[Web4lib] RE: library automation vendors

Jim Campbell campbell at virginia.edu
Tue Jul 19 11:18:43 EDT 2005

2 notes.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: web4lib-bounces at webjunction.org 
> [mailto:web4lib-bounces at webjunction.org] On Behalf Of David Walker
> Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2005 10:51 AM
> To: campbell at virginia.edu; web4lib at webjunction.org
> Subject: RE: [Web4lib] RE: library automation vendors
> >> What we really ought to be thinking
> >> about is not the interface to the
> >> OPAC, but the interface to the metasearch engine
> I think you're absolutely right, Jim.
> The system we're rolling out here at Cal State San Marcos 
> this Fall actually spends most of its time interfacing with 
> the API to our metasearch system (Metalib).  Three 
> universities, including ours, have been working with the 
> vendor, Ex Libris, to improve it.
> There are times, however, when our users will only be looking 
> for books, reserves, journals, and other 'local' resources 
> (we figure anywhere from 30-50% of the time), in which case 
> it is faster to interface with the catalog directly.  For us 
> that means interfacing with our catalog's API.

I don't see why it's a given that the direct interface is faster. We're in
the process of implementing Sirsi's version of MuseGlobal and I don't detect
much speed difference with the opac between it and ILink. Which I guess may
be a comment either about Ilink or ExLibris, don't know which. On the speed
issue, I'm intrigued by the MAB browser plugin for the Amazon sites, which
does a neat job of breaking down the distinction between the hit list and
the individual record. I don't know that it really is faster but just not
having those separate displays makes it seem faster.

> >> Aren't we approaching a point where it would be simpler to use 
> >> WorldCat or the RLIN Bib File as the opac and get rid of a 
> lot of the 
> >> local overhead?
> I've often thought the same things.
> But periodically people remind me that the ILS is principally 
> an inventory management system.  We need something that keeps 
> track of purchasing and circulation of items (our campus 
> actually uses our system to circulate laptops and other 
> equipment as well), fines, and other mundane things.
> WorldCat doesn't do that.

Well, no, not yet, but if customers wanted that, it might. Or maybe that's
what ought to be done locally. Most larger systems are already modular with
acquisitions and circulation linking to a separate biblographic database.
Whichever way we look at it, it really does seem silly to invest in all
these local dumps of the same bibliographic records.

- Jim Campbell
Campbell at Virginia.edu

> --Dave
> =================
> David Walker
> Web Development Librarian
> Library
> Cal State San Marcos
> 760-750-4379
> =================
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