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Next Generation OPACs. Kat Hagedorn Scott Martin Jake Glenn July 12, 2007. What is it?. What do you think? In one “definition” * Not a catalog Not multiple databases Utilizes 2.0 services Built using “things” that are open Built with the user in mind…always.

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next generation opacs

Next Generation OPACs

Kat Hagedorn

Scott Martin

Jake Glenn

July 12, 2007

what is it
What is it?
  • What do you think?
  • In one “definition” *
    • Not a catalog
    • Not multiple databases
    • Utilizes 2.0 services
    • Built using “things” that are open
    • Built with the user in mind…always

Mostly, Eric Lease Morgan’s talk

  • Kat: faceted browsing
  • Scott: social tagging
  • Jake: open data
faceted browse
Faceted browse
  • What is it?
  • AKA faceted classification
  • AKA hierarchical faceted categories
  • “…allows the assignment of multiple classifications to an object, enabling the classifications to be ordered in multiple ways, rather than in a single, pre-determined, taxonomic order.” *


studies say
Studies say…
  • Facets help users because
    • “…simultaneously shows previews of where to go next, and how to return to previous states in the exploration…”
    • “…reduces mental work by promoting recognition over recall and suggesting logical but perhaps unexpected alternatives at every turn…”

“Clustering vs. Faceted Categories for Information Exploration”

Marti A. Hearst

catalogs using facets
Catalogs using facets
  • Easier to see than say…
  • NCSU Libraries (sorta) started it all
  • Also have worked to integrate catalog with quick search on library gateway
catalogs using facets1
Catalogs using facets
  • McMaster Library Catalogue
catalogs using facets2
Catalogs using facets
  • Plymouth State University
  • (not using Endeca, actually built using open source tool WordPress)
social tagging
Social tagging
  • What is it?
    • Labelling items using un- or semi-controlled vocabulary
    • Ability to view and search other people’s tags as well as your own

Example: Flickr (

tagging in a library aadl
Tagging in a library: AADL
  • Items tagged by AADL patrons
  • At present, clearly not representative of AADL holdings
tagging tools librarything
Tagging tools: LibraryThing
  • Flickr for your book collection: enter and tag titles from your personal bookshelf, and search other users’ collections
  • Over 15 million titles cataloged
  • Integration tools for library OPACs available (example:
tagging tools penntags
Tagging tools: PennTags
  • Similar to (tagging Web bookmarks;, but limited to UPenn community
  • Allows tagging of library catalog items, some journal articles in addition to Web links
the opac has left the building
“The OPAC Has Left The Building!”

- Christopher Harris (Infomancy)

what is an opac anyway
What Is An OPAC, Anyway?
  • Online - because electronic catalogs had previously been offline with terminal access only.
  • Public Access - as opposed to private mainframes with usage accounting to track every second of access time.
  • Catalog - a set of MARC records (machine-encoded document surrogates).

“The coolest thing to do with your data will be thought of by someone else.”

- Jo Walsh & Rufus Pollock (Open Knowledge Foundation)

XTech 2007

who s doing this
Who’s Doing This?
  • NCSU: CatalogWS
  • Others?
don t forget
Don’t forget!
  • Please fill out the session feedback form
    • Available from the Lib2.0 Events page
  • This presentation is also on the site
  • Do your 13 things!
  • Use the Project Blog to post ideas
opac feedback
OPAC Feedback
  • The Aleph OPAC group wants your feedback! What features would you like to see in a next-generation Mirlyn catalog? Send your thoughts to: