I finally got around to reading a couple of posts I'd squirreled away, and they turn out to be somewhat related.
Brian Mathews posts about 5 next-gen library catalogs and 5 students: their initial impressions. Important to us here at the UofC as we continue to beta test Summon. While admittedly not scientific, there are definitely things to note here.
And Sol at the Federated Search Blog posts What do you call that thing? Wondering if there's a solid mostly-universal term for those "things" we search that hold content. Research Databases? Sources? E-resources? Doesn't seem to be a consensus out there, unfortunately. Last summer during a site redesign I changed the tab on our library site from "Research Databases" to "Online Resources", and the single biggest complaint over the first month was that folks couldn't find what they were looking for because the new terminology somehow didn't mean what the old terminology meant to them.