New online research tool available in library

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A call to librarians can give students access to items unavailable here.

Tania Flores

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

The library has a new online search tool called WorldShare Management platform that is the “Google” of academic search engines, library Director Johnathan Wilson said in an interview. 

Students can get a lot of information through search engines such as Bing, Google and Discovery. But Worldshare Management platform provides higher quality searches for research papers and writing assignments, he said Nov. 8.  

Before the platform’s implementation in June, students conducting research projects used multiple, independent databases to search for information, Wilson said.

This process took more time, and students could miss information by not searching each database. The system produced limited information because it only searched through this college’s library’s content, he said.   

Wilson said the WorldShare Management platform is fast and dynamic.

He said the system is owned by Online Computer Library Center, a company that is the biggest name in the library world and manages the Library of Congress and other giant collections, he said.

The system provides students with a diverse collection of materials by accessing shared resources from libraries managed by the online computer library center. This allows the system to integrate with inter-loan library systems to make a resource available that otherwise would not be at this college’s library.

Students can call the library staff to have the resource delivered to this library, Wilson said.   

He said students receive search results from a discovery tool that isn’t a limited catalog structure like the previous system. Students receive diverse results from printed books, e-books, journal articles, images, repository search items and other resources. He estimates the total number of resources available as in the “hundreds of thousands.”

“I encourage students doing a research project to try the new library system,” Wilson said. “This tool will allow them to find things they wouldn’t find in the normal route of doing research.”  

     He said students can access WorldShare Management platform by going to the library homepage on the college website and selecting “library discovery your all-in-one-search.”

Technology services Librarian Lee LeBlanc said the five Alamo Colleges libraries are using the same research platform and using their own budgets to pay for the new platform.

The implementation cost for the new library services platform was $131,891.00 for all five Alamo college libraries, LeBlanc said.

The five Alamo Colleges libraries will pay a total of $138,425 to maintain the system during the 2017-18 academic year, he said.

 The library staff has received positive feedback for the convenience that the all-in-one search engine provides, Wilson said.   

     Students can get assistance using the new platform by asking any member of the library staff or by calling 210-486-1084.

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