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David Lee King

Next Generation Library Interfaces



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

Marshall Breeding – title of his presentation: Next Generation Library Interfaces: Overview of concepts and a brief tour of commercial and open source products

My random notes from Marshall’s presentation:

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
“tags”

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 wel
uses chilifresh for book reviews
Marshall’s example is very ugly! Sirsi really needs a visual designer!

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

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

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

Summon
serials solutions produst
eXtensibe Catalog

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

Q/A:

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!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sheli

    Hi David! Thanks for sharing your notes! :-) We did a beta test of Sirsi’s Enterprise opac. You can look at it here: http://lack.beta.sirsidynix.net/vse/app

    I love facets and now when I search iBistro I miss the facets most! But you’re totally right, it’s not pretty. Chilifresh reviews are OK…but we already have LibraryThing for Libraries which is just the best thing ever, chilifresh cannot compare.

    Again, thanks for sharing!! I always love to hear what Marshall Breeding has to say.

  • Sheli

    Hi David! Thanks for sharing your notes! :-) We did a beta test of Sirsi’s Enterprise opac. You can look at it here: http://lack.beta.sirsidynix.net/vse/app

    I love facets and now when I search iBistro I miss the facets most! But you’re totally right, it’s not pretty. Chilifresh reviews are OK…but we already have LibraryThing for Libraries which is just the best thing ever, chilifresh cannot compare.

    Again, thanks for sharing!! I always love to hear what Marshall Breeding has to say.

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  • http://www.library.gg/ Ed

    Totally agree with you regarding a new name for catalog; does it mean anything to anyone outside Library Land? Have you found any good examples of it being rephrased into something that is interesting to a user and relates immediately to their needs?

    Ed

  • http://www.library.gg Ed

    Totally agree with you regarding a new name for catalog; does it mean anything to anyone outside Library Land? Have you found any good examples of it being rephrased into something that is interesting to a user and relates immediately to their needs?

    Ed

  • http://spaceagelibrarian.blogspot.com/ Roger Hiles

    Thanks for the summary!

    I agree that “catalog” is just too jargony, almost as bad as “repository”. Jargon is fine for internal use– but the real question is what do our customers need to know about it that is helped by giving it a name? What is Amazon’s “catalog” called?

  • http://spaceagelibrarian.blogspot.com/ Roger Hiles

    Thanks for the summary!

    I agree that “catalog” is just too jargony, almost as bad as “repository”. Jargon is fine for internal use– but the real question is what do our customers need to know about it that is helped by giving it a name? What is Amazon’s “catalog” called?

  • http://www.dok.info/ Jaap van de Geer

    If we focus on getting the backend right we are free to bring information wherever we want. We will be able to skip the screen part and “how thinks look” and bring our content straight to mobile, because that is were we find things. If you need more information you will return to your pc, television or beamer but at that point it doesn’t matter you are past the catalog. Thanks for the interesting notes David! What steps do you think should we take when it comes to infrastructure? Maybe we can setup a poject exchanging library data to see how far we can take it? Also to reveal major obstacles…

  • http://www.dok.info Jaap van de Geer

    If we focus on getting the backend right we are free to bring information wherever we want. We will be able to skip the screen part and “how thinks look” and bring our content straight to mobile, because that is were we find things. If you need more information you will return to your pc, television or beamer but at that point it doesn’t matter you are past the catalog. Thanks for the interesting notes David! What steps do you think should we take when it comes to infrastructure? Maybe we can setup a poject exchanging library data to see how far we can take it? Also to reveal major obstacles…

  • davidleeking

    Cool thoughts, Jaap! What next steps? Start porting to mobile – Aaron’s iphone project is a good start. Their next step should maybe be porting to a blackberry app too, to cover all bases. After all, it’s the DC Public lib – blackberrys rule the business and gov world!

    Tools to port stuff over to other things would also be good – Blyberg’s work on that front is good.

    What else? Anyone care to chime in?

  • davidleeking

    Cool thoughts, Jaap! What next steps? Start porting to mobile – Aaron’s iphone project is a good start. Their next step should maybe be porting to a blackberry app too, to cover all bases. After all, it’s the DC Public lib – blackberrys rule the business and gov world!

    Tools to port stuff over to other things would also be good – Blyberg’s work on that front is good.

    What else? Anyone care to chime in?

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