Columbia Chooses Summon

by | Aug 13, 2010 | 0 comments

Serials Solutions, the industry leader in providing libraries with digital discovery tools and integrated management solutions, announced today that the Columbia University Libraries have chosen to adopt its Summon™ Web-scale discovery service to address what studies have shown is a fundamental barrier between libraries and users: the lack of an easy and fast starting point for research.

“Over half over our acquisitions budget is spent on e-resources, so it is important that people can easily discover them,” said Robert Wolven, associate university librarian for bibliographic services and collection development. “We found that Summon offered us an effective solution for one of our users’ biggest problems – choosing where to begin their research. Summon will provide our users with an easy-to-use platform to begin their searches; it is easy to understand and easy for our organization to implement.”

The Columbia University Libraries selected the Summon discovery service after careful consideration of many different tools as well as a close examination of the user experience. In 2009, the Columbia University Libraries conducted a survey about the quality of its library resources, among other service quality factors. “Faculty and graduate student users perceived that our e-resources were lacking and not easy enough to navigate. This was surprising to us because we have one of the highest e-resource budgets among academic and research libraries,” said Wolven. “We determined we needed a better way for users to find all of the content we were licensing.”

One of the key attributes that differentiates the Summon service from other discovery solutions is that it is the only solution that has a comprehensive single unified index that enables sub-second searches. The Summon service goes beyond federated search and leap-frogs next-generation catalogs by providing one search box, one results screen and access to the breadth of library content. Results from a Summon search are content neutral, based only on relevancy and never impacted by its provider’s technological expertise.

The Summon service enables a familiar Web-searching experience of the full breadth of content found in library collections – from books and videos to e-resources such as articles. It aims to bring researchers back to library content and resources by providing a premiere and easy-to-use discovery tool. Librarians like the service’s power to transform their institution’s search experience, and have found it easy to set up and integrate into their current library operations. To learn more visit

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