Thursday, May 24, 2007

LibLime Brings FRBR and edition linking to Koha

Koha support and developer company LibLime announced they've succeeded in adding some impressive new features to the open source Koha library automation system they maintain for the Nelsonville Public Library, namely a new web services module that uses OCLC's xISBN and LibraryThing's ThingISBN to link records for various editions of works.

Would-be readers will now see an "editions" tab that will allow them to see if other editions of the work they're looking for might be available.
Another interesting point is that the module allows a library to set a point to automatically regulate usage of xISBN (Which is only free for the first 499 queries per day).

For twenty-five years this has been a glaring flaw in OPAC design, so congratulations to OCLC and LibraryThing for providing practical means to overcome it, and also for LibLime, Nelsonville, and all the good Koha folk out there, for building a way to fix it. Now if only the other parties at the table could take the hint!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

WorldCat Local Goes Live!

WorldCat Local, OCLC's entry in the OPAC 2.0 sweepstakes has made its debut (public beta, anyway) at the University of Washington.

Basically, this is a scoped look at WorldCat which uses OCLC's bibliographic records and holdings data and links to a local circulation system for item status information. It thus takes the place of a traditional, locally-hosted OPAC, but it can offer many of the new features libraries now want in OPACS but often can't get from legacy vendors because of the complexity of the old systems.

It's interesting to see how the branding and page links blend in with the rest of the UW's web site. The faceting, links to other libraries, and the ability to directly request an item all are improvements over many of the OPAC 1.0 installs out there.

It's also interesting to observe that it handles non-inverted names like "John Smith" (as opposed to "Smith, John"), which like using a slide rule or sharpening a quill pen, does not seem like a skill much in evidence among today's students.