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Making the catalogue a good place to be lipstick, cowbells and serendipity

Making the catalogue a good place to be lipstick, cowbells and serendipity

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Making the catalogue a good place to be lipstick, cowbells and serendipity

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  1. Making the catalogue a good place to belipstick, cowbells and serendipity Dave Pattern, Library Systems ManagerUniversity of Huddersfield d.c.pattern@hud.ac.uk http://slideshare.net/daveyp PROWE Project Event

  2. Contents • does your OPAC suck? • OPAC survey findings • experiences at Huddersfield • other libraries • OPAC 2.0 • further OPAC survey findings Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ PROWE Project Event

  3. Does Your OPAC “Suck”? PROWE Project Event

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  7. “More Cowbell” …huh? “Used to express that something is deeply lacking oomph... to express that something is far from perfect, needs repair, fixing, rectifying.” (everything2.com) PROWE Project Event

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  10. The OPAC as a Pig • “After all, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still very much a pig.” (Roy Tennant discussing the OPAC,Library Journal, 2005) • “Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” (attrib. Robert Heinlein, author) PROWE Project Event

  11. Pig Ugly? PROWE Project Event

  12. “Kissy, Kissy?” PROWE Project Event

  13. 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  PROWE Project Event

  14. OPAC Survey (2007) • One criticism of OPACs is that they rarely have cutting edge 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 PROWE Project Event

  15. 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 PROWE Project Event

  16. Experiences at Huddersfield • definitely not OPAC 2.0 • enhancements to the existing OPAC • user suggestions from surveys • “2.0” inspired features • borrowing good ideas 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 PROWE Project Event

  17. Spell Checker • we monitored keyword searches over a six month period and discovered approx 23% of searches gave zero results • most OPACs present the user with a “dead end” page • a good search engine should still give the user options on a failed search (“did you mean?”) PROWE Project Event

  18. Spell Checker PROWE Project Event

  19. Keyword Suggestions • failed keyword searches are cross referenced with www.answers.com to provide new search suggestions PROWE Project Event

  20. Keyword Suggestions PROWE Project Event

  21. 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 PROWE Project Event

  22. Borrowing Suggestions PROWE Project Event

  23. Ratings and Comments PROWE Project Event

  24. 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 PROWE Project Event

  25. Other Editions PROWE Project Event

  26. Email Alerts PROWE Project Event

  27. RSS feeds PROWE Project Event

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  33. “If you build it, will they come?” PROWE Project Event

  34. Increase in Usage PROWE Project Event

  35. Increase in Usage PROWE Project Event

  36. 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) PROWE Project Event

  37. Problems ...Challenges! • there was no formal process for discussing and agreeing new OPAC features • so we organised a web/library 2.0 afternoon for staff • some initial 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? PROWE Project Event

  38. 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” • monitor usage • if usage is poor then remove it PROWE Project Event

  39. Playing and experimenting PROWE Project Event

  40. Searching for books by colour PROWE Project Event

  41. Search visualisations PROWE Project Event

  42. Search visualisations PROWE Project Event

  43. CKO visualisations PROWE Project Event

  44. New! Keyword cloud (prototype) PROWE Project Event

  45. New! Keyword cloud (live OPAC) PROWE Project Event

  46. Other Libraries • Ann Arbor District Library • North Carolina State University (Endeca) • LibraryThing for Libraries • Open Source OPACs PROWE Project Event

  47. Ann Arbor District Library • early adopter of “2.0” (John Blyberg) • OPAC deeply embedded in Library portal • virtual catalogue cards (with graffiti!) • user tagging, ratings, and reviews • borrowing suggestions • RSS feeds • http://www.aadl.org/catalog/ PROWE Project Event

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  50. North Carolina State University • facetted browsing • http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/catalog/ • http://endeca.com PROWE Project Event