What Is an OPAC? LSSL 5396 Computer Science Applications to Librarianship
OPAC• OPAC = Online Public Access Catalog• OPAC is an online database which can be searched by keywords and/or subject and/or title, etc.• OPACs rely on Boolean operators: AND, OR, NOT, AND NOT
School Librarians Should …• Educate students in how to recognize the different media formats represented in the OPAC.• Teach students how to read the various ways information is displayed in the online catalog.
Degree of Relevance• Searches may be returned according to their degree of relevance• This may be displayed as a percentage - %• Highest percentage of relevance may be displayed first• Order for displaying degree of relevance may be set or adjusted in advance searches in some automation systems
Wild-Card Searching• Most OPACs allow wild-card searching• Wild-card searching is when asterisks are used to represent any missing or left-off search information – e.g., librar* for library, libraries, librarian, librarianship
Learning More About OPAC• As you seek school library sites on the web, try out a search of your own using their online catalog to discover more about how OPACs work.• As a school librarian, you will be the expert for your school on your school’s OPAC.
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