When I was looking for an image to start off the RISE presentation I tried to find an image that visualised the challenge and issues that users face in finding and accessing library resources. So the phrase ‘needle in a haystack’ came to mind, particularly as the first slide was about the difficulties that users found coping with the old federated search tools we used in 2009. And I found a great image to use.

The intended metaphor was that the difficulty of finding resources was the ‘needle in a haystack’, but the image of the oversized needle also seemed to me to be symbolic of our aim of improving our systems.  So introducing a new discovery system and creating a system through RISE to provide activity data-driven recommendations would make the process of finding library resources easier for users.

It’s probably a good thing that there is a person on the right of the image to give a sense of scale.  Otherwise you could intrepret it differently. The needle isn’t oversized at all, but is normal size. And it’s the haystack that has shrunk as library budgets shrink and our haystack (the licensed content) shrinks in size. But maybe that is rather too pessimistic?