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The Impact of 2.0 lipstick, cowbells and serendipity in the OPAC Dave Pattern, Library Systems Manager University of Huddersfield d.c.pattern@hud.ac.uk Contents “OPAC suckitude” Some findings from the OPAC Survey Our experiences at Huddersfield More from the OPAC Survey

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the impact of 2 0 lipstick cowbells and serendipity in the opac

The Impact of 2.0lipstick, cowbells and serendipity in the OPAC

Dave Pattern, Library Systems ManagerUniversity of Huddersfield

d.c.pattern@hud.ac.uk

Internet Librarian International 2007

contents
Contents
  • “OPAC suckitude”
  • Some findings from the OPAC Survey
  • Our experiences at Huddersfield
  • More from the OPAC Survey

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Internet Librarian International 2007

does your opac suck
Does Your OPAC “Suck”?

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quick opac survey 2007
Quick OPAC Survey (2007)
  • On a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 is extremely unhappy and 10 is extremely happy), how happy are you with your OPAC?

5.1

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quick opac survey 20077
Quick OPAC Survey (2007)
  • One criticism of OPACs is that they rarely have cutting edge features (or perhaps even basic features) that our users expect from a modern web site.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you think your OPAC meets the needs and expectations of your users?

4.5

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quick opac survey 20078
Quick OPAC Survey (2007)
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how easy do you think one of your average users finds your OPAC is to use?

4.6

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how important do you think it is that an OPAC is easy & intuitive to use?

9.2

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the huddersfield experience
The Huddersfield Experience
  • Not really “OPAC 2.0” (?)
  • Enhancements to the vendor OPAC
    • user suggestions from student/staff surveys
    • “2.0” inspired features
    • good ideas “borrowed” from other web sites
    • new features launched with no/low publicity
    • “perpetual beta”
  • Required staff buy-in and a willingness to experiment and take risks

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spell checker
Spell Checker
  • We monitored keyword searches over a six month period and discovered 23%* of searches gave zero results
    • most OPACs present the user with a dead end page (“...where do I go now?”)
    • a good search engine should still give the user options on a failed search (“did you mean?”)

(* 2 years on, it’s still around 20%)

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spell checker11
Spell Checker

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spell checker12
Spell Checker
  • Spell checker based on a common word dictionary or your own holdings?
    • ...the latter might highlight your cataloguing errors1!

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serendipity keyword suggestions
Serendipity Keyword Suggestions
  • failed keyword searches are cross referenced with www.answers.com to provide new search suggestions

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serendipity keyword suggestions14
Serendipity Keyword Suggestions

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borrowing suggestions
Borrowing Suggestions
  • We had details of over 2,000,000 CKOs spanning 10 years stored in the library management system and gathering virtual dust
  • Web 2.0 – “Data is the Next Intel Inside1”
  • Historic circulation data can be mined2 to uncover the hidden trends and links between potentially disparate library items

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borrowing suggestions16
Borrowing Suggestions

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other editions
Other Editions
  • Uses FRBR-y web services provided by OCLC and LibraryThing to locate other editions and related works within local holdings
    • OCLC’s xISBN1
    • LibraryThing’s thingISBN2

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other editions18
Other Editions

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ratings and comments
Ratings and Comments

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problems challenges
Problems ... Challenges!
  • There was no formal process for discussing & agreeing new OPAC features
    • so we organised a web/library 2.0 afternoon for staff
  • Some initial (healthy) scepticism from staff
    • would users think borrowing suggestions were formal recommendations from the library?
    • aren’t borrowing suggestions just for selling books?
    • how relevant will the suggestions be?
  • Would sudden changes confuse users?

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solutions
Solutions?
  • Encourage suggestions from staff
  • Include users in decision making process
  • Encourage play and experimentation
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes!
  • Look widely for ideas
  • “Build crappy prototypes fast”1
  • Monitor usage
    • if usage is poor then remove it

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if you build it will they come
“If you build it, will they come?”

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increase in usage
Increase in Usage

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increase in usage30
Increase in Usage

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lipstick on the pig
Lipstick on the Pig

“We need to focus more energy on important, systemic changes rather than cosmetic ones. If your system is more difficult to search and less effective than Amazon.com, then you have work to do.

After all, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still very much a pig.” (Roy Tennant, Library Journal, 2005)

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quick opac survey features
Quick OPAC Survey – Features
  • Please rate how important you feel the following features are to your users in a modern OPAC.
    • embedding the OPAC in external sites (e.g. portals) 8.7
    • “did you mean” spelling suggestions 8.6
    • enriched content (book covers, ToCs, etc) 8.4
    • RSS feeds (e.g. new books, searches, etc) 7.8
    • facetted browsing (e.g. like NCSU Library) 7.4
    • “people who borrowed this” suggestions 6.5
    • user tagging of items (i.e. folksonomy) 6.1
    • user added comments and reviews 6.1
    • personalised suggestions (e.g. like Amazon) 6.0
    • user added ratings for items 5.7

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importance getting soon
Importance (getting soon)

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importance uk respondents
Importance – UK respondents

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technology adoption now
Technology Adoption - Now

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technology adoption q4 07
Technology Adoption – Q4 07?

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thank you any quick questions
Thank you! Any quick questions?

http://www.slideshare.net/daveyp

d.c.pattern@hud.ac.uk

Internet Librarian International 2007