Social Discovery Systems in Public Libraries: If We Build Them, Will They Come?

If the public library catalogue is to continue to have relevance to its users, it needs to move beyond its current inventory model, where all content is designed and controlled by library staff and client interaction with catalogue content is limited, to a social catalogue, where users can contribute to, and interact with information and with each other. The goal of this report is to present the results of an analysis of four months worth of log analysis of two social discovery systems used in two Canadian public libraries to examine: (a) how public library users interact with social discovery systems; (b) how usage compares between the two social discovery systems; and (c) whether the use of the features in social discovery systems is consistent over time. Results suggest that clients are making limited use of the social features of the system that allow them to interact with the catalogue records and with one another.