WorldCat Beta versus WorldCat Identities

On closer inspection, it seems that WorldCat identities is a more Web 2.0 gateway into the WorldCat Beta site. It arranges materials by “identities” which include authors, named subjects, and more. But once you whittle down to a “work”, you are linked into WorldCat.org Beta.

WorldCat Beta

In an earlier post I mentioned the OCLC test site called WorldCat Identities. Today while searching Google Scholar, I found myself in the free worldcat.org beta site. If you haven’t searched this free site lately, you should take a look. To compare it with my earlier post, here’s a link to the page for Tolkien’s The Hobbit. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/50894.
The beta search seems to incorporate many of the features I liked in WorldCat Identities.

Nice features include the link to all the different editions of this book, the ability to search my library’s embedded search tools, the ability to create or add to a personal list of topics, the ability to export the citation in a particular bibliographic format, and the ability to add content. Here’s a screenshot.

Screenshot of Worldcat.org Beta

What does worldcat.org say about local libraries? Here’s an excerpt from their What is Worldcat? page:

“Your library may let you search WorldCat from the online catalog on its Web site. (Again, you may have to log in with a valid library membership.) When you are physically at the library, you can search WorldCat using the FirstSearch reference service. Although the basic identifying information you’ll find on this Web site can fulfill most needs, WorldCat at your library includes extra features such as advanced search,”find similar items”, and links to published reviews and excerpts. ”

In addition to features listd above, it seems to me that some of the entries I looked at were lacking some MARC fields. I don’t know if the project is complete or still under test, but I would like to see the subject and author links more extensive. Still, this project is definitely of setting the standard for the future.

More About Scriblio and Casey Bisson

Ok, so everyone else already knows about WPopac (now called Scriblio) but me. Nevertheless, I am excited to have discovered it today. Here is what ALA Techsource says by way of explanation. Casey, you the man!

ALA TechSource | Unsucking the OPAC: One Man’s Noble Efforts
“WPOPAC doesn’t attempt to replace the integrated library system (ILS)—just complement and extend it. The WPOPAC goes over the ILS the way a tea cozy might slide over an ugly teapot. I’ve said for some time that a good interface to our richly structured bibliographic data is the “missing module” of the ILS; the front-end user interface ILS vendors provide—what we think of as the OPAC—doesn’t feel or function like a positive user experience. WPOPAC provides that missing module so that a search in WPOPAC feels, and is, satisfying.

Some of the satisfaction from using WPOPAC comes from the capabilities of WordPress, such as comments, feeds, and trackbacks. But the real significance of WPOPAC isn’t the functionality it displays. It’s that WPOPAC leverages “access to a [huge] community of knowledge, programmers, and designers outside libraries.” As Casey puts it, “it already has more users, designers, developers, and administrators than all the ILS vendors combined.”

Blogs as Websites

I have started a de.licio.us page where I’m bookmarking more innovative library sites that are using blogs (or mashups of blogs and other software applications) as the platform for their websites. I’ll bookmark them at http://del.icio.us/RhondaGonzales/blogsaswebsites if you want to check back for more examples.

One of the most impressive is Plymouth State University’s Lamson Library. Take a look at their beta site: http://lamson.wpopac.com/library. If you do a catalog search, the results are posted to the site like blog postings complete with comments. You can also browse the catalog or the whole site by drilling down through categories, etc. Here’s a screenshot.

Lamson Library Beta Catalog Record

This site is built on a product called Scriblio (formerly WPopac) which describes itself as “Scriblio (formerly WPopac) is an award winning, free, open source CMS and OPAC with faceted searching and browsing features based on WordPress“. Scriblio is not available for general use at the present, but learn more about it at About Scriblio.

More to come.

Library Uses Blog as Website

Here’s another example of a library that has made its blog its website. The only thing I don’t like about this site is that you really have to hunt to find the links to the card catalog. Then when you click on the link, you leave the blog. They might consider making the link to the catalog and databases each their own page so that they would have a prominent tab across the top. Then have the link open in a new window. My two cents. However, I am impressed with the rest of the site!

Stillwater Free Library » Welcome Home!

Brian Rosenblum in Czech Republic

For those of you that attended Brian Rosenblum’s presentation on Libraries as Publishers at last week’s CALC Summit, you might be interested to know that your colleagues in Europe got to enjoy his presentation as well!

Patrick Danowski, a librarian from Berlin, posted a comment to his blog, Bibliothek 2.0 und mehr (Library 2.0 and more) earlier this week about a Library 2.0 conference he had attended in the Czech Replublic. In it, he blogged on Brian’s presentation. Congratulations Brian!

What a small world!

CASLIN: Libraries as publishers « Bibliothek 2.0 und mehr …
CASLIN: Libraries as publishers
Abgelegt unter: CASLIN2007, Open Access — patrickd @ 10:32

Der erste Vortragende ist Brian Rosenblum von der University of Kansas. Der Hauptfokus des Vortrags liegt auf “Electronic Publishing Services”. Er starte mit der Motivation wieso Bibliotheken Verlage werden sollen:

Incidentally, I ran across PatrickD’s blog at Library20.ning.com. If you haven’t visited this site, you definitely should. It’s like MySpace for academic librarians. Very nice venue for communicating and networking with other librarians around the world who share your interests!

Serendipity and RSS

In this post on ACRLog, StevenB, discusses how new technology is resulting in loss of serendipity for our patrons. He goes on to suggest some ways in which serendipity might be built into library catalog searching. In my opinion, some of his suggestions are similar to features already being used by Amazon.com. Its links to titles also purchased by people who have purchased the book I’m buying has led me in lots of interesting directions in the past.

In addition to that, I want to chime in and say that it’s been my experience that my blog aggregator is a great serendipity facilitator. Almost every day, as I click on someone’s blog, I’m led to another blog of interest. In fact, for me, that’s one of the main attractions of blogging. It’s a habit forming serendipitous experience! Thanks for the thoughts Steven.

Serendipity And The Digital Library
As our academic libraries grow increasingly digital we will be removing opportunities for old-style serendipity. Now is a good time to start thinking about ways in which we can inject the value of serendipitous discovery into our research resources.