NELLCO (Barco is a member of this organization - the New England Law Library Consortium - even though we're not, strictly speaking, in New England) has just announced that it's been awarded a 2-year, $364,150 National Leadership grant from to develop a "Universal Search Solution." What's that, you ask? According to the press release, "Universal Search Solution" will result in the creation of a physical master index of material including participating library catalogs, as well as subscription-based databases and open content, special collections, and other resources that a participating library wishes to make discoverable to its patrons. Tracy Thompson, who is the executive director (and only fulltime employee) of NELLCO,
says that the project is a response to the shortcomings of the federated search solutions currently available to law libraries. “Law libraries spend an enormous amount on electronic resources for their users. We want those resources to be exploited as fully as possible to enhance scholarship and inform thebody of knowledge in the legal arena. But connecting library users to our e-resources isan ongoing challenge.
Sounds like an ambitious and very worthwhile project. NELLCO's technical partner in the venture is IndexData, and the grant is from the IMLS - the Institute of Museum and Library Services.