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Principle 4: Discovery

4. Discovery: Libraries enable users to discover information in all formats through effective use of technology and organization of knowledge.

4.1 The Library organizes information for effective discovery and access
4.2 The Library integrates library resource access into institutional web and other information portals
4.3 The Library develops resource guides to provide guidance and multiple points of entry to information
4.4 The Library creates and maintains interfaces and system architectures that include all resources and facilitates access 
from preferred user starting points
4.5 The Library has technological infrastructure that supports changing modes of information and resource discovery
4.6 The Library provides one-on-one assistance through multiple platforms to help users find information


To address these points the Library draws upon feedback provided through the 2015 and 2018 LibQUAL surveys, a national measure of patron response to physical and virtual library structures, usage statistics of the library website, informal observation of patrons, and feedback from students and professors during and following instruction.  


The Library’s online catalog records meet professional standards as the backlog continues to decrease, thanks to the Library’s long-term plan to process materials, which includes outsourcing materials to Mansfield University cataloging.  


Students and other researchers have numerous access points for services and resources.  There are research guides for disciplines taught at BU, for specific BU courses, and for other principal areas such as University Archives and Special Collections. The Library’s website has gone through several iterations in the last five years, to improve navigational, educational, and aesthetic attributes, and a new online catalog was implemented, with greatly improved navigation and aesthetics.  Library personnel have taken the first step in integrating the Library’s services and resources into the University’s course management system, implementing an LTI (learning technology interoperability) tool with the assistance of the instructional designers. 


The overall frequency of one-to-one research guidance has fluctuated somewhat during the last 5 years but has been trending slightly upwards for the last two years. Dips in numbers some years may be attributable to external events such as curricular scheduling and library faculty members leaving while increases may be attributable to an increased library presence in New Student Orientation and increased library instruction to first year students, making students more aware of research guidance.  The use of the on-call research guidance model continues to work well, based upon experiences of Library faculty, Library staff, and students and other patrons.  In addition to the on-call system, the business librarian continues to schedule himself in Sutliff Hall for research guidance with Business, Economics and Instructional Technology students.     


Library personnel are dedicated to investigating and implementing technological options that support student research and research instruction.  The Library’s website is already easily accessed by mobile devices. Library staff have assumed a greater role in using the online chat system to field basic questions and to make referrals to library faculty. The library website is continually revised to make it more user friendly and up-to-date with current good practices

4.1 Effective Discovery & Access

4.1 The Library organizes information for effective discovery and access.



The Library provides a catalog of its holdings, owned and leased. In 2017, the Head of Cataloging and the Library Systems Manager provided veteran leadership within PASSHE for the migration of all KLN school catalogs from Voyager to ALMA/Primo. This was a tremendous undertaking for the 14 schools, necessitated by the catalog coming to end-of-life, The decision was made to migrate to Alma/Primo software, owned by Ex Libris. The decision was based on functionality, ease of implementation, and affordability. Many hours of training at the Dixon Center as well as online training were completed by BU Library staff and Library faculty to implement the new software.  

Bibliographic information is included in the online catalog for Library-owned materials in all formats (e.g. print books, journals, and government documents, media, microforms, digital materials) as well as for leased print or demand-driven ebook collections, and subscription collections of ebooks, streaming music, and streaming video. The Library uses shared community catalog records for electronic materials, including ebook and video aggregators, adding and withdrawing records as they become available from the aggregators.  

The catalog records are regularly harvested and added to the Library’s discovery service, Ebsco Discovery Service (EDS), branded as Search Everything @ BU. This harvesting is essential for the discovery of the many ProQuest ebooks and streaming videos to which the library has access, primarily because integration of ProQuest products withing EBSCO databases is problematic due to the competitive nature of their business models. Adding records to the catalog circumvents those problems and make these resources visible to users. 

The catalog currently contains information on approximately 1,228,000 print and electronic titles. Enhancement of bibliographic records for print books with tables of contents and/or summaries is provided in-house and by vendor services in order to facilitate keyword access.  Authority control is applied automatically via the online library system to headings for all owned adult or electronic materials in order to ensure consistent, complete subject and name access regardless of changes in terminology over time.  Juvenile Collection materials use a different classification system common to school libraries and updates are handled separately.  Care is exercised in the classification of print books to ensure consistency and appropriateness and, consequently, the grouping of like materials on the shelves and in the catalog for effective physical and online browsing discovery.   

Archives and Special Collections 

The Library provides finding aids for archival and special collections materials. 

Metadata for those digitized Archives and Special Collections materials available via the ContentDM interface includes keyword-searchable summaries, captions, and transcripts, while the newspapers and magazines digitized through Olive and the publications through the Internet Archive are completely full-text searchable. 

Institutional Repository (IR) 

The Library has made further progress in implementing its institutional repository (IR). In the summer of 2019, the first items, a collection of DNP projects, were added to the Islandora IR, which is maintained by the Keystone Library Network Hub. The addition of the items brought several issues to light. The BU Archivist, in consultation with other PASSHE archivists using Islandora and personnel at the Hub, did some customization work which improved the data entry, but the public interface remained unappealing. Library faculty chair and the Archivist initiated discussion among their PASSHE peers about options for improving the Islandora public interface, independently investigating other options, including a new software IR (Hyku) being developed by the regional library consortia PALCI, of which BU is a member. They also organized and led a discussion group at the annual SSHELCO (State System of Higher Ed Library Consortium) in April 2020, titled “Where Do We Go From Here? Transforming a Shared Open Source Institutional Repository in an Era of System-ness,” attended on Zoom by over 40 people.  

From that discussion, Andruss Library decided to continue further development of Islandora to develop a better public interface, using the assistance of a technician at Slippery Rock with experience customizing Islandora. The Library Director approached the SRU library director, who allowed one-quarter of a library technician’s time to be shared among the KLN schools to customize the interface. As a result, Andruss Library was able to publish a draft of a relatively improved landing page for its IR. Due to reduced funding for summer librarian work due to COVID, BU librarians were unable to work on the IR during the summer. With the start of fall semester, the library director, archivist, and library faculty chair decided to participate in the PALCI Hyku pilot to compare it to Islandora for functionality, ease of use, and cost. Planning was done to have the library graduate assistant add materials to Hyku, such as graduate theses and research posters, to pilot and evaluate the workflow. The theses have also been cataloged and added to the library catalog for ease of discovery. 

The Library makes efforts to organize and facilitate access to all its materials. Contract cataloging has been enlisted for the uncataloged library materials noted in the last review, and over 1000 of these items have been incorporated into the collection so far, with more in process.  Records for DDA and EBA ebooks as well as all owned or perpetual access ebooks are included in the public catalog for ease of discovery, with titles added and deleted monthly.  Archival and special collections materials are organized and added if they are suited to the foci of the collections and as they become available. 



Patrons have access to Library resources that are organized according to universal good professional practices.  Patrons have access to a structure that provides intellectual connections from one item to another via the organizational schema within the catalog.   

Patrons have access to the Library’s archival and special collections materials through the finding aids.  Patrons have access to a structure that provides intellectual and structural connections based on provenance. 

Patrons will have access to student research materials (theses and projects) online through the institutional repository, and students benefit by being able to build their online presence for future employment and studies.  The University will benefit its recruiting efforts. 

Patrons, regardless of location, have access through the Library’s website to structures that provide intellectual connections and concrete finding information for all the Library’s collections.  

Patrons will have access to the additional valuable backlogged materials and archival/special collections materials as they become available. 

4.2 Integrates Library Resource Access

4.2 The Library integrates library resource access into institutional web and other information portals.


The Library’s website/resources are available via secondary links from the University’s main page, but there is no direct link from the University’s main page. 

The Library has increased its presence in BOLT, the University’s learning management system.  In collaboration with IMDC staff, the Library faculty chair worked during spring and summer 2020 so that content from the library website would be added automatically to BOLT courses, by matching the course metadata to specific research guides, Databases A-Z, and librarian experts. The information appears in BOLT under Resources. Course instructors have an additional option to use a tool for posting specific library resources in their course content area.  The Library is developing a plan to educate students and faculty about the integration of library content into BOLT. And of course, some subject faculty continue to add library faculty to their BOLT courses, primarily first year seminar courses, as Course Builders or Assistant Instructors so that they can manually add content and interact directly with students.   

The Library continues to participate in the Library Links program for Google Scholar. This popular subset of the Google search engine enables students and faculty to access library-subscribed or library-purchased materials through a Google Scholar search both on and off campus by working with the Library’s link resolver, which makes article-level links to full text or to an interlibrary loan form available. The Library also participates in the Library Search program through its membership in WorldCat, a heavily used catalog of library holdings worldwide to which the Library submits its holdings’ records.   


The Library makes archival and special collections materials widely available electronically via ContentDM, the Internet Archive and Olive.  


The Library continues to provide a unified login process for off-campus patrons. Students and faculty use the same login information to access the Library’s online resources as they do their email, online course management system, and their individual student information account.     



Students and other patrons can access the Library website from the University’s main webpage via second-level links. 
Students have direct access to the Library’s homepage as part of a set of general universal links within the learning management system, and now also have access to course-specific Library resources that are matched automatically using course metadata.  

Through Google Scholar, students, faculty, and staff can identify and access full-text, and can also access the Interlibrary Loan form to request a print article via document delivery, or an unavailable article via Interlibrary Loan. With Covid-19, the majority of students have been working off-campus, and the Library has been made aware that many are having difficulties using Library Links in Google Scholar. The Library plans to develop additional instructional materials to make the process more understandable to students. 

Students and other patrons can identify BU materials listed in WorldCat.  Furthermore, because the University participates in a network of worldwide sharing, they can also request materials through Interlibrary Loan. 

Students and other patrons can find and use electronically available archival and special collections materials. 

Students, faculty, and staff have a central login point on the library website, which minimizes obstacles for students and faculty researching both on-campus and off. 

4.3 Resource Guides

4.3 The Library develops resource guides to provide guidance and multiple points of entry to information.


Library faculty create research guides and web pages for a wide array of audiences and purposes, including ones for students, faculty, and other audiences such as Pennsylvania residents, Bloomsburg University student clubs, fellow librarians at BU and elsewhere, and local high school students.   

Library faculty have made discipline-specific research guides, to provide specialized guidance and resources on a broad or introductory level. These discipline-specific research guides increase the visibility of Library services for students and faculty.  

Library faculty have also made course-specific Research Guides, to treat nuances of research pertinent to some courses in the curricula; guides are often created at the request of faculty members, and librarians typically create unique guides to support information literacy instruction sessions. These guides are offered each time there is instruction and routinely made available through the Library’s website and, with the instructor’s permission, through BOLT.  In summer 2020, course-specific and discipline-specific Research Guides were also made available  automatically in BOLT through an LTI tool which matches metadata, under Resources.  

Further, the Library faculty have developed extensive Special Topic guides on research-related topics, such as APA Guide 7th Edition, Census 2020, Open Educational Resources (OER), and Where Should I Publish My Article? as well as community-related guides including Census 2020, Genealogical Research, and Opioid Addiction Resources. 



Through user surveys following instruction and informal feedback, students and other patrons report that the guides are useful, and the guides provide a sense of ownership, structure, and easy access to resources needed for assignments.   

Students and faculty have access to searchable Archives and Special Collections web pages and resources using the LibGuides search feature on the Library homepage.  

Faculty and graduate students use special topic guides developed by Library faculty to help them with their scholarship and publication.  

4.4 Interfaces & System Architectures

4.4 The Library creates and maintains interfaces and system architectures that include all resources and facilitates access from preferred user starting points.


Library Website  

The Library provides a website for online discovery.  The Library uses the Springshare suite of products, including the LibGuides CMS platform which it has used to create its website to organize and provide access to all library resources, for use on-campus and remotely.  

The Library maintains and updates its own website to organize and facilitate access to Library resources. The Library uses Springshare’s LibGuides CMS platform for its entire Library website. Library personnel continually work to update the homepage and all associated pages in response to patron feedback and new options and apply LibGuides platform upgrades. The webpages for Archives and Special Collections were migrated to the LibGuides platform during Summer and Fall 2015 so the Library website is more cohesive.  Oversight of the site has been shared by two library faculty members, the Database Coordinator and the Government Documents Coordinator, with assistance from the Library Faculty Support staff member. Major updatings of the website have been done in summer 2015 and 2018; another one is currently underway, begun spring 2020 under the guidance of the new library faculty member.  

Discovery Search 
The Library continues to provide EBSCO’s Discovery Search (EDS) as its discovery layer. EDS enables researchers to look for books, journal articles, audiovisual materials, and digital archives in one interface. The Library uses a widget, branded Search Everything @ BU, on the Library’s homepage; the widget was modified September 2015 so that searches were limited to results from the Library’s collections and subscriptions in order to benefit the broader base of less experienced users. Library personnel continue to monitor user experience and needs. 

In 2018, the Library database coordinator managed the migration of the Library’s link resolver, which links out to electronic resources and an interlibrary loan form, from one vendor (ProQuest) to another (EBSCO) primarily to save money. Some functionality was lost with the migration, such as the ability to do overlap analysis, but overall, the transition has worked adequately. 

The Library is a dues-paying member of the Keystone Library Network consortium, the staff of which creates, maintains, and troubleshoots the system architecture for the Library catalog and associated discovery mechanisms.  In addition, the KLN assists in the development of architectures for Archives and Special Collections. 



Students and other patrons find EBSCO’s Discovery Search very effective and easy to use. However, it is not a perfect system; sometimes owned materials do not appear when they should or non-requestable materials are included when they should not be. Nevertheless, usage of EDS continues to be strong. Through observation during research guidance interactions, many if not most students begin their research in EDS. 

Librarians and staff members have a website development software that makes it easier and less time-consuming to maintain pages and guides.  They know that some transitions will require additional technical support. 

Based on usage statistics, students and other patrons heavily use the EDS interface compared to other database interfaces. The ease of use of EDS contributes to students’ feeling of efficacy in search; in the 2015 and 2018 LibQual survey, no faculty or students reported difficulty doing research independently using the Library website, an improvement from the 2012 survey in which a significant number of students did report difficulty.    

Students and other patrons have access to a current website because the latest version of LibGuides makes it easier to maintain and update. 

BU students, faculty, and staff have access to all of the Library’s electronic resources remotely using Single Sign On.  

Students and other patrons can navigate easily from databases to full-text articles or to an Interlibrary Loan form via Full Text Finder. Furthermore, users can also easily navigate from Google Scholar to full-text articles and an Interlibrary Loan form because the Library participates in Google’s Library Links and Library Search programs.   

Students and other patrons find the new library catalog an improvement over the previous catalog, based on anecdotal evidence and observation. 

Students and other patrons continue to have access to finding aids for archival and special collections materials via system architectures (Archives Space) supported by consortium staff. While LibGuides hosts all other information related to archives and special collections holdings, Archives Space provides access to standardized finding aids listing the contents of the collections and serve as their online catalog. 

Users overall appear satisfied with the Library website; usage has remained fairly constant with some growth, with the exception of semesters impacted by COVID-19, which saw a decrease. Although the Library uses Google Analytics, there is currently no procedure for review of the data to reveal patterns of use

4.5 Technological Infrastructure

4.5 The Library has technological infrastructure that supports changing modes of information and resource discovery.


The Library has the ability—through University, consortial, and vendor services—to make purchased and subscribed digital materials discoverable through the online catalog and the Library website.  The wireless network is accessible throughout the building and the campus. The Library has optimized the mobile interface for its web site.  Additionally, full text access to BU resources is available through Google Scholar. 

The Library offers EBSCO’s Discovery Search, in which patrons can search for materials regardless of format, including the holdings listed by the Library’s online catalog. The Library migrated to a new Open URL link resolver, Full Text Finder, and Publication Finder (EBSCO’s publication search), during the review period, which enables researchers to locate materials either outside or in conjunction with research databases.   

In addition to the option to save searches and items in an account, the catalog offers students the option of texting call numbers and locations to themselves. The Library’s technology promotes navigation to its print collections, and eases this process. 

The Library uses Springshare’s LibAnswers platform, which allows librarians to answer reference questions via email, instant messaging, text messaging,  Twitter, and online meetings using Zoom, which is synced with Bloomsburg University’s Zoom account.  Research librarians use a dedicated cell phone to provide the On-Call Research Guidance.  Research librarians may also use a tablet that is dedicated for librarians’ use with patrons.  



Students and other patrons may tap into the Library’s information inside and outside the building, through a variety of devices, and from many starting points.  

Students and other patrons can use a familiar device like a cell phone to carry call numbers with them as they navigate the print collection. 

Students and other patrons can search the Library’s webpages and collections, receive informational/directional help, receive research guidance, and request interlibrary loan / document delivery from any location, through any device, and at any time. 

4.6 One-on-One Assistance

4.6 The Library provides one-on-one assistance through multiple platforms to help users find information.


The Andruss Library’s Research Guidance is an on-call arrangement, whereby in-house researchers come to the Circulation Desk in order to ask for a Librarian to be called to assist them in the workspace of their choosing.  

During times when librarians are not available, Library Access Services staff monitor chat, answering directional and informational questions, and referring research questions to librarians through the system; they also provide users with links to the Library’s research guides and LibAnswers’ FAQs in the interim. 

The “Ask Us” icon on the Library website directs students and other patrons to chat, email, telephone, and Zoom options.  As time and circumstances permit, Librarians rove throughout the building to engage students in their research. The Research Guidance schedule is posted online, where patrons can get contact information for individual librarians. Access services staff frequently refer students to liaison librarians for individual research consultations. Similarly, by reputation, students often refer their fellow students to Library faculty for research guidance. 


An “Ask Now” chat widget has been implemented on all Library webpages and within the discovery service (Search Everything @ BU) and within the catalog (BU Books & More).  


Librarians schedule research assistance consultation times in other buildings on campus in collaboration with subject faculty. These times/hours are often planned around assignments. 



Students and other patrons have multiple access points for one-on-one assistance and convenient ways in which to request and receive that assistance. 

Librarians have assisted researchers with the following frequencies of advanced READ Scores within this review period.  READ scores are a measure of a question’s complexity with a higher score equally greater complexity and requiring more advanced guidance. 


Figure 2: Upper Level READ Score Frequencies (2015 – 2020) 








Students and other patrons may now receive online help whenever the library is open. 

Students and other patrons have ready access to research assistance in the workspace of their choosing and when they need it and through the medium of their choice. 

Students and other patrons find consultations with librarians by chat to be very helpful, based on chat ratings (for 2019-20, 96.9% of those rating a librarian chat rated it as excellent/good).  

Students recommend the one-on-one research guidance to their classmates and friends. Some students return to the librarian’s office with follow up questions.  Some students feel comfortable approaching the librarians whose offices are visibly located on the second floor.   

Librarians receive fewer basic assistance questions since Access Services staff are often able to assist students who initially contact the Circulation Desk.   

Librarians have the flexibility to work in a space of their choosing (e.g. office, Archives, stacks, etc.) when not working with a patron.    

Students can receive research guidance coordinated with their class assignments and in the classroom buildings with which they are familiar and find convenient 

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