Tuesday, July 3, 2007

OPAC ideas...

I ran across some ideas for using social software in libraries on the BIGWIG Social Software Showcase, an online unconference planned around the time of ALA.

I thought the description of "Library Thing for Libraries" was especially interesting.

For example, examine this catalog record for Bridget Jone's Diary in the Danbury Library catalog. "Other Editions and Translations" are added to the catalog record (you can see a sound recording of the book & a version listed in Spanish). If you scroll down the record, you will see suggestions of "Similar Titles" and "Tags." This data is pulled from Library Thing. This might be more relevant for public libraries, but could become useful for academic libraries as well...

I think that WIT is planning to give patrons the opportunity to add reviews of books to our catalog. I look forward to seeing that feature of the catalog in action.

Could our catalog provide spell check features, such as "Did you mean x?"

Could information from the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) or a link to IMDB records be added to catalog records for movies?

I know that some of these features are not technically possible yet for OPACs, but what do you dream that our OPAC could do?


  1. I'm glad you brought this up. Tagging is really a user-friendly keyword search. I remember reading about LibraryThing for Libraries a couple months ago. It seemed like one of the issues at the time was how pricing was being figured out.

  2. Cindy,
    At this point only the "other editions and translations" widget is free, there is a cost (not posted on the website) to add the tag browsing and other book recommendations widgets. FAQ about librarything for libraries

    I just ran across an academic library catalog, University of Huddersfield, with similar features.
    1. highlighted search words
    2. RSS feeds
    3. user reviews
    4. number other books available with the same subject headings
    5. people who borrowed this item, also borrowed...
    6. other editions and related works...
    7. a 3D map of the shelves with an arrow pointing to where the book is located
    8. useful links... (to Amazon.com and other online bookstores)

    Check out this catalog record from the University of Huddersfield catalog.

  3. I'd like to know what the Univ of Huddersfield budgets for widgets! The features of their OPAC seem all inclusive and high tech. Thanks for sharing, Suzanne.

  4. I think this whole area is really in need of exploration. I'm also glad that we will be implementing some interactive features in our catalog. We all know, and our vendors know that the OPAC can and should be better, more friendly for our customers. We're taking steps in the right direction.

  5. It seems that maybe our opac needs to be mashed up a little?

  6. Oh, I remember hearing about a 3D map of the shelves (Suzanne's feature #7) at MIUG last year. It was an enhancement that could be purchased. Maybe all this great library 2.0 stuff is just out there waiting for us to BUY it!