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Catalogs for the Future. Roy Tennant. Future? What Future? Catalogs ain’t got no stinking future!. The Demise of the Local Catalog. Discovery increasingly happens at the network level (e.g., Google, MS Live, etc.)

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Catalogs for the Future

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Catalogs for the future

Catalogs for the Future

Roy Tennant

Catalogs for the future

Future? What Future? Catalogs ain’t got no stinking future!

The demise of the local catalog

The Demise of the Local Catalog

  • Discovery increasingly happens at the network level (e.g., Google, MS Live, etc.)

  • Even when it happens at the local level, few want to limit their search to only books

  • New finding tools are making traditional library catalogs obsolete

  • NOTE: Libraries still need an ILS, but it will not be the way users find what they want

Classic ils

Classic ILS

Searching happens at library terminal


Tightly integrated components





New world order

New World Order

Searching happens anywhere

Discovery layer disaggregated


Open WorldCat



Library Collections and Services





Loosely integrated components

Catalogs for the future


Circ status

Holdings and circ status


Why this makes sense

Why This Makes Sense

  • Users typically want to find everything they can on a topic

  • Users prefer to search in one place if possible

  • Most ILS’s lack cool new features that already exist in Open WorldCat or other systems

Catalogs for the future

Clean, easy to read display

Faceted browsing


Integrated article indexes

The next generation ils

The Next Generation ILS

  • Refocused on library operations

  • Constructed with discrete components that interoperate through a rapid protocol (e.g., Jabber)

  • Able to work well with other systems:

    • Export holdings information for use in other systems

    • Expose appropriate APIs, such as circ info

  • Inexpensive, scalable, and easy to maintain

Next generation finding tools

Next Generation Finding Tools

  • Able to integrate access to a wide variety of sources

  • Able to use information from other systems as well as provide it (via protocols)

  • Offer sophisticated features like relevance ranking, faceted browsing, etc.

  • Not a library catalog!

  • And…never, ever say “OPAC”!

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