Thursday, January 19, 2006

Ways to improve the catalog

I posted this message on CULIBS last week, but since some of the staff here aren't on CULIBS, I thought I'd cross-post this message. Please excuse any duplication.

Lorcan Dempsey, who is a researcher at OCLC, posted a blog entry recently, "Thinking about the catalog," that may be interesting to anyone who has been thinking about ways to improve CUNY+.

In it, he refers to an interesting new report published the "Bibliographic Task Force" of the University of California Libraries system and he also mentions a new catalog that the libraries at North Carolina State University officially launched yesterday. The NCSU catalog makes effective use of browsing software from Endeca, which also appears on the Barnes and Noble web site.

The UC report is great in that it offers a compelling critique of the dated interface and limited functionality of the current crop of integrated library systems (ours included, I might add). Lorcan directs his readers' attention to the executive report of the UC committee, but I would also like to suggest Appendix E in the main report (p. 45-48). This appendix offers "examples to learn from" and links to all sorts of interesting things libraries are doing to improve access and usability of their systems.

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