Unpacking the Draft Code of Practice for Discovery Services | Backtalk

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Library Journal


The National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS) released a draft code of practice for discovery services in January. “Discovery service” here is used in the modern sense of the phrase, to refer to any of several platforms that empower users to discover library resources across all formats – materials in the stacks, electronic resources, and potentially other local databases.

The draft makes great progress toward documenting the challenges facing the creation and use of a discovery service as well as those facing “discovery” in the larger sense – connecting a user and her information needs with one or more resources. As written, though, it doesn’t grapple with some of the business realities that underlie why some of these challenges exist, and why they plausibly will continue to exist regardless of what may be best for a user and her discovery process.