VALA2022 Onsite Session 10 Thomas

“Summon” the troops, there’s work to be done! Improving user discoverability experience through a new discovery layer


Wednesday 15 June 2022, 09:15 – 09:45

Bronwen Thomas
  • Manager, Content and Discovery
  • University of Newcastle
Virginia Walker
  • Coordinator, Scholarly Publishing
  • University of Newcastle
Kylie Clarkson
  • Manager, Teaching and Research Support
  • University of Newcastle
David Coupe
  • Manager, Digital Library Experience
  • University of Newcastle
Sarah Jansen
  • Associate Director, Collections, Discovery and Digital Experience
  • University of Newcastle

Please tag your comments, tweets, and blog posts about this session: #vala2022 #s10

Read the paper and view the presentation recording and slides here:


In 2020 the University of Newcastle implemented a new Library Discovery Layer, Summon. Working closely with vendor ProQuest and supported by an extensive network of cross-institutional support, the University Library’s Implementation team set upon a 3-month project to improve discoverability, and user experience. This paper recounts our experiences throughout this project, and details our lessons learnt.


Bronwen Thomas is an engaged, high performing, self-motivated librarian, offering in-depth varied and diverse expertise gained through 28 years of successful contributions across several core library areas in academic libraries. Her current responsibilities as Manager, Content & Discovery at the University of Newcastle, cover a breadth and depth of services – including information resource management in print and digital collections, collection development, course reading list coordination, resource sharing and acquisition, publishing, and scholarly communication. As a motivating leader with a history of building and managing high performing teams, she enjoys inspiring people to be passionate about data quality. Bronwen places collaboration at the heart of all that she does and obtains satisfaction through identifying complex issues and integrating innovative solutions to achieve delivery of strategic and operational priorities. Central to her client service focussed delivery is to provide equitable and seamless access to relevant, open, and connected scholarly content for her University and the wider community.

Virginia Walker is currently the Coordinator Scholarly Publishing at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. Virginia has worked in Research Support Services for over 8 years and provided a range of research services to support academic staff and higher degree research students at various stages of the research lifecycle. She enjoys playing an essential role in the open scholarship landscape at the University of Newcastle, and has provided extensive support to the maintenance, review and upgrade of the University of Newcastle systems underlying research support. Contributing to the development and implementation of university-wide services including eResearch services, Virginia is passionate about quality metadata and the role it plays in working to increase the visibility, system interoperabilty and discovery of research.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License