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Dee Baldwin declared winner of best 2012 SLA paper

Dee Baldwin declared winner of best 2012 SLA paper

A great honor has been bestowed on Chapter President-Elect Dee Baldwin. With her colleagues Michael Kucsak and Alice Eng from University of North Florida, Dee did a presentation in one of the contributed papers sessions at the annual meeting in Chicago. Their paper, entitled “Don’t Touch that String! There Went the Database,” was judged the best among the papers submitted for presentation at the SLA 2012 Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO.

Traditionally, the winning paper has been published in Information Outlook; Dee’s paper is scheduled for publication in the September/October issue. An interview should also be published alongside the paper.

Here’s the paper’s abstract:

“Web discovery tools can change not only the way you search and retrieve information, but also, how you work with information. The University of North Florida has implemented web scale discovery tools. While the technical implementation was not without challenges, the most difficult changes were in the library culture. It was a great sea change for our library because we moved from over 26 different entry points to finding most materials in one search. Our students took to the new search tool with few problems; our staff and faculty were more resistant to the change.

Technical challenges included coordinating among all the various technology pieces to customize search, convert link resolvers, and reroute the proxy server. Lessons learned from these challenges were that no matter how much you prepare, there will be issues and there is no quick fix because it involves external entities than just the library to resolve an issue.

Cultural challenges were that faculty and staff had the perception that the discovery tool did not produce comparable results as when they did a search directly in a specific database. When we did a test of questions, we found that not only did the discovery tool return more accurate results but also, more relevant results from databases faculty and staff would not have thought to use. The issue then became one of training or retraining faculty and staff to learn how to refine searches in the discovery tool to achieve maximum results. We touched that string and unraveled all our previously held assumptions about web scale discovery tools.”

Congratulations Dee!


2 Responses to “Dee Baldwin declared winner of best 2012 SLA paper”

  1. Kathy Shearin says:

    Good job Dee, Michael, and Alice. You represented us well.


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