Online Catalogs: What Users and Librarians Want

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  • 1.
    • Prepared for the Charleston Conference
      • Karen Calhoun
      • Janet Hawk
    Online catalogs: What users and librarians want A review of market research data 7 November 2008
  • 2. With thanks to Joanne Cantrell, OCLC Market Research Analyst Photo by allw3ndy http://flickr.com/photos/allw3ndy/2757149584/
  • 3. What did catalog quality mean in 1989? Davis, Carol C. 1989. “Results of a survey on record quality in the OCLC database.” Technical Services Quarterly . 7 (2):43-53. Duplicate records Bad name headings Bad subject headings
  • 4. The perception of “quality”: The eye of the beholder
    • Specialist’s view:
      • Conformance to specifications (rules)
      • Priorities: Fullness and detail
    • Pragmatist’s view:
      • Make as many materials as possible available as quickly as possible
      • Priorities: speed and efficiency
    • End-user’s view:
      • Easy and convenient
  • 5. 30-second summary of online catalog user studies
    • Keyword searching reigns
    • The default search is chosen most often
    • Number of terms in a query: 1 to 3
    • Search failure rate (zero hits) is very high: 20 to 40 percent
    The latest study: Moulaison, Heather L. 2008. “OPAC queries at a medium-sized academic library: a Transaction log analysis.” LRTS 52 (4): 230-237.
  • 6. Will Google Books usurp the library catalog? Ludwig, Mark J. and Margaret R. Wells. “Google Books vs. BISON.” Library Journal , July 15, 2008. http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6566451.html
  • 7. Markey, Karen and Karen Calhoun.1987. “Unique words contributed by MARC records with summary and/or contents notes.” Proceedings of the 50 th ASIS Annual Meeting (Medford NJ: Learned Information), p. 153 – 162. LCSH: from 3 to 7 words per record Assumptions and mindsets: Where do subject-rich index terms come from?
  • 8. Assumptions and mindsets: What is “full”? + 3 more screens Product description and purchase information; ‘ More like this’ Editorial reviews and author info ‘ Inside the book’ tags, ratings, customer reviews, lists and more With thanks to David Lankes: http://quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/Presentations/ 2007/ALCTS.pdf Bibliographic information Library holdings Details Subjects Editions Reviews Bibliographic information Australian library holdings
  • 9. What Is online catalog “quality”? “ A persistent shortcoming in the decision-making process [about library database quality] that needs to be addressed is the lack of serious research into user needs and benefits, and the actual impact on users of database quality decisions.” — Janet Swan Hill Hill, Janet Swan. 2008. “Is it worth it? Management decisions related to database quality.” CCQ 46 (1): 5-26.
  • 10. “ You need more book descriptions. Telling me the author name and book title does not tell me what a book is about.” - High school student- “ I would like to preview actual pages from the books. This would greatly help me educate myself on the subject matter presented and get a sense of what the book actually offers.” - College student- “ Please link me to the item i'm searching for.” -Graduate student-
  • 11. Objectives of our metadata quality research
    • Start over with a blank page
    • Identify and compare metadata expectations
        • End users
        • Librarians
    • Compare expectations of types of librarians
    • Determine end-user satisfaction with WorldCat.org
    • Define a new WorldCat quality program
      • Considering the perspectives of all constituencies of WorldCat
        • End users (and subgroups of end users)
        • Librarians (and subgroups of librarians)
  • 12. How did we conduct the research? Research methodologies
    • Focus groups
      • Conducted by Blue Bear, LLC
    • Pop-up survey on WorldCat.org
      • Conducted by ForeSee Results
    • Librarian survey
      • Conducted by Marketing Backup
  • 13. End-user focus groups
    • Focus groups:
      • College students, ages 18–24
      • General public, ages 25–59
      • Scholars, including academic faculty and graduate students
    • Format:
      • Individual usability tests: captured comments on-screen
      • Facilitator-led, group discussion
  • 14.  
  • 15. What did we learn? End-user focus group results
    • Key observations:
    • Delivery is as important, if not more important, than discovery.
      • Seamless, easy flow from discovery through delivery is critical.
    • Improved search relevance is necessary.
  • 16. Pop-up survey
    • Live on WorldCat.org: May 12
    • 11,000+ responses through July 10
    • Evaluates the metadata most helpful in identifying a needed item
  • 17. Who responded to the survey?
    • Students: 19%
    • Teacher/professor: 15%
    • Other general searchers: 34%
    • Librarians/other library staff: 32%
    • End-user country:
    • USA: 56%
    • Canada: 4%
    • Mexico: 3%
    • United Kingdom: 3%
    • End-user language:
    • English: 84%
    • Spanish: 8%
    • Other: 3%
    • French: 2%
    • End-user age:
    • 18 & younger: 5%
    • 19 – 30: 24%
    • 31-40: 17%
    • 41-50: 20%
    • 51-60: 20%
    • 61+: 13%
  • 18. What did we learn? Pop-up survey results
    • Information most essential in identifying the item needed?
    • End users (n=7535)
    Discovery Discovery Discovery Discovery Delivery Delivery Delivery Delivery Delivery Delivery Discovery Discovery Discovery Discovery Discovery Discovery Discovery Discovery Discovery Discovery Discovery Discovery Discovery Discovery
  • 19. What did we learn? Pop-up survey suggestions Changes to help identify an item? End users (n=7535)
  • 20. ‘ Item details’ in WorldCat.org The World Is Flat Lots of detail Not Quite the Diplomat Not much detail
  • 21. ‘ Subject information’ in WorldCat.org 6 subject-rich words: Barack Obama Travel Africa Presidential Candidates
  • 22. End-user recommendations
    • Improve search relevance
    • Add more links to online full text (and make linking easy)
    • Add more summaries/abstracts: Make summaries more prominent
    • Add more details in the search results (e.g., cover art and summaries)
  • 23. Librarian survey
    • Currently in the field beginning September 2008 (U.S. and non U.S.)
    • Preliminary data: 1,138 responses; North America (844) and 171 international as of 10/24/08
    • Evaluates:
      • The metadata most helpful in identifying a needed item
      • Attributes liked most about WorldCat
      • Recommended enhancements to WorldCat
  • 24. Librarian survey
    • Acquisitions: 28%
    • Cataloging : 65%
    • Collection development or selection: 32%
    • Interlibrary loan: 25%
    • Reference/public service: 46%
    • Library director/administration: 20%
    Current areas of responsibility
  • 25. What did we learn? Librarian survey results: Reactions to WorldCat.org —c ompared to end users DISCOVERY Most essential information
  • 26. What did we learn ? Librarian survey results compared to end-user results DISCOVERY Recommended enhancements
  • 27. What did we learn? End-user survey data compared to librarian survey data DISCOVERY Recommended enhancements to WorldCat
  • 28. What did we learn? Librarian survey results TOP recommended enhancements to WorldCat Top 5 total librarian responses
  • 29. What did we learn? Librarian survey results Recommended enhancements to WorldCat Top 5 acquisition librarian responses
  • 30. What did we learn? Librarian survey results Recommended enhancements to WorldCat Top 5 cataloging librarian responses
  • 31. What did we learn? Librarian survey results Recommended enhancements to WorldCat Top 5 library director responses
  • 32. What did we learn? Librarian survey results
    • TOP enhancements for WorldCat TOP 5 responses by academic librarians
  • 33. What did we learn? Librarian survey results
    • TOP enhancements for WorldCat TOP 5 responses by public librarians
  • 34. What did we learn? Librarian survey results
    • TOP enhancements for WorldCat TOP 5 responses among international librarians
  • 35. What did we learn? Pop-up survey suggestions Changes to help identify an item? End users (n=7535) – Bottom 8 mentions
  • 36. Recommendations from librarian survey (so far)
    • Merge duplicates
    • Make it easier to make corrections to records (fix typos; do upgrades); “social cataloging” experiment — Wikipedia
    • More emphasis on accuracy/currency of library holdings
    • Enrichment — TOCs, summaries, cover art — work with content suppliers, use APIs, etc.
    • Education about what users say they want
  • 37. A few ideas to discuss
    • Catalogs have many audiences, inside and outside the library
    • With respect to metadata “quality,” librarians’ and end users’ definitions generally differ
    • Different groups of end users have different priorities, but there are some commonalities across groups:
      • The end user’s delivery experience is as important, if not more important than the discovery experience
      • Most important for analog materials: summaries, TOCs, etc.
      • Most important for licensed e- and digital materials: the ability to link easily and conveniently to the online content itself
    • Different groups of librarians have different priorities, but there are some commonalities across groups:
      • Merge duplicate records
      • Add TOCs