The Future of the Catalog and Librarything

July 11, 2006 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

I looked at what other libraries were doing with their OPAC’s to make searching more precise and patron friendly, my favorites were NCSU’s custom-made Endeca OPAC ( a great example of a precise and intuitive catalog for an academic library) and Aquabrowser which makes use of visual search techniques to help a patron “Search, Discover [and] Refine” with ease and clarity.

Lastly, I explored the free website which makes great use of Web 2.0 concepts to construct an interactive social sphere in which users can upload, share and compare books with ease and then have access to loads of long-tag data that incorporates reader’s advisory, cataloging and other ranking tools.

NCSU – Endeca
Subject breakdown by classification, quantity of hits

“Leveraging the advanced search and Guided Navigation® capabilities of the Endeca ProFind™ platform, the NCSU Libraries’ new catalog provides the speed and flexibility of popular online search engines while capitalizing on existing catalog records.. As a result, students, faculty, and researchers can now search and browse the NCSU Libraries’ collection as quickly and easily as searching and browsing the Web, while taking advantage of rich content and cutting-edge capabilities that no Web search engine can match.
-Subject Oriented
-Encourages breakdown of topic by Classification, Genre, Format – Leads patron to better questions
-Precision through progressive limitation
-Fully integrated ILS

Aquabrowser (as used by Queens Public Library)
-Search. Discover. Refine
Spelling suggestions, translations, associations (controlled vocab)
Discovery trail, Word Cloud, translations
All limitable by format
-Utilizes metadata to help formulate query
-Keyword oriented
-Visually oriented
-Encourages exploration
-Relevancy ranked.
Allows patron to shape trajectory of search. Also, documents history of search

Why library thing works –
Library 2.0 – socialization, personalized content, tagging, tag clouds, RSS, socially driven content (data pulled from Library of Congress, Amazon and other websites)
– Info is easily pulled from one easy-to-use window. The user can search by author or title keyword as well as by ISBN. Catalog is no longer simply based on the MARC record but is instead retail-relevant, containing easily searchable data.
– Maintains privacy while giving more sophisticated reader’s advisory in interactive, visual form (tagging, clouds, pooling users with similar collections, authority control is up to user i.e. you can combine disparate authors, etc) Reader’s advisory is more exact as it is based on collection owned and developed throughout lifetime, not just items purchased (possibly as gifts) in a short time.
– Accessible through RSS and mobile phone devise
– Highly interactive and personalized.


Entry filed under: Misc.

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