Next Generation OPACs by Naun

I thought this was a very helpful, easy to read and understand summary of current issues surrounding library catalogs. As I’ve been reading about online catalogs and about searching for information generally, I’ve been thinking in the back of my mind about online shopping. No, seriously, not about whether I need to buy my kids new swimsuits (I do), but about how some retailer websites are very intuitive and easy to search and find I’m looking for. Others make it very difficult (you must know the style name, or the brand, or browse through ALL of the company’s shirts to find the one you want). I can see how commercial companies, who have a lot of experience with the way people conduct searches, could really influence library catalogs in the future. Many of the same search principles could be applied to library catalogs. Thus, I really understood Naun’s discussion of what new catalog designs may include — filters to narrow the search, sorting by popularity, even integration with external services (did you know you can click over to Consumer Reports from the Sears website to look up the ratings on that washing machine you’re looking at? Genius. Libraries could link to Good Reads or even Barnes & Noble — gasp! — to look up book reviews).

Katie B.


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