CIL2006, Day 3: The Future of Catalogs

Roy Tennant:

What catalogs do well:

  • inventory control system – what you have, where it’s located
  • known item searching
  • … for items within a particular collection

Doesn’t do well (his “short list”):

  • any type of search beyond known item
  • anything beyond books and journal titles
  • not good at displaying results by logical groupings (FRBR)
  • Faceted browsing
  • relevance ranking
  • recommending similar titles

How we got in this mess:

  • automation began in the back room – automated circ functions, acquisitions,etc
  • moved to the public as an afterthought
  • system was optimized for librarians
  • failed to exploit full power of computer systems and catalog infrastructure

key problems:

  • mixed management and discovery purposes – bad mashup
  • stovepipe system – hard to get information back out
  • abdicated responsibility to the vendor
  • slow to exploit new opportunities
  • reluctant to collaborate on proffesion-wide level


  • library catalog is one finding tool among many
  • acknowledge the good and bad
  • users want a variety of information sources – not just books
  • we can do better!

Future of catalog:

  • one system among many that must interoperate
  • refocused on local inventory only
  • functions well alone
  • won’t be the most important finding tool in a library

Signs of Life:

  • gapines
  • redlightgreen
  • OCLC Curiouser project
  • X9 csusm
  • Andrew Pace’s new catalog, which leads us to …

Andrew Pace

You never get what you don’t ask for.

Next Generation OPAC examples out there: vivisimo, aquabrowser, endeca, exlibris, etc.

Sirsi/Dynix has partnered with FAST?

Endeca – gave a NCSU catalog tour

They went with Endeca because it had:

  • speed
  • relevance ranking
  • faceted browsing
  • true browsing
  • spell checking
  • stemming
  • “did you mean” search suggestions

They partnered with Endeca

Tech overview: Endeca coexists with their SirsiDynix Unicorn ILS and the Web2 catalog

Indexes MARC exported from Unicorn. Index is refreshed nightly

They have to reformat MARC so Endeca can parse it

Endeca doesn’t understand MARC – it gets turned into a flat text file for Endeca

Who is Endeca? they built the search engines that Walmart and Barnes & Nobles uses, among others

challenges: using LCSH like it’s never been used before

Future plans – getting rid of authority searching (because none of their users use it)


CIL2006, Day 3: Gary Price – Best of Resource Shelf

Most important – why do we need to know all this stuff Gary talked about? Well – we’re the information go-to… we know our collections. We also need to learn online resources, so when people come asking about the web, we can be ready with a good anser, resources to point them to, etc. – cams of traffic in DC and NYC

in2tv from AOL – free old TV shows. This is cool… – what’s coming up on public radio – even opens up the live stream.

search engine ordering – a firefox plugin – will it work with an opac? Hmm…

newspaperarchive – free pdf of newspapers

zohowriter – wame as writely – a web-based Word-like application – free SEC alert service

exalead has proximity searching – 16 words in either direction

rollyo runs on top of the yahoo database, does customized searches

online books page – lots of onlien books, with rss – still useful. prebuilt pages for companies and zip codes.

Diplomacy Monitor – primary documents and press releases from world governments

wikiwax, – word mapping

Gooba – upload and host video content


CIL2006, Day 3: Lee Rainie

Lee Rainie spoke about younger people… here’s what he had to say:

Younger users: they made a recent TIme Magazine cover – “Are Kids too Wired for their Own Good?”

8 Realities of Millenials:

  1. Distinct age cohort: they are not like gen x or baby boomers. They will be a larger generation than the baby boomer generation, and will be more ethnically diverse. They are the generation of No CHild Left Behind, play days, metal detectors at schools, filters, and bike helmets.They are team-oriented and conventional. They are very tech-embracing.
  2. Immersed in the reality of gadgets. They favor the gadget of the moment – if they have a cell phone with them, then that’s the gadget they want information to be delivered on. If they’re at home, then their computer works just fine. If they want to immerse themselves in a subject, then books are great.
  3. Mobile. Lee talked alot about smart mobs, texting, and cell phone use. Media – tivo and ipods. schedules are no longer being formed around a media event (like for a TV show).
  4. Internet plays a special role in their world. 33% of online teens share their creations online! 22% have their own webpage, 19% have a blog. 19% remix content into their own creations.
  5. Multi-taskers. continuous partial attention. Librarians are “information support” – only useful when needed.
  6. Unaware of consequences related to technology. The whole download/copyright/personal privacy thing. [me here – no duh! they’re still kids. I think this will change as this generation matures]
  7. Their tech world will change radically in the next decade. [me here: listen up – ours will, too!]. We’re in the middle of a J cuve (which is much steeper than an S curve). Computing power doubles every 18 months; communication power doubles every 9 months; storage doubles every 12 months. RFID stuff, the Long Tail.
  8. The way they approach learning and research will be shaped by their new tech world.

Lee siad the new world is “complcated, scary, and exciting.”


CIL2006, Day 3: Open Source Software for Libraries, by Glen Horton

Why is Open Source Software so important?

  • libraries believe information should be freely accessible
  • preservation relies on open standards
  • privacy is important… to libraries and patrons [me – so how is open source software better? I don’t see how open source software can keep my info private better than, say Microsoft…]
  • libraries should lend open source software to patrons, via CD [me – that’s be a bother… but you could sell/give away CDs to patrons. I think that’d be better than doing the whole loan thing with CDs]
  • should be open source software providers

Digital collections:

  • – uses it)
  • it has plugins for pdf, word, excel, powerpoint, html, email, images, mp3, etc.
  • it has a GUI for the back end (ie., input)
  • it can publish collections to CD/DVD – nice


  • koha – as example
  • Evergreen, Avanti are similar projects

Web content/filtering/caching

  • DansGuardian – – keyword-based
  • SquidGuard – – url-based
  • Hmm…
  • as example


  • PublicIP –
  • DansGuardian is built-in!

Thin Clients:

  • – uses old PCs as thin clients
  • one main PC to support
  • Userful Discovery Station:
  • 10 users on a single PC – 10 monitors, keyboards, mice… and one PC. Wow.

Other resources:, webjunction (has a list)


CIL2006, Day 2: My Morning Stroll to the Conference

walking to the conferenceIn my continued experiment with the Treo’s video capabilities, I created a video of my morning walk to the conference. Hope you enjoy it!

I’m deciding that Treo video works great to capture snippets of video, useful for things like video blogs (ie., throwaway video content like what I’ve been making). And it’s useful to quickly capture a thought, an action, etc.

But is it useful for a library? That depends. What is it you plan to do with the video? If you’re planning on using the Treo to film your online bibliographic instruction class, I’d say you’re nuts! You probbaly need better-quality video for that (or even screencasting software like Camptasia, depending on what it is your’e doing).

But how about for teens capturing a library event? Or librarians doing something a little more informal? Then yes, mobile video works well for that.

More later…

cil2006, videoblog, vlog