Patrons making our online catalog more useful

Thad Curtz over at Olyblog:

LibX gives you a toolbar with (from left to right) a pull-down menu for Preferences, a pull-down menu for various kinds of searches, a field for your search terms, a little blue down arrow that lets you add more fields for multiple searches like author and title, a pull-down menu to choose the catalog to search, and a link for Google Scholar onto which you can drag search terms. (To actually search libraries, you type your search in the field and hit Return or click on the “Search .. Library Catalog” tab – or drag search terms from the browser page onto that.)

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4 Comments

Filed under technology

4 responses to “Patrons making our online catalog more useful

  1. Of course this leaves one to wonder why our libraries are not making our online catalogs more useful. Seriously, these things aren’t new, but many of them (including TRL’s) have not changed much in the last ten years.

    This is just one of those things that if I were president of the world …

  2. emmettoconnell

    Well, I learned something recently that I hadn’t thought about in terms of online library catalogs.

    There aren’t many vendors in the business (three or so, maybe). This isn’t very heartening for there being a lot of options.

    Also, selling to libraries, who themselves are always on very tight budgets, isn’t the best business to be in. Your business as a vendor is also probably very tight.

    Anyway, leads me to think that the current library/vendor model for at least integrated systems that include library catalogs probably isn’t the best.

  3. If you include the OS options (and even if you don’t, I think) there are more than three vendors. Maybe three BIG vendors, but there are others. And then on top of the actual ILS, there are a number of platforms one can leverage on top of them, called “discovery layers”, e.g. Aquabrowser.

    The OS systems require technical expertise, but that’s out there for hire. King County Library System is one of the biggest systems to implement Evergreen, which seems to be working well for them.

    Seattle’s new catalog is utilizing bibliocommons – http://seattle.bibliocommons.com/.

    Sno-Isle and Pierce County are both going with Polaris. The UW is using WorldCat Local.

    All of these are excellent options, IMO, and at least better than what TRL is using, and I wonder why. Is the catalog not the most used tool on a library’s website?

  4. By OS I meant “open source” — I realized that could be ambiguous, and I apologize for taking any acronym’s meaning for granted.

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