The latest assignment for my summer class is a 10-15 page paper about one cataloging related subject that we choose from a list of 15 suggested topics (due on July 17th). Although I haven’t made my final choice about the theme of the paper, many of the suggestions on the professor’s list deal with the automated library catalog and the user’s experience of searching. I’m interested in using some of the recent blog discussions about the OPAC/library catalog/ILS as part of my paper. As such, I’ve started putting together a list of relevant blog posts. This list is a work in progress. I intend to update the list – and start annotating it as part of my research.
- More on XC from David Lindahl
- Sudden Thoughts and Second Thoughts – A post by StephenB with a section entitled Gotten any complaints about your OPAC Lately? StephenB points out that when students are asked about how to improve the library, they rarely even mention the catalog – being much more concerned about improving the collections and technology. Posted on July 12, 2006.
Affording the Rock-N-Roll Lifestyle
- From Swine to Divine: NCSU Unveils New Online Catalog - by Teresa Koltzenburg
- The Revolution Will be Folksonomied - by Karen G. Schneider
- Measuring My First CIL - by Tom Peters
- How OPACs Suck, Part 1: Relevance Rank (Or the Lack of It) - by Karen G. Schneider
- How OPACs Suck, Part 2: The Checklist of Shame - by Karen G. Schneider
- How OPACs Suck, Part 3: The Big Picture - by Karen G. Scheider
- On Library Card Catalogs, OPACs, the Perfect Search & Teaching Searches – a post by Gary Price from October 5, 2005.
- 2006: the year of the phoenix OPAC? - In this post, John Blyberg points to several significant developments in OPACs: NCSU’s new online catalog, Casey Bisson’s WordPress OPAC project, Ed Vielmetti’sthird-party library apps with RSS feeds and Dave Pattern’swork with a new patron-oriented presentation layer to the OPAC. Blyberg’s own experiences also lead him to conclude that the public is “hungry” for social additives to the catalog. Blyberg writes that 2006 “is shaping up to be the year a new OPAC vision is created.”
- ILS Customer Bill of Rights - John Blyberg details “four simple, but fundamental” needs from ILS vendors: 1) Open, read-only, direct access to the database, 2)A full-blown, W3C standards-based API to all read-write functions, 3)The option to run the ILS on hardware of our choice, on servers that we administer and 4) High security standards.
- Library 2.0 websites: Where to begin? - John suggests five directives to help redesign library web sites: social software, open-source software, single sign-on, open standards and an integrated OPAC.
- Why bother: the impact of social OPACs - Blyberg makes is clear that he does not “think we are doomed if we choose not to implement social software in our OPAC.” He contends that by adding social software and/or applications we can create a feeling of community within our OPACs. One key point is that “findability is not the goal, but the activity and the experience which is why I say that OPACs have the potential to be fascinating places to visit and browse.”
- OPACs in the frying pan, Vendors in the fires- A round up of blog posts about OPACs, ILS and vendors for early June 2006.
Confessions of a Science Librarian
The Creative Librarian
- Yes, OPACs suck. Now What? – In this post, Laura argues that we need to strip our OPACs down in order to get rid of those things that do not work and then add cool, new library 2.0 features. This post is from June 22, 2006.
- What Web Users Hate Part 1: Search and Browse
- What Web Users Hate Part 2: Scanning the Site
- What Web Users Hate Part 3: Reading
- Interfaces & Expectations of Users – In this post David Rothman responds to comments from an earlier post. He argues that Amazon has a good interface because people can quickly find what they need – and that this is how OPACs should work. David also expresses some skepticism about the usefulness of “social applications” as library tools – believing they may best serve as tools for outreach.
Disruptive Library Technology Jester
- Is the Writing on the Wall for the Integrated Library System?
- “Is the Writing on the Wall?” – Take 2
- Goal Based Information Retrieval Experiences
- The Flexible OPAC
- Plenty of Suckage to Go Around
- This Old Library
- Spamming Google with the OPAC
- Library Camp – Low Hanging OPAC Fruit – A summarization of a discussion from library camp about what can be done to enhance the OPAC. Posted on April 17, 2006
Family Man Librarian
- Library online catalogs and relevancy ranking[updated] - A post in which the Family Man Librarian disagrees with Karen Schneiders’ post How OPACs Suck, Part 1: Relevance Rank (Or the Lack of It). The FML takes issue with Karen’s points that most online catalogs don’t have relevance ranking and that ILS vendors are wholly to blame for this lack of relevance ranking. FML contends that we need to “look at both sides of the issue and especially do not be so quick to lay blame without truly understanding the reality of what vendors provide and what they do.”
Free Range Librarian
The Goblin in the Library
Hinkle Library Technical Services Blog
- Googleization – Joe Petrick discusses OPAC in relation to a news article from USA Today (Tuesday, July 11, 2006 by Jim Hopkins entitled Google expansion showcases universities as growth engines). This post is dated July 13, 2006.
Information Takes Over
- Marketing your services in OPAC search results – A post about the fact that vendor supplied systems are had to modify and then discusses some suggested changes to be made. Post is from February 24, 2006.
- OPAC gripes – give the users some credit – A response to Karen Schneider’s post How OPACs Suck, Part 1: Relevance Rank (Or the Lack of It) in which the author questions the necesity of relevance ranking. From March 20, 2006.
Information Wants to Be Free
- Casey Bisson Speaks! We should all listen.
- Dumb down the catalog? Yes, lets!
- The Failure of Middleware, Part 1: What’s the problem?
- The Failure of Middleware, Part 2: Who are our users?
- The Failure of Middleware, Part 3: How do we measure up?
- The Failure of Middleware, Part 4: What Works?
- The Failure of Middleware, Part 5: The Unintegrated Library System & Federated Search
- The Failure of Middleware, Part 6: Link Resolvers
- The Failure of Middleware, Part 7: OAI and Google Scholar
The Krafty Librarian
- Library OPACs, Are They Hindering Libraries? – A response to Andrew Pace’s My Kingdom for an OPAC article in the February 2005 issue of American Libraries.
Librarian in the Middle
- Karen and the Sucky OPAC - The LibrarianInBlack comments on Karen Schneider’s “How OPACs Suck, Part 1: Relevance Rank (Or the Lack of It),” The LIB comments that ” This relevancy ranking issue is one of those changes I’d like to see happen. I agree with Karen that this is something that librarians should be demanding…not simply wishing for.”
- Library website goals - The LIB agrees about the importance of single sign on (which isn’t something that we are even close to at my small library either!!) and references John Blyberg’s post Library 2.0 websites: Where to begin?
Library Laws are meant to be broken
Library Web Chic
- Where libraries are going – In this post, from February 8, 2006, the author argues that many people buy into the “fundamental mistake librarians make: assuming that the OPAC has to be part of the Integrated Library System (ILS). In my opinion to not treat the OPAC and the content therein as an essential and integral part of the library’s website it is like Amazon separating out the product search from their site’s content.”
- On OPACs again . . . – A March 20, 2006 response from Helene to John Blyberg’s Why bother: the impact of social OPACs. Helene stresses the importance of community and the need to allow our OPACs to foster a sense of community among our patrons.
Life as I Know It
- The OPAC Strikes Back - A response to Walt Crawford’s What’s a known item post. I agree with Walt that the OPAC is useful to find items a library owns by an author/composer/musical group/actor. I argue that it is important to make sure that the ease of finding known items is maintained in any systems that we develop to replace the OPAC.
- Additional Thoughts on the OPAC - A post inspired by Helene Blower’s Catalogs Smatalogs piece where she argues that libraries have demanded systems built to specific, individual specifications rather than built with our users in mind. I agree with Helene’s point and argue that this tendency will be difficult to overcome because it will require a major change in people’s attitudes. I also point out that not only do we need to change these attitudes in relation to the OPAC, but in relation to the library and its services.
- The OPAC Debate Continues . . .
- Are We Really Ready to Say Goodbye to the Sucky OPAC?
- The Main Reason I Think OPACs are a Problem
- The Motivation Behind the Search
- The User Isn’t Broken – But Neither is the Library
- Library Users & the Catalog
Lorcan Dempsey’s weblog
- Talking about the catalog - A June 20, 2006 post in which Lorcan Dempsey links to his posts about the catalog. The list is organized by category.
- Lifting out the catalog discovery experience
- Thinking about the catalog
- A service-able catalogue
- Discover, locate, … vertical and horizontal integration
- …And Then You Realize You Wasted Your Life
- Raging Arguments About The Future of the ILS
- Presentation: Designing an OPAC for Web 2.0
- WPopac: An OPAC 2.0 Testbed
- WPopac Gets Googled
- Free Markets, Bad Products, Slow Change Rates
- OPAC Web Services Should be Like Amazon Web Services
- UCLA Library service hit the nail on the head – Post in response to the article Rethinking How We Provide Bibliographic Services for the University of California. The author provides a great summary of some of the more interesting points from the article. This blog post is dated January 16, 2006.
- To fopac or not to fopac? - A post by Jason Fowley from March 10, 2006. In this post, Jason ponders whether we should be adding folksonomies to our OPACs (hence, fopac).
One Big Library
- The cost of switching
- Why we’ll never be as good at search at Google - A discussion of the issue of relevance ranking. OPAChyderm writes “but what makes Google (and their catching-up competitors) truly useful is PageRank, their authority-based relevancy ranking algorithm. And PageRank is absolutely useless for libraries.”
The Other Librarian
- “Don’t Fix the User” – An Anti-Meme, for precision rather than contradiction - A response to Karen G. Schneider’s THE USER IS NOT BROKEN in which Ryan Deschamps takes issue with some of the points from Karen’s post – especially Karen’s assertion that ”You are not a format. You are a service.”
- Pity the poor OPAC?
- Where is the edge of the OPAC?
- The OPAC is not an end in itself
- Delivering resource discover to the user- In this post, the author predicts that the “OPAC” and the “library catalog” will become less relevant because libraries will be “offering their collections in multiple ways through multiple services in multiple physical and virtual locations.”
- Empathy, But Not Sympathy for Innovative
- Changing Nature of the Catalog
- Search Motivation and the Expert/Novice
PLCMC Emerging Technologies
- The Future of the Catalog and LibraryThing – A post from July 11, 2006 in which the author explores library catalogs using Endeca, and Aquabrowser along with LibraryThing.
Science Library Pad
- dear OPAC: change or die
- full text is coming . . . OPAC is going?
- academic libraries dislocated by technology
- Radical Trust - A post from May 22, 2006 by Stephen Abrams which notes that the concept of radical trust with our operations and patrons will be key to the successful evolution of library portals and catalogs.
- Lipstick on a Pig: The Sad State of Library Catalogs- Roy Tennant – A post in response to Roy Tennant’s Library Journal April 15, 2005 article entitled “Lipstick on a Pig.”
Swem Review of Technology
- The Catalog Under Scrutiny – Part 1, a look at the OPAC
- The Catalog Under Scrutiny – Part 2, Open Source and the ILS
- The Catalog Under Scrutiny – Part 3
- Forcing Users to Learn the Catalog - by Thomas Dowling
- Rethink the role of the library catalog – by Eric Lease Morgan
- Online catalogs . . . – A post from May 29, 2006 in which the author argues that most searches in the online catalog are either author or title searches. The author writes “The online catalog was being used mostly for information retrieval, not information discovery. For me this raises the question of whether the online catalog can compete with externally produced and supported information discovery tools.”
Walt at random
A Wandering Eyre
- Actual Reasons Why My OPAC Sucks - Jane offers 16 actual reasons why her OPAC sucks in response to an a comment on her Showing My Pridepost (OPAC sucks button).
- OPACS (everyone together now) SUCK - Jane reflects about the the concepts of tracking and finding in relation to the OPAC and about how they are different. She suggests that these two concepts intersect at the point where we need to locate an item at a specific moment in time and that this is a good starting point for the conversation about how to make things easier to find.
- We Are Broken, Not Them - A response to Karen Schneider’s post THE USER IS NOT BROKEN: A MEME MASQUERDING AS A MANIFESTO in which Jane adds several of her own points to Karen’s.
What I Learned Today
7/6/2006 – I added some additional blog posts to the list and started to annotate the entries.
7/7/2006 – I continued annotating some entries. I changed the formatting of the post to (I hope) make the post easier to read (using bold for blog names and bullets for posts).
7/8/2006 – I added some additional blog posts to the list and continued annotating.
7/9/2006 – I added some additional blog posts and annotations.
7/11/200 – More additions.
7/13/200 – More additions. I also started to alphabetize the list by blog title. This makes it easier for me to find entries. This may take a while to accomplish, since it is tedious work.
7/14/2006 – Finished alphabetizing the list and added some additional posts.