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OPAC 2.0 and Beyond



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Draft version of the presentation given to the UKSG Conference in Torquay, UK

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OPAC 2.0 and Beyond

  1. 1. OPAC 2.0 …and beyond! Dave Pattern, Library Systems Manager University of Huddersfield [email_address]
  2. 2. Preamble <ul><li>Presentation available at: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Please remix and reuse this presentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Have you remembered to switch your phone on? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>please feel free take photos, record audio, blog, tweet (@daveyp), etc </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Contents <ul><li>Before the OPAC </li></ul><ul><li>OPAC 1.0 </li></ul><ul><li>OPAC 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond the OPAC </li></ul>
  4. 4. Once upon a time…
  5. 5. Warning The following sides may contain library porn…
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
  8. 8.
  9. 9.
  10. 10.
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
  13. 13.
  14. 14.
  15. 15. 1980s…
  16. 16.
  17. 18. 1990s…
  18. 19. Library Hi Tech Journal, 2002
  19. 20. Library Hi Tech Journal, 2002
  20. 21. Library Hi Tech Journal, 2002
  21. 22. 21 st Century
  22. 23. MARC21 <ul><li>“…designed to redefine the original MARC record format for the 21st century…” </li></ul><ul><li>And yet, the primary purpose of the complex punctuation rules in MARC21 seems to be to ensure that you can still produce perfect catalogue cards… Conspiracy theory #1 </li></ul>
  23. 25. What we think our users want…
  24. 38. Conspiracy Theory #2 <ul><li>Are we trying to turn our users into mini librarians? </li></ul><ul><li>Thou shalt not use yonder library catalogue or resources until thou hast understanding of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dewey Classification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shelfmarks & Shelf Order </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Boolean Logic and Advanced Set Theory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the difference between accruing & outstanding fines </li></ul></ul>
  25. 40. What our users want expect...
  26. 42. S. R. Ranganathan <ul><li>Five laws of library science (1931) </li></ul><ul><li>Fourth Law: Save the time of the Reader </li></ul><ul><li>…if readers find what they are looking for in a timely manner they will be more satisfied, and more likely to feel like their needs have been met </li></ul>ENLITE Journal, circa 1969
  27. 43. Roy Tennant <ul><li>“ I wish I had known that the solution for needing to teach our users how to search our catalog was to create a system that didn't need to be taught … I wish I had known that we would come to pay the price of our folly by seeing our users flock to commercial companies like Google and Amazon.” - Library Journal, 2005 </li></ul>
  28. 44. With hindsight…
  29. 45. Where we went wrong… <ul><li>Just an online card catalogue? </li></ul><ul><li>Just a stock inventory system? </li></ul><ul><li>Poor search & refine functionality …but, aren’t libraries supposed to be experts on “search”? ;-) </li></ul>
  30. 46. … does your OPAC suck?
  31. 48. “The OPAC Sucks” song <ul><li>The OPAC sucks, that's all I gotta say </li></ul><ul><li>You're outta luck if you can't spell “Hemingway” </li></ul><ul><li>... </li></ul><ul><li>The OPAC sucks, a sad calamity </li></ul><ul><li>Like it's stuck in 8 million B.C. </li></ul><ul><li>The title that I seek </li></ul><ul><li>Is buried very deep </li></ul><ul><li>(lyrics by Brian Smith , Chicago Librarian) </li></ul>
  32. 50. 2007 OPAC survey <ul><li>On a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 is extremely unhappy and 10 is extremely happy), how happy are you with your OPAC? </li></ul><ul><li>5.1 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  33. 51. 2007 OPAC survey <ul><li>One criticism of OPACs is that they rarely have cutting edge features that our users expect from a modern web site. </li></ul><ul><li>On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you think your OPAC meets the needs and expectations of your users? </li></ul><ul><li>4.5 </li></ul>
  34. 52. 2009 OPAC survey <ul><li>Follow up survey, run by Bowker </li></ul><ul><li>Due to the high number of responses, Bowker are donating an entire library via the Oxfam Unwrapped scheme  </li></ul><ul><li>… the findings should be announced soon! </li></ul>
  35. 53. The OPAC as a “pig” <ul><li>“After all, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still very much a pig.” (Roy Tennant discussing the OPAC, Library Journal , 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” (attrib. Robert Heinlein, author) </li></ul>
  36. 54. pig ugly?
  37. 55. “kissy, kissy?”
  38. 57. Web 2.0
  39. 58. Ann Arbor District Library
  40. 60. Huddersfield
  41. 61. Background <ul><li>General unhappiness with vendor product </li></ul><ul><li>“In-house” enhancements to the existing OPAC… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>user suggestions from surveys </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Web 2.0” inspired features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>borrowing good ideas from other web sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>new features launched with no/low publicity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ perpetual beta” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Required staff buy-in and a willingness to experiment and take risks! </li></ul>
  42. 62. Spell checker <ul><li>All OPAC keyword searches were monitored over a six month period </li></ul><ul><li>Approx 23% of searches gave zero results </li></ul><ul><ul><li>74 people entered “renew” as a keyword(!) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Users expect suggestions and prompts, not “dead end” pages </li></ul>
  43. 63. Spell checker
  44. 64. Keyword suggestions (1) <ul><li>Failed keyword searches are cross referenced with to provide new search suggestions </li></ul>
  45. 65. Keyword suggestions (2)
  46. 66. Keyword cloud
  47. 67. Borrowing suggestions
  48. 68. Personalised suggestions
  49. 69. Ratings and comments
  50. 70. Other editions <ul><li>Uses web services provided by OCLC and LibraryThing to locate other editions and related works within local holdings </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  51. 71. Other editions
  52. 72. Email alerts
  53. 73. RSS feeds
  54. 74. RSS feeds
  55. 75. RSS feeds
  56. 76. Google Book Search
  57. 77. Virtual shelf browser
  58. 78. Was it worth doing?
  59. 79. Borrowing profile Average book loans per month (2002-2008)
  60. 80. “Did you mean” spellchecker Average number of clicks per month
  61. 81. Borrowing suggestions Average number of clicks per month
  62. 82. Virtual shelf browser Average number of clicks per month
  63. 83. Keyword cloud Average number of clicks per month
  64. 84. Borrowing range profile Number of unique titles (bib#) borrowed per calendar year recommendation features added to OPAC at start of 2006
  65. 85. Other libraries…
  66. 86. North Carolina State University
  67. 87. LibraryThing for Libraries
  68. 88. Plymouth State University
  69. 89. Topeka and Shawnee County
  70. 90. University of Warwick
  71. 91. Hennepin County Library
  72. 92. doing it yourself <ul><li>Encourage suggestions from staff </li></ul><ul><li>Include users in decision making process </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage play and experimentation </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! </li></ul><ul><li>Look widely for ideas </li></ul><ul><li>“Build crappy prototypes fast” </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor usage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>if usage is poor, rethink it or get rid of it! </li></ul></ul>
  73. 93. Back to the pig… <ul><li>“ We need to focus more energy on important, systemic changes rather than cosmetic ones. If your system is more difficult to search and less effective than, then you have work to do. </li></ul><ul><li>After all, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still very much a pig.” (Roy Tennant, Library Journal , 2005) </li></ul>
  74. 94. OPAC 2.0
  75. 95. OPAC 2.0 <ul><li>Second generation web OPACs </li></ul><ul><li>Feature list… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>relevancy ranking by default </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>faceted browsing / limiting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>spellcheck </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS feeds, OpenSearch, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Marking MARC work harder! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>importance of high quality, rich records </li></ul></ul>
  76. 96. OPAC 2.0 <ul><li>However, Web 2.0 seems only to have made a partial impact on OPAC 2.0… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>tagging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ratings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>social bookmarking </li></ul></ul>
  77. 97. What’s missing from OPAC 2.0? <ul><li>We need more serendipity! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>borrowing suggestions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“just in time” recommendations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social features </li></ul><ul><ul><li>create links between borrowers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web services and APIs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>encourage users to remix our data </li></ul></ul>
  78. 98. Commerical products <ul><li>AquaBrowser </li></ul><ul><li>Ex Libris : Primo </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative Interfaces: Encore </li></ul><ul><li>SirsiDynix: Enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>Talis Platform: Prism 3 </li></ul><ul><li>DS: DSArena </li></ul>
  79. 101. Open Source
  80. 102. Open Source OPACs <ul><li>Scriblio </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plymouth State University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>uses WordPress blog software </li></ul></ul><ul><li>VuFind </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Falvey Memorial Library, Villanova University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses PHP & MySQL </li></ul></ul><ul><li>LibraryFind </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Oregon State University Libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>uses Ruby on Rails </li></ul></ul>
  81. 103. Open Source OPACs <ul><li>fac-back-opac </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laurentian University Library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>uses Lucene & Solr </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Project Blacklight </li></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Virginia Libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>uses Lucene & Solr </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Social OPAC </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Darien Library (John Blyberg) </li></ul></ul>
  82. 104. Open Source OPACs <ul><li>Open Source LMS OPACs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Koha </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evergreen </li></ul></ul>
  83. 105. Lucene <ul><li>Begun in 1997, became OS in 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Apache Software Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>fast, full text indexer </li></ul><ul><li>powerful search engine </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ranking, proximity, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>text analysers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>stemming, soundex matching, etc </li></ul></ul>
  84. 106. Lucene <ul><li>Sites using Lucene: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AOL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CNET </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blackwell’s Online Bookshop </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> & Guardian Jobs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>job search websites </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DiVA: Academic Archive On-line </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Norwegian digital repository for 22 universities </li></ul></ul></ul>see
  85. 107. Solr <ul><li>Begun in 2004, became OS in 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Extends Lucene functionality… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>facets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>highly scalable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>stopwords, synonym lists, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>spellchecker </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ more like this” </li></ul></ul>
  86. 108. VuFind
  87. 109. fac-back-opac
  88. 110. Web services
  89. 111. Web services & APIs <ul><li>Talis Platform </li></ul><ul><li>LibraryThing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>thingISBN, thingTitle, thingLang, data feeds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>OCLC WorldCat Grid Services </li></ul><ul><li>Amazon Web Services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>rebranded as “Amazon Associates Web Service” with new conditions of use </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Google Book Search API </li></ul>
  90. 112. Google Book Search API <ul><li>Launched March 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Client-side implementation (rather than the more typical server-side) </li></ul><ul><li>Link to GBS content: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>via ISBN, LCCN and OCLC numbers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>front cover thumbnails </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>preview pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>embeddable book preview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“in book” search </li></ul></ul>
  91. 113. Beyond the OPAC
  92. 114. More than just books <ul><li>Single search for multiple silos: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>library stock (books, journals, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>electronic content (ebooks, ejournals, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>digital repositories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>archive collections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>multimedia collections (audio, video photos, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Many users are now format agnostic </li></ul>
  93. 115. Local indexes <ul><li>Traditional meta-searching too slow </li></ul><ul><li>Local indexes = fast searches </li></ul><ul><li>Serial Solutions: Summon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>web content crawled and indexed in advance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>uses Lucene & Solr </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some existing products also support local indexes… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Primo, VuFind, LibraryFind, etc </li></ul></ul>
  94. 116. Getting personal <ul><li>Data-mining of usage data </li></ul><ul><li>JISC TILE+ Project (2009) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>aggregation of usage data from many libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Let’s share our data! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>12/Dec/2008: University of Huddersfield releases aggregated circulation & recommendation data into the Public Domain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>14/Dec/2008: University of Mary Washington creates Semantic Web version of the data </li></ul></ul>
  95. 117. Potential benefits? <ul><li>Students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>higher quality recommendations and suggestions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>borrowing profiles per course / year of study </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Librarians </li></ul><ul><ul><li>collection development </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Academics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>improved reading lists </li></ul></ul>
  96. 118. …and the OPAC? <ul><li>Will it return to just being an inventory of physical stock? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>just one of many silos </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What goes around, comes around… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>give it a few more years and we’ll probably go back to using card catalogues! ;-) </li></ul></ul>
  97. 119. Thank you!

Editor's Notes

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