A catalog or two (cats and splats)

While on the Evergreen site, I had a look at the developer version of their catalog.

A demo of Evergreen's online catalog is located at demo.gapines.org. A bleeding edge online catalog, with all of the latest, greatest features we're working on, is located at dev.gapines.org (note the development site may be unstable). A downloadable demo staff client will be posted soon. [Open-ILS.org | Library software by librarians for librarians.]
There is an interesting high-level family resemblance between their work here, the much-lauded NCSU catalog, and some of our own work on new interfaces. After an initial search, they use the data in the records to support faceted browse, pivoting on subject, author and series, gathered in a left-hand side column. They allow limiting by library and format. They provide a 'shelf browse' feature. Interestingly, they do not appear to rank by number of holdings, in this version anyway.

Dave Pattern also sent me a note about some of his recent work on the Huddersfield catalog. You might put these down as 'texturization'. I like the book cover ones. I am still puzzling about the word splat ;-)

Incidentally, another open-ils blog post discusses their 'platform' (in a web 2.0 sort of way) design approach which is also interesting in light of more general discussions.

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Comments: 1

Feb 26, 2006
Mike Rylander

Wow! Two mentions in one day! We are all quite flattered. :)

Just a quick note about our title ranking: we do take holding count into account when ranking results, but it is used as a tie breaker when the query similarity ranking and upcoming title/author/pubDate sort are equal among metarecords.

All patrons in PINES have essentially equivalent borrowing privileges at all member libraries, so our design is meant enhances the "long tail effect" by exposing the best match even if there are very few copies available, as opposed to the most common match, by using query similarity as the first level of ranking. We have this option, where OpenWorldCat does not, because we can fulfill hold requests between member libraries automatically, routing the nearest eligible copy to the user without the need for librarian initiated ILL.

We also allow limiting searches to a regional system, as a geographically broader option than a specific library.