Thursday, 10 January 2008

21st Century OPAC?

After reading a Kim Cofino's wish list for the "best" library catalog system out there, I've been thinking about how everything else around me is becoming technologically advanced at lightning speed, so why not the OPAC? Navigating it is not always easy for me as a librarian at times, so imagine the elementary kids who are trying to find a good book and actually want to do that independently by typing in a title and having it lead them to new titles they might like? Instead, if they spell the title wrong, it often leads them to a dead end. School Library Journal has a fabulous article addressing just this issue (like why on earth do we have MARC records displayed for all to see in this day and age when there are of no real use to students?!). He suggests a tool called Fish4Info which looks intriguing to me. It's open source, so it's free, and from what I see, your catalog is on it but it's streamlined, friendly and includes some of the neat additions like student book reviews and notes from the librarian. Worth exploring...

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