Innovations in Discovery Systems: User Studies and the Bento Approach

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Over the past 30 years, library discovery services have evolved through expanded OPACs, federated search systems employing broadcast searching; Web-scale discovery systems (WSDS) that aggregate metadata and full-text content into a single integrated index; and, currently, hybrid bento-style systems that use federated techniques over WSDS, OPACs, and local information content. The bento systems partition search results into separate zoned screen displays grouped by content format type and/or local service results. Recent studies on Web-scale discovery systems have identified a number of user access issues centering on problems with blended result displays, problematical relevancy rankings of search results, full-text search problems, and the inability of WSDS to adequately provide access to local library services and resources. The concept of “full library discovery,” a phrase first coined by Lorcan Dempsey, has been introduced to refer to discovery approaches that move beyond the retrieval of collection materials to also include local information services and local content and links. The bento-based systems are an attempt to address the identified problems with WSDS and also provide discovery services that address user needs, in particular known item search and streamlined full-text access. This presentation will provide an analysis of the 38 libraries presently employing the bento approach and will look at identified user needs and search behaviors, as revealed in detailed search and clickthrough transaction log analyses. There is a clear need for an evidence-based analysis of user search behaviors in retrieval environments characterized by access to distributed information resources.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWhat’s Past is Prologue
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 37th Charleston Conference
EditorsBeth R. Bernhardt, Leah Hinds, Lars Meyer
PublisherPurdue University Press
StatePublished - 2018
EventCharleston Library Conference - Charleston, United States
Duration: Nov 5 2017Nov 9 2017


ConferenceCharleston Library Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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