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Quick Guides – Developing Short OPAC Tutorials. Martin Wolf 04-Sept-2003. About Cardiff University. Ranked 7 th out of 106 universities for research in 2001 Circa. 15,500 students and 3,500 staff Soon to merge with University of Wales College of Medicine. OPAC Tutorials. Why have them?

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about cardiff university
About Cardiff University
  • Ranked 7th out of 106 universities for research in 2001
  • Circa. 15,500 students and 3,500 staff
  • Soon to merge with University of Wales College of Medicine
opac tutorials
OPAC Tutorials
  • Why have them?
  • What types are there?
  • What did we decide?
  • What does it cover?
  • Where next?
why have them
Why have them?
  • Anecdotal evidence from library staff
  • Comments from academic staff
  • University-wide audit of library enquiries
  • Observational study of OPAC users
opac searching the main difficulties
OPAC searching – the main difficulties
  • Misunderstanding of search options
  • Most searches too specific or too broad
  • Large numbers of hits
  • Almost no use of limits / operators
addressing the difficulties
Addressing the difficulties
  • Implemented use of automatic limiters
  • Development of Quick Guides
what types are there
What types are there?

Simple pages of text to work through

  • University of Regina

“Multi-window” instructions

  • University of Auckland

“Multi-frame” instructions

  • University of Hawaii

Interactive Flash demonstrations

  • Bolton Institute
what did we decide
What did we decide?
  • Users needed to be able to use live catalogue
  • Instructions and catalogue should be on screen at same time
  • Tutorial had to be accessible to wide range of browsers (including DOPACs)
what did we use
What did we use?
  • Frames-based
  • Instructions and navigation to left; screenshots and catalogue to right
  • Static screenshots – benefits of animation not worth extra problems

Cardiff University Voyager Guide

what did we cover
What did we cover?

Emphasis on basics

  • Keyword searching as primary tool
  • Understanding location screens
  • Reserving items
  • Checking accounts
the process
The process
  • Project group brought together relevant staff
  • Implementation delayed by need for Welsh language version
  • Ready to be used during 2003/4 induction sessions
where next
Where next?
  • Need to keep pace with OPAC upgrades
  • Make tutorial more visible – e.g. links from other pages, more promotion
  • Consider ways of increasing interactivity
  • Consider ways of obtaining user feedback