SINTO is holding a meeting to discuss local resource discovery on the 15th August.
A definition of resource delivery is the location and retrieval of specific information for library users from a network of collections. In many ways it is the same thing as cataloguing but it is applied to finding items from a number of collections rather than in a single library.
Today the term is generally used for finding information on the World Wide Web but in this meeting we will be looking at local resource discovery - how we can find books and journal articles for our users within the SINTO area. However we cannot ignore the fact that much information is available in electronic form via the Internet.
When looking for something the first step is to check our own library catalogues to see if we have the item in stock. If it is not available we need to explore resources outside our own library. Either we can locate the item and bring it into the library for the user or we can send the user to another library where they can use it.
This is what SINTO was originally set up to do. The scheme has grown and developed since then but the world of information has also changed. The time has come not just to review what we do but to ask why we are doing the things we do.
There are two paths to resource discovery in the SINTO area:
• Inter-library loan scheme. SINTO members can sign up to the local ILL scheme and agree to lend books and supply copies of articles to other members free of charge (except to cover direct costs).
• South Yorkshire Access to Libraries for Learning scheme (SYALL). SYALL members agree to allow the public access to their libraries for reference and study.
SINTO provides various tools to help with local resource discovery:
• The SINTO Directories. The SINTO ILL Directory provides contact details for ILL staff in all SINTO member libraries that take part in the ILL scheme. It also provides details of the online catalogues for libraries in the scheme.
• Learners' Guide to Libraries in South Yorkshire. This annual publication gives contact details for all libraries participating in the SYALL scheme
• Libraryfinder website. This is the online guide to libraries participating in the SYALL scheme. It can be searched by region, organisation and by broad subject headings.
• Sheffield Union List of Serials (SULOS). Many SINTO members list their periodical holdings on the periodicals catalogue of the University of Sheffield. A search of this catalogue will give locations not only for the University of Sheffield's libraries but of other libraries in the region.
Questions for the meeting.
1. What is the need for local resource discovery?
a. Do users still expect libraries to provide them with specific books and journal articles?
b. Is this still part of what your library service offers to its users?
2. What alternatives are there to local resource discovery?
a. Everything is available on the Internet - isn't it?
b. The British Library can provide any item - but what about costs?
c. There are other schemes such as the Unity System.
3. How useful is the current system of local resource discovery?
a. Is SULOS up to date?
b. Are library staff aware of the SINTO tools and do they use them?
c. Does the local ILL system work? Does it deliver access to items in a timely manner?
4. Are there alternative ways of providing a local document discovery service?
a. E.g. Instead of a network could requests be sent to a central hub which then passes them on to other libraries?
5. How should a local document discovery scheme be marketed?
a. I.e. how should the product be developed to meet customer needs and promoted?
The discussion will take place in a relaxed World Café format. If you are interested in attending please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org