Response From An OPAC Complainer

ACRLog is pleased to offer this guest post from Andrew K. Pace, Head of Systems at North Carolina State University Libraries. Pace is also well known for his highly regarded technology column in American Libraries. The ACRLog team thanks Pace for his contribution to the blog:

As was pointed out a few months ago on this blog, there is no shortage of OPAC complainers out there. What was not correct, though, is the notion that no one–complainer or vendor–is doing anything about it the dire state of the online catalog. Today, NCSU Libraries unveiled it’s completely re-engineered online catalog with Guided Navigation├é┬« capabilities in Endeca Profind. Take a look. The new software includes many new features unavailable in most online catalogs:

* Complex relevency ranking
* Spell correction
* Did you mean…. recommendations
* Refinements based on subfielded LCSH
* LC Classification browsing and refinement
* Sort by most circulated (“Most popular”)
* Links from full record display (currently still SirsiDynix Web2) back to Endeca via “More by this author” and “More titles like this”
* Refinement breadcrumbs that allow you to trace search and delete unwanted refinements

NCSU libraries spent six quick months bringing up the new interface which is far superior to the backend capabilities offered via the traditional integrated system. Make no mistake, the trend is catching on. Endeca has already partnered with TLC to offer ProFind. Innovative just announced plans for a new OPAC Pro. Ex Libris is unveiling Primo. Soon there will be no excuse for the online catalogs remaining inadequate search tools.

One thought on “Response From An OPAC Complainer”

  1. As the author of the original post (about more than just OPAC complainers) referred to in this post, I stand corrected. It’s good to see that efforts are being made to make the OPAC better so that it’s easier for users and connects them to information quickly. That’s what it’s all about. It seems that the OPAC vendor competition is moving to a new level and perhaps, as Pace suggests, soon many automation vendors will offer better OPACs, based on this new technology or perhaps different ones that even improve upon Endeca’s technology. Ok. So where do I get one of these new fangled OPACs? Thanks Andrew for sharing this information with ACRLog readers.

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