RE: Helping the Searchers of the Catalog (Was: subject heading or subdivision for food aging?)

Posting to Autocat

On Thu, 13 Jan 2011 09:10:20 -0600, Brian Briscoe wrote:

I use the term “local” to mean the collection of materials that are acquired by our library specifically to meet the needs of ours users. Our subscribed users are accustomed to a certain level of cataloging and certain headings to assist them in consistently finding the information they seek. When we vary from that, they let us know.

Well, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree. I think libraries must turn their gaze outward instead of inward since this is what our patrons are doing.

The people who use my library care a lot about the *reliability* of the information, but couldn’t care less where it is located, so long as it’s easy to get at. If they have to stand up and go to another library, they think it’s a real chore. They want everything available digitally from home. They actually want those digitized books in the Internet Archive, the government documents and think tank publications and everything else available on the web–once they know about them.

We need ILS developers to design catalogs that allow users to search both “locally acquired” materials and the rest of “out there” seamlessly without sacrificing the quality of searching that the library provides. Throwing everything into keyword is not adequate.

I agree with this and is what I have attempted with my Extend Search
Who knows if it’s successful or not, but it is only a single baby-step. My patrons seem to like it.