Whither the OPAC by wulinqing

VIEWS: 14 PAGES: 38

									  Whither the ILS –
especially the OPAC ?

            notes and ideas from the
              ―Symposium on the
               Future of the ILS‖
                 (and elsewhere)
   Wither the ILS –
especially the OPAC ?

            notes and ideas from the
              ―Symposium on the
               Future of the ILS‖
                 (and elsewhere)
Some Current Trends / Factors

1.   Current generation of OPACs increasingly is seen
     as inadequate due to:
     –   too limited content
     –   too difficult to use
     –   the lack of enhancements such as:
            faceted searching
            adequate relevancy ranking
            ―social‖ functions
            FRBR implementation
2.   Commercial ILS vendors are spending less and less
     time and effort on ILS-based OPACs despite many
     remaining problems and opportunities
Trends

3.   Emergence of the “social” web & related user
     expectations
     –   user-created lists, reviews, etc.
4.   Emergence of Open Source (OS) ILSs with their
     accompanying next generation (“next gen”) OPACs
     –   Koha
     –   Evergreen
5.   Emergence of commercial firms to support OS ILSs
     –   Equinox (Evergreen)
     –   LibLime (Koha)
     –   Care Associates (several systems)
Trends

6.   Disaggregation:         while most OPACs deliver the package,
     many users want the item inside the package rather than the
     package -- the song rather than the CD, the article rather than the
     journal or issue, etc.
7.   Googlization: a push for
     –   a single omnipresent search box
            fast, easy, simple keyword searching
            capable of being embedded in other places (courseware,
             campus portal, etc.)
     –   everything in one search
            multiple bibliographic levels, metadata schema, and object
             sources
     –   ―fun‖
            customizable, social, and engaging
Trends

8.   New available content
     –   TOCs, summaries, reviews, etc.
     –   new stuff in digital form
     –   OpenURL links to digital items
     –   some integratable, some linkable
9.   Decoupled modules, web services, interfacing
     disparate systems, etc.
     –   ―system disintegration‖
     –   syndication
     –   the growing cult of interoperability
     –   ILSs supporting only part of a Library’s work
Lorcan Dempsey’s
“The Integrated Library System That Isn’t”
(from his blog, 2-22-2005)


   needed functions usually      needed functions NOT
    part of an ILS                 usually part of an ILS
    –   acquisitions               –   metasearch / portal
    –   OPAC                       –   OpenURL resolver
    –   cataloging                 –   electronic resource
    –   circulation                    management (ERM)
                                   –   portable bibliography (e.g.,
                                       RefWorks)
                                   –   digital asset management
                                   –   virtual reference
Trends

10.    A changing bibliographic world
      – Karen Calhoun’s 2006 report for LC:
             The Changing Nature of the Catalog and its
              Integration with Other Discovery Tools
         recent report by the Library of Congress
          Working Group on the Future of
          Bibliographic Control
             LC’s priorities, and resources, already are shifting
              away from traditional bibliographic activities and toward
              the digital
Three main areas of OPAC concern:

1.   What should OPACs contain?
          just local stuff, or also stuff from other libraries and
           vendors?
          just the traditional types of materials, or newer, more
           diverse ones as well?
2.   How should OPACs work?
          what functions?
          how easy, how understandable?
3.   Where and how does the OPAC fit in with
     other systems?
          How important and useful can it be?
context & comment…
context & comment…



         "As a long-time cataloger, I truly feel the pain that
         technical services personnel have known for a
         long time: the era of the library OPAC is over." —
         Brad Eden, from the "Introduction" of Library
         Technology Reports 43:6
context & comment…

   Roy Tennant:      (blog Nov. 10, 2006)
    –   ―The OPAC of the future will not be our most
        important finding tool‖
    –   ―The OPAC should function well alone but
        recognize its position in the larger scope of
        available information‖
context & comment…

   Karen Markey:
    (from ―The Online Library Catalog: Paradise Lost and Paradise
        Regained?‖ D-Lib mag, Jan/Feb 2007)

    –   ―For a decade and a half beginning in the early 1980s, the
        online library catalog was the jewel in the crown when
        people eagerly queued at its terminals to find information
        written by the world's experts ….
    –   ―Long ago, we could have added more value to the online
        library catalog but the only thing we changed was the
        catalog's medium. Our failure to act back then cost the
        online catalog the crown. Now that the era of mass
        digitization has begun, we have a second chance at
        redesigning the online library catalog, getting it right,
        coaxing back old users, and attracting new ones.‖
context & comment…

   Karen Markey:                  (same source)
    –   To regain the online catalog's lofty status and win back its
        fair-weather fans, let's redesign an online library catalog that
        embraces:
            (1) post-Boolean probabilistic searching, to ensure the
             precision of searches in online library catalogs bearing the full
             texts of digitized books, journal articles, encyclopedias,
             conference papers, etc.,
            (2) subject cataloging, to take advantage of the user's ability to
             recognize what they want or do not want during the course of
             the search, and
            (3) qualification cataloging, to enable users to customize
             retrievals that are in keeping with their level of understanding
             and expertise in a domain.
… and there is a lot of this, perhaps less-helpful, type of comment:

       The OPAC Sucks         --   Recorded by: the anAACRonisms

       the OPAC sucks, that's all i gotta say
       you're outta luck if you can't spell "Hemingway"
       i'm getting bad results
       don't act like it's my fault

       the OPAC sucks, a sad calamity
       like it's stuck in 8 million b.c.
       the title that i seek
       is buried very deep

       the OPAC sucks so bad that it's a crime
       the law is broken: "save the reader's time"
       what does it want from me?
       i'm stumbling blindly

       the OPAC sucks, people are confused
       it runs amok, committing its abuse
       years and years and years ago, computers replaced cards
       how come finding what i want is still so goddamn hard?

       the OPAC sucks, that's all i gotta say

                                      -- http://www.laughinglibrarian.com/bd_opac.htm
Karen Schneider’s 4 approaches to dealing
with a currenting “sucking” catalog

   ditch the vendor OPAC and bolt a separate product
    on top of the ILS
   go with an ILS that offers a next-gen OPAC
   replace the catalog with a ―unified finding aid‖, not
    part of the ILS
   wait for your vendor to catch up with state-of-the-art
    functionality

   John’s #5: add a ―unified finding aid‖ as an
    additional tool, supplementing the OPAC, rather than
    replacing it
Marshall Breeding’s view of an “age of
less integrated systems”

   Core ILS supplemented by
    –   OpenURL link resolvers
    –   metasearch / federated search
    –   electronic resource management (ERM)
    –   next generation library interfaces
So … we need something new.
But from whom?

   current relationships between libraries and
    system vendors is seen as ―unhealthy‖
   unclear where some vendors are heading
   is Open Source (OS) the answer?
    –   do we REALLY want to go back to doing it
        ourselves?
   Are there non-library vendors that offer
    possible solutions?
Roy Tennant’s Library Software
Manifesto (http://techessence.info/manifesto/)

   Consumer rights
    –   e.g., ―I have a right to complete and accurate
        documentation‖ & ―I have a right to use what I buy‖
   Consumer responsibilities
    –   e.g., ―I have a responsibility to realize I’m not
        special‖
   Shared responsibilities
    –   e.g. ―We share a responsibility to keep the needs of
        the end-user paramount‖
So, what now?
Evolving OPAC models

   create new, improved next-gen OPACs
    –   often OS
    –   possibly part of ILS; possibly standalone
    –   incorporate such things as faceted searching, spell
        checking, and social functions such as reviews into
        the traditional OPAC
    –   possibly find ways to incorporate metadata for
        some other types of materials
           but still concentrate on ―our stuff‖
    –   possibly move away form MARC to XML
Evolving OPAC models

   multi-institution, multi-format, multi-source
    database and search tool
    –   possibly with hooks to local ILS data
    –   usually MARC
    –   gather everything and put it in one place
           our stuff, other libraries’ stuff, commercial stuff, and stuff
            created by non-library users
    –   basically, a union catalog on steroids
           more stuff, more different stuff, more functionality,
Evolving OPAC models

   syndicated services
    –   linking to additional services or data from within the
        OPAC rather than directly integrating them
    –   in effect, using other sites’ stuff and making it
        appear like our stuff
Evolving OPAC models

   metasearch / federated searching
    –   don’t put everything in one place, but combine
        results at point of searching
    –   usually standalone, but increasingly incorporated
        into other types of OPACs
    –   keep my stuff technically separate from other stuff,
        but present it all to the user as a single search
Evolving OPAC models

   new local ―supra-catalog‖
      –   either supplanting the OPAC or existing beside it
      –   multi-format, multi-source database
      –   put all of OUR stuff in one place, no matter what format
      –   usually move away from MARC to XML
      –   include local OPAC holdings, preferably with hooks back
          to the local ILS status data & services (call slip, renewals,
          etc.)
      –   possibly incorporate federated searching as a way of
          incorporating other libraries’ stuff and commercial stuff
Another way of looking at types:
Lorcan Dempsey’s “discovery contexts”     (from
his blog 5-14-2006)



   local catalog discovery environment
   shared catalog discovery environment
   syndicated catalog discovery environment
   leveraged discovery environment
Some specific attempts

1)   some commercial ILS vendors working to
     upgrade regular OPAC to ―next gen‖
           the ―traditional‖ approach
           Karen Schneider’s ―wait for your vendor to get it‖


2)   some OS next-gen ILSs and OPACS
           Koha      (ILS - New Zealand)
           Evergreen (ILS - George PINES consortium)
           Scriblio  (OPAC - Plymouth State University)
Some specific attempts


3)   a variety of federated search products, both
     commercial and OS
          Search360, MetaLib, etc.


4)   new focused syndicatable services
          Library Thing
Some specific attempts

5.   some commercial ILS vendors creating
     supra-catalogs
          Ex Libris’ ―Primo‖            (XML)
          III’s ―Encore ―               (MARC)


6.   creation of commercial, library-targeted
     supra-catalogs
          AquaBrowser
           –   developed by MediaLab Solutions (later purchased by
               Bowker)
           –   also distributed in US by The Library Corp (TLC)
Some specific attempts

7.   adaptations of commercial, non-library
     systems to create supra-catalogs
          Endeca
           –   billed as ―Navigation‖ software
           –   also marketed by TLC
           –   most common use in corporate web sales
Some specific attempts

8)   local library-developed supra-catalogs
          eXtensible Catalog (XCat – U. of Rochester)
           –   ―An open-source online system that will unify access to
               traditional and digital library resources‖
           –   talking to Evergreen
          vufind (Villanova University)
           –   open-source, developed to work with Voyager
           –   searches catalog records, locally cached journals, digital
               library items, institutional repository, and other library
               collections
Some specific attempts

9)   WorldCat Local
          its own category: the union catalog on steroids
          the local catalog as a subset of the OCLC union
           catalog
            –   integrated links to local holdings and some local services
          FRBRized search results
          integration of A&I and full-text databases
          user-created lists
          incorporate social tools:
            –   recommendations, taggings, RSS, forums, community
                tools, enhanced personal profiles, ―friending‖
a caveat…

   The statement …
        ―The OPAC should be more than just a searchable inventory
        of a library’s local holdings‖
… cuts both ways:

    –   new supra-catalogs and other systems offer new
        functionality beyond that of current OPACs
    but …
    –   current OPACs already are ―more‖ than just a search and
        retrieval system in that they offer a variety of important local
        services that may not be available in some of the new
        systems
excerpt from ALA session description

Paul Soderdahl, Director of Library Information
Technology,
University of Iowa

… three key themes.
   –   ―First, our Primo implementation plan diverged from the
       standard approach by abandoning the usual pattern of
       establishing committees and subcommittees so that we
       could adopt a more streamlined approach and, within the
       University of Iowa Libraries, embrace the perpetual beta.

   –   ―Second, we have tried to remain unafraid of scale in
       expanding beyond the local catalog to include digital library
       collections and in planning for significantly more content.

   –   ―Finally, we have looked for ways to bring the library to
       wherever the users are by using Primo to embed library
       resources in the course management system, browser
       toolbars, gadgets, and more. ―
                 KU Library Systems
         Strategic Planning Vision Statement
             (1994 -- incorporated into ILS RFP)
1.   The Library will have a complex, sophisticated, and
     pervasive online system based upon up-to-date
     hardware, software, and networking.

2.   This broader "system" will include traditional core
     library public access, file management, and
     transaction processing functions, all maintained and
     presented to public and staff users in an integrated
     manner.

3.   All system modules and networks will use standard
     protocols and will be constructed with an "open
     systems" approach to facilitate their ability to
     integrate with other local and remote systems and to
     handle new kinds of content and presentation.
                 KU Library Systems
         Strategic Planning Vision Statement
             (1994 -- incorporated into ILS RFP)
1.   The Library will have a complex, sophisticated, and
     pervasive online system based upon up-to-date
     hardware, software, and networking.

2.   This broader "system" will include traditional core
     library public access, file management, and
     transaction processing functions, all maintained and
     presented to public and staff users in an integrated
     manner.

3.   All system modules and networks will use standard
     protocols and will be constructed with an "open
     systems" approach to facilitate their ability to
     integrate with other local and remote systems and to
     handle new kinds of content and presentation.
4.   All local networks will be connected to and
     accessible from the KU campus ethernet network
     and through it be connected to and accessible from
     all regional, national, and international TCP/IP-based
     networks.

5.   The local workstation for both public and staff will be
     a single intelligent, networked microcomputer
     capable of using campus local area network
     resources, other campus hosts, and remote hosts
     via the Internet. Each workstation will be capable of
     both simple terminal access to remote hosts and of
     operating client software for a wide variety of servers
     and hosts.

6.   By virtue of supporting standard protocols and being
     connected to local and national networks, all library
     electronic resources will be sharable and useable, to
     the extent allowed by licensing, by remote users
     throughout the university, the state, and the world.
4.   All local networks will be connected to and
     accessible from the KU campus ethernet network
     and through it be connected to and accessible from
     all regional, national, and international TCP/IP-based
     networks.

5.   The local workstation for both public and staff will be
     a single intelligent, networked microcomputer
     capable of using campus local area network
     resources, other campus hosts, and remote hosts
     via the Internet. Each workstation will be capable of
     both simple terminal access to remote hosts and of
     operating client software for a wide variety of servers
     and hosts.

6.   By virtue of supporting standard protocols and being
     connected to local and national networks, all library
     electronic resources will be sharable and useable, to
     the extent allowed by licensing, by remote users
     throughout the university, the state, and the world.

								
To top