(M123) Beyond Boolean, towards thinking: discovery systems and information literacy

Posted in 4/6/2012 (1520-1635), Learning & Users | 2 comments

(M123) Beyond Boolean, towards thinking: discovery systems and information literacy

As discovery systems take the Library world by storm, there is a new opportunity for user-centred information literacy programs to emerge. As library search gets easier and varied platforms become unified, the focus of information literacy on search rules and platform choice and navigation will (finally) be able to truly give way to critical thinking and imaginative exploration.  These are skills and aptitudes that are needed well beyond the academic environment –making them much more meaningful and useful for many of our users.

This paper will explore how the adoption of discovery systems might impact various user groups in higher education environments – undergraduates, postgraduates, researchers, teaching faculty, etc.  How will these new tools impact our users?  How will our users utilize such tools? What do users need to learn to exploit these new systems effectively?  As we move away from strict search rules, will creativity, serendipity and cross-disciplinarity come to library search in new and fruitful ways?  How will this change the research experience?

The session will ground some of these broad questions in the experience of a medium-sized university library adopting a discovery system and rethinking its information literacy approaches. The Hong Kong Baptist University Library has a strong, curriculum- integrated information literacy program.  The Library is planning to adopt and implement a discovery system in the first half of 2012, and this session will illustrate how and where the adoption of the system is changing the learning outcomes and pedagogical approaches used in our information literacy outlook, offerings, collaborations and materials.

Dianne Cmor
Dianne Cmor Hong Kong Baptist University

Dianne Cmor is Head of Information Services at the Hong Kong Baptist University Library, where she and her team are responsible for developing, delivering and assessing a suite of user-oriented research and instructional services. She holds masters degrees in library and information studies and in English literature, and claims that she has no idea how she has ended up as a science liaison librarian!

Xin Li
Xin Li Hong Kong Baptist University

Xin Li is an Information Services Librarian at the Hong Kong Baptist University Library, where she develops and delivers a variety of reference, research and instructional services. Current interests lie in exploring the learning styles of the new generation of students and adapting her teaching to best serve them. She holds masters degrees in Library and Information Studies and in Asian Studies.


  1. Thank you for a great presentation. Could you send me your paper?

    I wish we had put more effort into thinking about how discovery would effect our information literacy program while implementing Discovery. Now they have to catch up and there seems to be a difference in how fast users and staff accept/adopt discovery services.

  2. So do we need to have information literacy programmes anymore? I can hear a loud “Yay!!” echoeing from way over at Kent Ridge. Haha! Its not going about search tools or rules, guys. So its more on the use of information. It would, thus, be focused on evaluation of sources, exploration, discernment of what students really need. Teach students content types, topic exploration (perhaps using a mindmap, looking from multi-disciplinary point). Fun times ahead!