November 19, 2010 – Last week’s Charleston Conference set the scene for a discovery-product debate. Competitors EBSCO Publishing and Serials Solutions faced off over their discovery products—EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) and Summon.

Library Journal shared news of this smackdown in their article, “Discovery Face-Off Draws a Crowd, but Leaves Many Wanting More.” The back and forth debate-style presentation started with both sides explaining why libraries need discovery tools, and how their product meets those needs. Later, each team was asked to give three reasons why a library should choose their product over a competitor’s. Unfortunately, the results were less than impressive for most attendees. The pre-presentation hype left attendees a bit disappointed. The consensus seemed to be that if professional librarians who were adept at using the services had been present to answer the questions instead of the marketing and technical folks, it might have been as compelling as it was promised.

Melody K. Smith

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