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The Future of Library Resource Discovery


Libraries have a strategic interest in the tools and technologies that facilitate the discovery of and access to the resources for the communities that they serve. These tools have seen steady advancement over recent decades, making great strides in the scope and depth of materials addressed and in providing library users ever more convenient ways to access these materials. The progress seen in the successive generations of technology beginning from online catalogs, to metasearch tools, to the current generation of index-based discovery services represents an incredible improvement. Yet many gaps remain relative to the potential of more universal access to the universe of content of interest to libraries and their users and obstacles remain that impede progress that NISO or other organizations can address. This paper provides an overview of the current resource discovery environment and discusses some of the possibilities regarding how these technologies, methodologies, and products might be able to adapt to changes in the evolving information landscape in scholarly communications and to take advantage of new technologies, metadata models, or linking environments to better accomplish the needs of libraries to provide access to resources. It include recommendations that can be addressed in the short term through a possible extension of the NISO Open Discovery Initiative as well as longer-term efforts that investigate how evolving technologies such as open linked data can be operationalized.