecting people with the information they desire. OPACs are applying layers of lipstick, going open source, or fading away altogether, supplanted by new types of discovery tools. Federated search is mounting a comeback. Next-gen discovery tools promise to deliver the fabled single search box. Massive digitization projects are opening up the contents of books for discovery and–sometimes–retrieval. At the same time, proprietary, centralized projects like Google Books and OCLC’s WorldCat Local are developing alongside less centralized, more open initiatives like the Open Content Alliance, eXtensible Catalog project, VuFind, and LibraryFind.

In the morning of this day-long workshop, invited speakers will provide an overview of the changing discovery landscape and the major issues and players involved. The afternoon will consist of a lightning round featuring 5-10 minute demonstrations and/or discussions of individual products. Time will be built into the afternoon session for attendees who are not designated speakers to present briefly on products being considered or implemented at their own institutions. The day will end with an open discussion and a consideration of next steps.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS (Deadline: October 20, 2009)

We seek two types of proposals:

(1) Morning track (2-3 slots): presentations of 45-75 minutes by speakers who can address the changing discovery landscape and the major issues and players involved.

To apply for the morning track, please submit a written proposal which includes a description of your presentation and an estimation of how long it would be (45-75 minutes).

(2) Afternoon lightning round session (10-20 slots): short (5-10 minute) overviews and demos of specific tools and products. If your institution is using or considering any of the following products (or another next gen discovery or access tool that is not listed here), please consider blitzing us with a concise demo and review of your experience. While the focus is on higher education, we welcome speakers from all types of libraries who can offer perspectives that would be relevant for academic librarians.

To apply for the lightning round track, please send us your name, the name of your institution, the product that you will be demonstrating/reviewing, and whether/how long you have been using the product. The length of time available to speakers in the lightning round will depend on how many presenters there are; plan for 5-10 minutes.

Products we are interested in (we are happy to consider others as well):

  • Open-source ILS (e.g. Koha, Evergreen)
  • VuFind
  • WordPress (uses beyond blogging)
  • eXtensible Catalog (XC)
  • AquaBrowser
  • Endeca
  • LibraryThing for Libraries
  • WorldCat Local (or WorldCat Local QuickStart)
  • Ex Libris Primo
  • III Encore
  • Serials Solutions Summon
  • EBSCO Discovery Service
  • Any metasearch solution that you are happy with


Email your proposal to Emily Alling ( and/or Beatrice Pulliam ( no later than October 20, 2009. Please state whether you are proposing a morning (longer) or afternoon (lightning) session and include the names and institutional affiliations of all presenters. See the individual track descriptions above for additional proposal requirements.

Questions? Contact Emily Alling ( or Beatrice Pulliam (

Please feel free to share this announcement with potential speakers.

Thank you,

Emily Alling, Library Director, Rice-Aron Library, Marlboro College Beatrice Pulliam, Library Commons Librarian for Technology and Access, Phillips Memorial Library, Providence College