Development of the Library Gateway – Rod Aiken (Sheffield Hallam)

The issues:

  • Growing number of resources to search

Lots of differnet resources and silos for students to search. The students didn’t understand all the various acronyms.

Which resources should they use and how do they know which is the right one to search?

Part of the solution was to implement LibGuides.

The next solution was to create a web gateway to the entire library, but students still found the site confusing — too many links and lists! The page was just too busy.

If Google had been designed by librarians, we would have found plenty of things to put in all that whitespace!

  • Speed

Federated searching is just way too slow and annoyed the students.

  • Availability

Students annoyed by being unable to access content the library doesn’t subscribe to.

The Solution


Adding a single Summon search box to the Library Gateway allowed SHU to greatly simplfy the Library Gateway web site.