Focus

Competition
iDesign MLibrary Virtual Browsing Competition

Design Challenge
Design an innovative browsing experience to help MLibrary to discovery new methods in browsing for information.

Our designs will
– Enhance the library’s discovery or technology environment
– Address an identified patron need or expectation
– Highlight the library or it’s collections or services in an interesting way
– Have the potential to help shape future library technological development
– Demonstrate viability in the MLibrary environment
– Be effectively communicated via an engaging virtual presence

Client
University of Michigan Library(MLibrary)

Project
Music Library Virtual Browsing Presence

Project Background
For the iDesign competition, the theme was to examine new methods in virtual browsing for the University of Michigan Library. Specifically, our design aims to create a virtual browsing exploration for the audio collection of MLibrary. The music library at the University of Michigan is “recognized as one of main contributors to one of the biggest audio collections in the nation; it supports the performance, teaching, and research activities of the School of Music, and Theatre & Dance (Music Library, http://www.lib.umich.edu/music-library).” The music library is located within the School of Music. The library also serves the broader university community, where scholars, performers and teachers may collaborate together. The MLibrary also has a major national and international presence.

The MLibrary serves as an educational and non-profit organization and has innovative methods in presenting information. However, Aoide wants to explore other functions other than search. Moreover, we are interested in how to develop an in-depth search and browse process that would enrich for an interactive experience in browsing materials

Problem Statement
In this era of technological advances, people are more inclined to interact with rich virtual presentations from the web. Although libraries provide for a wide variety of methods to look for information, users tend to use search engines to find and explore information. One of the underlying questions that we have in mind are – what are people’s information seeking behavior in the library system? Do users have particular search and browse behaviors for the library catalog? What do they feel about the present MLibrary web page? How can library collection be represented in innovative methods? What are some of the alternative approaches that MLibrary can consider? What are some of the methods that commercial websites have employed in offering other methods in browsing information?