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KohaCon12: Ebsco’s EDS and Koha

Jun - 7 - 2012
Nicole C. Engard

KohaCon

Up this morning is Lee Miller from the Butte-Silver Bow Public Library. Lee has asked us to close our laptops for the start of her talk – but I am the exception so I can blog her talk! She wanted us to be left without a connection during her talk to show that there are people out there who are not as lucky as us to have broadband.

Discovery also addresses the issue of the digital divide. Lee gave us many stats from PEW Internet & Research Studies. I did not get all of the numbers down so please check their reports (Wireless Internet Users and Pew Internet: Mobile).

Some stats:

  • There are 82.2 million smart phone users with Android having 42% of the market.
  • The total cell phone ownership in the US is 4 our out 5 people.
  • The use of smart phones in the second and third world is also on the rise, because the barrier to entry is much lower.
  • 80% of Whites in the US own cell phones
  • 87% of African-Americans and English-speaking Latinos in the US own cell phones
    • They are 4x more likely to use their phones for internet actions than whites

Lee asked us to look at the internet on cell phones. And then encouraged the developers in the room to start thinking about making Koha more mobile friendly.

The above is why Lee is looking for an outside discovery service because she wants her patrons (who are using cell phones and mobile devices to get information) to be able to find things easily. The ILS is just one of the resources the library has. We also have subscriptions to databases, links to Facebook, downloadable ebooks and links to our Flickr collections. The problem is that to get to those resources you have to click a different link to get to them. On a mobile device clicking many times is a great way to send people away from the library and to Google (where it’s one click). So what we need is a way to show all of our holdings to our patrons in one interface that’s easy and friendly to use. The option that Lee is looking at is EDS from Ebsco.

Lee showed the the Montana Shared Catalog (which I can’t provide direct links to because of session IDs – a pet peeve of mine with many proprietary systems) to show how it links all that content together – here’s a screenshot:

Note on the left the ways to filter by content and on the right the inclusion of videos and images on the results.

What I get from this is that we need to come up with an open source tool that can do what this tool can because I only looked at it for a little bit and while it’s neat that it brings everything together there are many many things that make it not terribly accessible.

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