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Making the catalogue a good place to be lipstick, cowbells and serendipity Dave Pattern, Library Systems Manager University of Huddersfield d.c.pattern@hud.ac.uk http://slideshare.net/daveyp Contents does your OPAC suck? OPAC survey findings experiences at Huddersfield other libraries

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making the catalogue a good place to be lipstick cowbells and serendipity

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

contents
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/

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does your opac suck
Does Your OPAC “Suck”?

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more cowbell huh
“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)

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the opac as a pig
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)

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pig ugly
Pig Ugly?

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kissy kissy
“Kissy, Kissy?”

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opac survey 2007
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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opac survey 200714
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

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opac survey 200715
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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experiences at huddersfield
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

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spell checker
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?”)

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spell checker18
Spell Checker

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

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keyword suggestions20
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 suggestions22
Borrowing Suggestions

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ratings and comments
Ratings and Comments

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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 editions25
Other Editions

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email alerts
Email Alerts

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rss feeds
RSS feeds

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increase in usage
Increase in Usage

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increase in usage35
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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problems challenges
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?

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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”
  • monitor usage
    • if usage is poor then remove it

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playing and experimenting
Playing and experimenting

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search visualisations
Search visualisations

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search visualisations42
Search visualisations

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cko visualisations
CKO visualisations

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other libraries
Other Libraries
  • Ann Arbor District Library
  • North Carolina State University (Endeca)
  • LibraryThing for Libraries
  • Open Source OPACs

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ann arbor district library
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/

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north carolina state university
North Carolina State University
  • facetted browsing
  • http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/catalog/
  • http://endeca.com

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librarything for libraries
LibraryThing for Libraries
  • integrates LibraryThing data into the OPAC
    • tags
    • borrowing suggestions
    • other editions
  • www.librarything.com/forlibraries/

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open source opacs
Open Source OPACs
  • Scriblio (formerly WPOpac)
    • uses WordPress (blogging software)
  • VuFind
    • uses PHP & MySQL
  • Lucene & Solr
    • Project Backlight (Univ. of Virginia)
    • FacBackOPAC
    • Huddersfield (blog post)

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the traditional vendors
The Traditional Vendors
  • Talis Platform
    • “an environment for building next generation applications and services”
  • Ex Libris Primo
    • “one-stop solution for the discovery and delivery of local and remote resources”
  • Innovative Interfaces Encore
    • “goes beyond the online-catalog model to provide a better patron experience ”

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opac 2 0
OPAC 2.0
  • “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

(Alan Kay, computer scientist and former Xerox PARC researcher)

  • “The future is here. It's just not widely distributed yet.”

(William Gibson, science fiction authorand creator of the word “cyberspace”)

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opac 2 059
OPAC 2.0
  • shopping list of features:
    • spell checking (“did you mean?”)
    • relevancy ranking, search refining, and facets
    • manual recommendations (“best bets”)
    • automated suggestions (based on both global and user-specific data)
    • user participation (“read-write OPAC”)
    • foster communities of interest

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opac 2 060
OPAC 2.0
  • shopping list of features:
    • improve serendipity
    • expose hidden links between items
    • APIs and Web Services to expose data
    • promote unintended uses
    • user personalisation
    • embed external data (e.g. Wikipedia, LibraryThing)
    • RSS feeds and OpenSearch

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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 6.0
    • personalised suggestions (e.g. like Amazon) 5.9
    • user added ratings for items 5.7

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implementation of features
Implementation of Features

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features future trends
Features – Future Trends?

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importance getting soon
Importance (getting soon)

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technology adoption now
Technology Adoption - Now

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thank you
Thank you!

http://www.daveyp.com/blog/

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