The University Record, March 12, 2001

MyLibrary pilot provides customized Web library service

By Wanda Monroe
University Library

A faculty member is speaking at a conference in California. It’s after hours at U-M offices, and the Web address she needs for her presentation that is scheduled to begin in 15 minutes is bookmarked on her computer at work—not on the laptop she has with her.

A staff member is at home, ready to read the article he browsed in his favorite electronic journal earlier in the day, but he can’t recall the Web address.

A student needs to do a different search every week on the Medline and PsychInfo databases for his psychology class and needs an easy way to get to them.

The solution to these types of problems could be a new service being piloted by the University Library. MyLibrary is a customizable, personal Web page that allows faculty, staff and students the ability to add and access direct links to their favorite research, library and other Web resources. The service allows the information to be easily and consistently retrieved.

“MyLibrary provides a personalized Web interface to the resources that people wish to access most often,” says Kitty Bridges, head of the Shapiro Science Library and MyLibrary project leader. “It is available anywhere there is Internet access.”

Currently, Web pages can be saved for reference at a later date by using the bookmark feature on Web browsers. The bookmark lists easily can become lengthy, unorganized and unavailable when the user accesses the Internet from another desktop machine. MyLibrary helps organize library and research bookmarks, making it easy to locate needed information such as:

  • Individual electronic journals.

  • Networked electronic resources and databases.

  • MIRLYNWeb.

  • Library forms for interlibrary loan, recall, renewal, library-to-library delivery and more.

  • U-M resources such as my.umich service, Wolverine Access, The Michigan Daily and The University Record.

  • New books received by a specific library or new books in a specific area of interest.

  • Contact information for the librarians in an interest area and the most frequently used libraries.

  • Personal links.

    The U-M community is encouraged to participate in the pilot by using the system and suggesting enhancements.

    “Through the pilot, we hope to evaluate how MyLibrary is used,” Bridges says. “We are investigating how useful this service is, what improvements patrons would like to see made to it and what additional content is needed. Our goal is to provide an easy-to-use service that is effective and functional for the University of Michigan community.”

    To participate, patrons can access MyLibrary at http://my.lib.umich.edu. Authentication—uniqname and either the UMICH kerberos password or a separate library password—is necessary.

    Send suggestions and comments to mylibrary-comments@umich.edu.