Friday, March 30, 2012

Episode 34: Discovery Layers in the Classroom

Listen to the podcast (mp3, ~58 minutes)

Rachel and Jason educate Anna about "discovery layers," while the two of them wrestle with the idea of how, when, where, and why discovery layers fit in an instruction session.

 Please excuse the excessive noise around the 23 minute mark; Anna's 4-year-old felt the need to snuggle with her while recording.

Show Notes:

  • GSU’s “Discover” (EBSCO Discovery Service)
  • American University's SearchBox
  • Discovery Layer Interfaces via Library Technology Guides
  • Grotti, M. G. & Sobel, K. (2012). WorldCat Local and Information Literacy Instruction: An Exploration of Emerging Teaching Practice. Public Services Quarterly, 8(1), 12-25. doi:10.1080/15228959.2011.563140
  • Update: Anna came to learn (post-recording) that HER [public] library actually has a discovery layer via SirsiDynix's Enterprise. Who knew?
Join us for future episodes! If you’re interested, please post a comment below on the Adventures in Library Instruction blog or send us an email! We’d love to have you be a part of our Skype discussion or participate in a one-on-one interview. OR you can record your own a segment of something fabulous you’re doing with library instruction techniques, technology, or methods!


  1. Why does the first part of the "Join us for future episodes" link go to the Cockroach page on Wikipedia?

  2. hmmmmm....i'd like to say it was a cleverly placed easter egg, but i just messed up cutting and pasting code from the previous episode! thanks for catching it, and i've edited away the cockroach info. ~anna

  3. Another great discussion folks! One question on discovery layers: once students get a taste of and get good at using it, what are the chances they’ll ever want to go back to using the subject-specific databases, especially in this age of increasingly multidisciplinary topics, limited time, and ever-evolving database interfaces? I fear that is the largest danger of of discovery layers, although I’m not totally convinced it’s even a danger for most. In other words, teaching students library systems in the first place is kind of meaningless since these are not the tools they’ll be using out in the real world.. Your thoughts?

  4. Thanks for doing an episode on this topic. I work at a community college and deal with first year students every day. We teach students that the hard work of research is evaluating the sources your search finds. The difference between a journal/chapter/e-resource/dvd/special collection item are subtle to a first year student. Especially when the search returns over two hundred thousand results. It is important to note these tools are not search engines with training wheels. The metaphor is more similar to the differences between a screwdriver and a hammer. You can't learn to use a screwdriver by starting out on a hammer. The way one evaluates the results of a discovery layer is different, and more complex, than evaluating article database results. First year students learning how to evaluate sources have trouble enough.
    Andy Heiz