TRLN Launches New Shared Index and Discovery Service

The TRLN Discovery project to build a shared index and discovery service reached a significant milestone this month as three of the four TRLN member institutions released the new service to their campus communities. North Carolina Central University (NCCU) was the first to launch, unveiling the service on Monday, January 7. North Carolina State University (NCSU) launched on Monday, January 14, and Duke University followed on Wednesday, January 16.  The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) will release a public Beta version on Monday, February 4. The new product will significantly streamline library users’ experience by providing a single environment in which to efficiently search for and access all research materials held by TRLN member libraries.

This major step is the result of deep, ongoing collaboration over the past two years following the consortium’s joint decision to move away from the legacy Endeca-based catalog and instead use open-source software tools (Blacklight and Solr) to build a single, easily-customized shared discovery service. Blacklight serves as the foundation for the product, which is being hosted in Amazon Web Services (AWS), a secure cloud service platform. A team of developers and product owners from Duke, NCSU, and UNC-CH, as well as TRLN central office staff, has met regularly over the last two years and followed an agile software development approach to review and prioritize each phase of the work.

TRLN Executive Director Lisa Croucher reflects, “With the combination of an index shared across four institutions, open source tools like Blacklight and Solr, and the AWS cloud, this project launches TRLN into a new frontier of shared discovery, one that we anticipate will result in increased efficiency and cost savings. Eleven years after we launched the Endeca-powered Search TRLN – a similarly creative approach to discovery – I’m pleased that we are able to again share our next generation shared discovery project with colleagues in the library and consortia community.”

From this point forward, the product will be overseen by the Shared Discovery Services Working Group. A team of developers will continue to monitor the product and make modifications as needed based on local needs. Regular updates about the project will be available on the working group’s webpage.

Each institution welcomes feedback from users as they become familiar with the new catalog. Feedback mechanisms or points of contact for each institution are listed below:

Duke: Click blue “Feedback” tab on right side of search results page (see example below). More about the changes at Duke.

NCCU: Contact Vickie Spencer, Access Services Librarian (

NCSU: Click “Contact Us” in the yellow banner or the red “Chat Now” tab on the right (see example below). More about the changes at NCSU.

UNC-CH: Contact Chad Haefele, Head of User Experience and Assessment ( Once the Beta version is released, a feedback link will be added to the Libraries website.