Pete Coco’s “Convenience and its Discontents” breaks down the idea that while a library’s discovery tool may be convenient, it’s not always helpful. Many times when students use a tool like Proquest’s Summon or EBSCO’s Discovery Service, they find lots of results, but not enough relevant results. Even though this may be the case, Coco believes that at least it can become a teaching gateway for librarians. While the discovery tool may get the student researcher started, the librarian can help guide them to relevant resources, teaching them the best ways to find what they need. But isn’t that what librarians already did, just with databases instead? I’m not sure I would qualify discovery tools as more convenient than searching a database, even if they do cut out the question of which database the student should use. Maybe I’m just being biased because I like working with databases more than with things like Scout, UA’s discovery tool.
To me, the most convenient thing about a discovery tool is not that you can skip picking out a database to search, or that the search box looks like Google’s, it’s that the results list of your search can include both books and articles. Yet, Coco’s article only focused on the articles. Maybe if he had included how it brings several different types of resources together into one place, and how convenience factors into that, I would be more inclined to share his opinion.