Saturday, December 23, 2006

Three things at the end of another year

So quickly these months go by ... more quickly, still, because of all that has been happening ... our boss retiring ... the Board's search for a new director ... wrapping up all things old (an impossible task, mind you) in prep for all things new ... All very interesting, all very exciting, and all very stressful for our staff ...

So ... three things from 2006 to keep eyes on in 2007 ...

  • I'm a booster of looking at online catalogs that people (not librarians) think are easy, say, Amazon, for instance, but NC State's project with Endeca has me rethinking things ... from the NCSU Libraries' site ...
"On January 12, 2006, the NCSU Libraries announced the first library deployment of a revolutionary new online catalog. Leveraging the advanced search and Guided Navigation® capabilities of the Endeca ProFind™ platform, the NCSU Libraries' new catalog provides the speed and flexibility of popular online search engines while capitalizing on existing catalog records. As a result, students, faculty, and researchers can now search and browse the NCSU Libraries' collection as quickly and easily as searching and browsing the Web, while taking advantage of rich content and cutting-edge capabilities that no Web search engine can match."
  • Although I've always hated closed stacks, with truly browsable catalogs, Chicago State University's RFID/robot materials retrieval system sounds pretty good ... from Wired ...
"Human librarians shelve post-1990 materials in the traditional stacks and drop older stuff into file-drawer-sized bins. From there, it’s all robots – tall, forklift-style machines that run on tracks and stow the materials in a three-story-high storage facility. No Dewey decimals? No problem. The computer knows where everything is and can hustle the correct bin to the circulation desk for checkout."
  • The last item is something that librarians talk about, but I still haven't see much of it ... libraries as authors, aggregators, and partners for community content ...
At Johnson County Library, we've done it with www.JoCoFamily.net, www.JoCo.Health.net and www.JoCoHistory.net, and in 2007 www.JoCoArts.net is going to make its appearance. Each of these partnerships combines the library's ability to get information to people in a format appropriate to their needs with the rich body of content that other government agencies, NPOs, civic service groups, educational institutions, and for profit businesses. To me, this is one of the most exciting things local libraries can do. In 2007, we need to do three things: 1) publish more content, 2) be more active in getting that content searchable through the major search channels -- local, national, and international, and work together with our content providers like EBSCO, Thompson-Gale, and Newsbank to ensure that they do the same -- get their content in the hands and heads of the people who can turn it into something valuable.


With that, I'm off to grill up some filets ... Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

3 Comments:

Blogger Chris said...

If you like the Amazon look, check out the demo at LibLime. It is built with interaction with various Amazon APIs and presents some really neat options for limitng your search that are readily "findable" by normal users (vs. the abnormal librarians).

http://zoomopac.liblime.com/search?q=hemmingway

Hope your new year is good and maybe see you in Seattle? - chris

3:08 PM  
Blogger Erica Reynolds said...

ooh....liblime is intriguing...

hey, does brenda know you two are talking online?

9:19 PM  
Blogger ic-tim said...

I remember Koha (LibLime) from years ago (okay, maybe not THAT long ago) ... liked it then, but that was when open source was only for major universities that had computer sciences departments with gobs of undergrads (i.e., cheap labor) to develop and maintain ... before the devolution and consolidation of library automation companies ... maybe now's the time to look at it again ...

3:38 PM  

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