Usability in the Pika discovery layer: an academic and public library case study

Gallinger, Elizabeth ; Neville, Karen L.


The Online Public Access Catalog is often a patron’s first introduction to a library and, in some cases, may be their only interaction with the library. Library catalogs have traditionally been clunky, dated, and not particularly easy to use. Discovery layers entered the library market heavily in the late-2000s as a tool to seamlessly display and provide access to library resources. With new offerings from vendors and a number of open source options, libraries now have many options to provide a better interface. Different library types have different needs, and may, therefore, choose different catalogs for their patrons. One discovery layer stands out, however, both for its innovative features and for its ability to be customized to meet the needs of multiple types of libraries. Pika is the open source discovery layer developed by the Marmot Library Network. This paper will look at the experiences of an academic library and a public library and demonstrate how Pika has met the needs of both institutions.



Pika; Discovery layer; Public library; Academic library

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