3 Lessons that I learned from Summon Implementation (Web discovery layer)


It’s almost been a year since we roll-out our library’s web discovery layer known as KORAL: KAUST Online Resources Access Layer (powered by Proquest Summon).  [Check out my earlier post on our journey to implement Summon. ]

What are the 3 main lessons that I learned?


(1) Management buy-in: It’s imperative to obtain management buy-in and support; without which,  things may go bumpy.  With management support, resources may be spared to aid your cause; tasks delegation made easier and fund(s) may be released to boost your project success chances.

(2) Testing(s) and Engaging the User community: I have always believed in engaging our user when implementing any public-facing interface projects.  At the end of the day, our users are the ones who will ultimately use the interface/system.  They are not at all dumb as some of us would think.  By getting their feedback, we are made to see things in a different light; some of which are those that we least expected.  Examples of some of  these user engagement activities are:

  • UX: Usability testing(s)
  • Focus Group interviews
  • One to One interviews
  • Card sorting exercises
  • Online surveys
  • Informal chats

(3) Communication: Whether you are communicating to team members, communicating upwards to library management or communicating to the users, there has to be openness and transparency.   We have to be receptive to the feedback; some may be stinging to the ears BUT if it is for the common good, then we have to put our egos aside.  At the same time, if it’s necessary to deliver some negative news, then we have to inform that as well.  However,  when dealing with negative news, there has to be tactfulness and sensitivity involved.  Not many could react well to negative information.   Most importantly, communication is always a 2-way ‘street’.  Be prepared to take as much as you are ready to give.

These are the main ones among the others that I have learned during the project implementation.


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