domingo, 25 de enero de 2009

Next Generation Library Interfaces : Random notes by David Lee King

ALCTS President’s Program: Breaking Down the Silos: Planning for Discovery in Library 2.0 - an ALCTS Midwinter Symposium

Posted: 24 Jan 2009 12:43 PM PST

David Lee King is Digital Branch & Services Manager at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

Marshall Breeding - title of his presentation: Next Generation Library Interfaces: Overview of concepts and a brief tour of commercial and open source products started with OCLC Perceptions stat - where do you start an info search?

  • 89% search engines… library catalogs, 2%
  • usage of library websites is going down, everything else is going up … hmm…
  • aside - that makes a good case for sticking library content on blogs… users will find you that way

Crowded landscape of info providers on the web - google, amazon, us, etc…

  • Nobody has to go to a bibliographic instruction class to use Amazon… Nice.
  • Amazon is so easy to use - Marshall accidentally bought a book during a presentation, it’s so easy

Demand for compelling library interfaces:

  • urgent need for libraries to offer interfaces their users will like to use
  • move into the current millenium
  • search in line with how the current web works

Inadequacy of ILS OPACs:

  • OPAC modules … failing to meet customer needs - it’s not really built for customers
  • Change is Underway! Lots of movement to break out of the current mold of library catalogs
  • Marshall hopes the back end will be redesigned, too, to be more modern

Next-Generation Interfaces:

  • redefinition of the library catalog - the word “catalog” is not a good one
  • more elegant presentation (think amazon)
  • more comprehensive info discovery environments
  • no longer enough to provide a catalog limited to print resources
  • digital resources cannot be an afterthought
  • systems designed for e-content only are also problematic forcing users to use different interfaces depending on types of content becoming less tenable federated search currently operates as a plug-in component of next-gen interfaces

web 2.0 flavorings:

  • strategic infrastructure + web 2.0
  • a more social and collaborative approach web tools and tech that foster collaboration integrated blogs, wiki, user reviews, etc.
  • avoid 2.0 info silos - don’t have separate blogs, wikis, etc - make sure it’s integrated

2.0 supporting tech:

  • web services, xml apis, ajax, relevancy-based search engines, social networking tools and concepts

scope of the next gen library interface:

  • attempt to collapse silos or draw appropriately from each silo
  • unified user experience
  • single point of entry into everything
  • print + electronic
  • local + remote
  • locally created content

Functions and features:

  • Interface features/user experience:
  • simple point of entry - optional advanced search
  • relevancy ranked results
  • facets for narrowing and navigation
  • query enhancement - spell check, etc

suggested related results / recommendation service

  • enriched visual and textual content
  • single sign-on

Relevancy Ranking:

  • Endeca, Lucene do a good job
  • web users expect this! - the good stuff should be listed first
  • users tend not to delve deep into a result list
  • good relevancy requires a sophisticated approach

new paradigm for search and navigation:

  • users drill down through the result set and faceted browsing
  • faceted search - gives users clues about eh the number of hits, etc - it’s more like an online store’s faceted/guided navigation
  • more visual, has navigational bread crumbs
  • talking about boolean - walmart doesn’t teach their customers to do fancy boolean search to get to their products… we shouldn’t do this either!
  • Amazon doesn’t say “no results found.” Did you Mean and other features instead validated spell check have More Like This recommendation service
  • goal - make the query and the response to it better than the query provided

appropriate organizational structures:

  • LCSH vs FAST (faceted application of subject terminology)
  • full marc vs dublin core or MODS, or unstructured data discipline-specific thesauri or ontologies


  • enriched content - book jacket, summaries, etc
  • personalization/single sign on

deep search:

  • entering post-metadata search era
  • web searches full text. Google print, google publisher, open content alliance, etc
  • high quality metadata will improve search precision
  • commercial search providers already offer search inside the book
  • library search doesn’t do this!!!

Beyond discovery to fulfillment / delivery: this is the harder part - harder than discovery

Enterprise integration:

  • ability to deliver content and services through non-library apps
  • courseware, portals, social networking environments, etc

Great Benefit, Great Cost

We’re WAY TOO SLOW. Time on the web moves quickly! We need to catch up.

ideas to buy/use:

  • Endeca - one of the first
Widely used in the commercial world high-dollar approach aquabrowser:
  • LibraryThing for Libraries:Wow - they are now distributed exclusively by RR Bowker
  • Primo: tailored for academic libraries
  • Encore from Innovative Interfaces (Nashville Public Library uses it)
  • Worldcat Local
  • TLCs LS2 (Shanandoah Public Library) good visual design
  • SirsiDynix Enterprise. not aware of anyone actually using it yet ; it’s a hosted product does relevancy well uses chilifresh for book reviews

Marshall’s example is very ugly! Sirsi really needs a visual designer!


Wordpress - looks great
Marshall’s not sure how it will scale same stuff - faceted search, relevance, etc

production cat for the National Library of Australia - that’s pretty big.
open source, looks great

focuses on social networking, tag, review, comments, etc oakville public library in ontario - in production. Looks great!

Summon serials solutions product eXtensibe Catalog

Polaris, Koha, Evergreen - doing well with providing next-gen features too


question/comment: We have a next-gen catalog, our faculty don’t get it - don’t understand faceted search, don’t know what a tag cloud is, etc - how do you get around that?

Answer: well, Amazon doesn’t seem to need to explain their faceted search, tag, etc stuff… ouch!


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Luisa Vigo-Cepeda,

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