Elevator Pitch

  • The name “elevator pitch” reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver an elevator pitch in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes.‘ (wikipedia)
  • Militant British-English speakers may prefer “lift pitch”
  • Those who find a ‘pitch’ a little crass may prefer ‘concise-explanation-of-product-or-idea-while-in-lift’. Frankly, it looses some bite.
  • Here’s ours…

The University of Sussex and The University of Brighton have various partnerships and joint initiatives, helped by their close proximity. The most prominent of these is the joint medical school: BSMS (Brighton and Sussex Medical School).

The CReDAUL project is creating a combined web catalogue of the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex Libraries. It will contain all the items of both libraries in one interface, so users can see at a glance if either library has a book or other item, and if so at which library and branch.

What’s in it for Sussex? Researchers and students can easily search University libraries to see if a book is available locally. Library staff trying to locate an item for a user will find it useful, e.g. to check for Interlibrary loan requests, increasing efficiency and service. Users have another interface to search the Sussex catalogue should our main catalogue not be available, you can restrict a search to just one Library. It helps us to work together with Brighton in developing something, and the end product may help future collaborations. The interface will are developing (called VuFind, a free off the shelve application used by other Universities) has good support for mobile devices and integrating with applications such as Zotero.

What’s in it for BSMS? At the moment they have to search two different catalogues as their books and resources are split between the two Universities. They will now just need to do one search and can quickly see which Library it is at and if it is available. This will improve the experience for the medical students and staff, who often have a very high work load.

What’s in it for the local community? members of the public may have reason to refer to an item in a local academic library. If they wish to access an academic book, and would like to check to see if it is in a local academic library, they can now do so using just one search from one interface.

What’s in it for other Universities? We are writing up our experience on this blog, and finding other ways to share what we have learnt. Using Open Source discovery layer applications is something of a hot topic at the moment. We have looked at two: Vufind and Blacklight, and are writing up our findings. We are also writing up our experience with VuFind and how we installed it. We’ll also write up how we found setting up a union catalogue of two libraries records and holdings.

PS some background to this post: http://lmsmash.blogspot.com/2010/09/conversations-for-very-short-lift.html

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2 thoughts on “Elevator Pitch

  1. Interesting, Chris. Need a project officer? 🙂
    When I worked at BSMS, I think it was possible, if a little slow, to search UoS’s catalogue from UoB, and vice versa. Did this wither on the vine?
    Then again, why not send people to a COPAC search limited to UoS and UoB?

    • Hi Tom

      I had forgotten about that! Worked for a few years but stopped working at some point either when Talis released a new version of their Z39.50 interface (the protocol which allowed the catalogues to search each other) or a new version of Prism (the web interface).

      Neither Library is on COPAC unfortunately (COPAC includes RLUK Libraries and other specialist collections), though you can search both libraries via the Inform25 catalogue. http://www.inform25.ac.uk/Link/ However this is a ‘federated’ search service and bibliographic information is limited (holdings non-existent).

      By using Open Source software, and using a virtual server, I’m hoping this will be an easy way to create a modern interface to both libraries.

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