Library catalogues and frames

Walter W. Giesbrecht walterg at YorkU.CA
Thu Dec 11 10:39:34 EST 1997

Does anyone out there provide a frames-based approach to their 
library catalogue, as opposed to the rest of their library website?

I have been asked to provide a frames-based interface to our library 
catalogue (Sirsi's Webcat), after a number of users complained 
about the number of "clicks" required to get around (e.g., if you 
want to change from doing one type of search to another, it requires 
three mouse clicks before you can enter your new search). What our 
OPAC committee has asked for is a two-frame home page, with a 
narrow frame along the left side that provides direct, one click 
access to the different kinds of searches one might wish to do; the 
larger frame is where all the action takes place. The search frame 
disappears when it is no longer relevant (I hope).

I have certain misgivings about this, but I do what I'm asked to do 
(some of the time, anyway). I've set up two possible approaches on 
our test server. One option is as described above

and the other

puts a narrow "search" frame at the top edge of the screen instead 
of the left, thereby avoiding having subsequent pages "squashed" into 
a narrower frame. I'd appreciate some feedback as to which is the 
better of the two. For comparison's sake, our current non-framed site 
is at

Thanks muchly for your opinions.

Walter W. Giesbrecht                        walterg at    
York University Libraries          (416) 736-5639 ext. 77551
North York, Ontario, Canada

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