Catalogue 2.0

Jul 2013 | 240pp

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Catalogue 2.0
The future of the library catalogue

Edited by Sally Chambers

Will there be a library catalogue in the future and, if so, what will it look like?

In the last 25 years, the library catalogue has undergone an evolution, from card catalogues to OPACs, discovery systems and even linked data applications making library bibliographic data accessible on the web. At the same time, users expectations of what catalogues will be able to offer in the way of discovery have never been higher.

This groundbreaking edited collection brings together some of the foremost international cataloguing practitioners and thought leaders, including Lorcan Dempsey, Emmanuelle Bermès, Marshall Breeding and Karen Calhoun, to provide an overview of the current state of the art of the library catalogue and look ahead to see what the library catalogue might become.

Practical projects and cutting edge concepts are showcased in discussions of: 

  • linked data and the Semantic Web
  • user expectations and needs
  • bibliographic control
  • the FRBRization of the catalogue
  • innovations in search and retrieval
  • next-generation discovery products and mobile catalogues.  

Readership: Cataloguers and metadata specialists, library adminstrators and managers responsible for planning and strategy, systems librarians, user services managers, electronic resources librarians, and digital library project managers, students on cataloguing, information management and digital library courses.

Foreword - Marshall Breeding  
Introduction - Sally Chambers  
1. Next generation catalogues: what do users think? - Anne Christensen
2. Making search work for the library user - Till Kinstler  
3. Next-generation discovery: an overview of the European Scene - Marshall Breeding  
4. The mobile library catalogue - Lukas Koster and Driek Heesakkers  
5. FRBRizing your catalogue - Rosemie Callewaert  
6. Enabling your catalogue for the semantic web - Emmanuelle Bermes  
7. Supporting digital scholarship: bibliographic control, library co-operatives and open access repositories - Karen Calhoun
8. Thirteen ways of looking at libraries, discovery and the catalogue: scale, workflow, attention - Lorcan Dempsey

"Catalogue 2.0 certainly has its value as a snapshot of where the library catalogue is today and an exploration of where it may be headed. While sections of the book are particularly relevant to technical services and systems librarians, it is certainly worth a read for anyone interested in both a summary of recent developments in and forecast for the library catalog. It could also serve as a reading for a course on library systems, and some of the individual chapters may be appropriate for other library courses as well."
- Library Resources and Technical Services

"Chambers has succeeded in editing an evocative and convincing work. Those seeking an authoritative description of this historical moment, of what Calhoun call this "era of discontinuous change", will be well served by this collection."
- Technicalities

"Catalogue 2.0 is valuable reading for anyone involved in providing a version of the library catalogue to users, which is most of us."
- Australian Library Journal

"What is the state of the library catalogue now, and what might it become in the future? Authors of this excellent book answer those questions through theoretical discussions and practical examples of what have been done by libraries. Written by an international team of library and information professionals, Catalogue 2.0 does not disappoint."
- Collection Management

"This book presents complex theoretical concepts well. It provides practical examples and case studies too. In my opinion it shows the Library Catalogue is alive and well – but is also evolving as the technological landscape and the needs and wishes of users evolve. I think it is essential reading and the broad range of topics covered give a good overview of the future of the catalogue."
- Managing Information

"This book is easy to read, and covers many issues in its 200 pages. The book encourages further discussion of the issues raised, rather than stating an immovable position. For this reason it is recommended as being suitable for students of library and information science, as well as cataloguers, systems librarians, managers, e-resources librarians and client services librarians. The sections on RDF will be of interest to all professionals working within cataloguing."
- Australian Academic and Research Libraries

Sally Chambers is a digital librarian, working as Secretary-General in the DARIAH-EU Coordination Office at the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities, Germany.



Emmanuelle Bermès, Head of Multimedia Services at the Centre Pompidou, Paris

Marshall Breeding, independent consultant, speaker and author

Karen Calhoun, consultant, librarian, teacher, writer and international speaker with wide-ranging experience leading libraries in the digital age, author of Exploring Digital Libraries

Rosemie Callewaert, freelance information architect and usability expert

Anne Christensen, Head of User Services, University Library of Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany

Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President and Chief Strategist at OCLC

Silvia Gstrein, Head of the Department of Digital Services, University and Regional Library of Tyrol, University of Innsbruck, Austria

Driek Heesakkers is Project Manager at the University of Amsterdam library

Till Kinstler, Common Library Network Head Office (GBV Verbundzentrale), Göttingen, Germany

Lukas Koster, Library Systems Coordinator, University of Amsterdam

1. Next generation catalogues: what do users think? - Anne Christensen

In the wake of the digital revolution, libraries have started rethinking their catalogues and reshaping them along the lines that have been set by popular search engines and online retailers. Yet it has also become a hallmark of next-generation catalogues to reflect the results of studies concerning user behaviour and user needs and to rely on the participation of users in the development and testing of the new tools. A wide array of methods for user-driven design and development are being employed, which ideally leverage discovery platforms that reflect the specifics of library metadata and materials as well as the need for attractive design and useful new functionalities. After looking back at the history of user studies on online catalogues, this chapter briefly investigates methods to involve users actively in the design and development processes for new catalogues before describing and examining the outcomes of studies of users’ perceptions.

2. Making search work for the library user - Till Kinstler  

The foundations of both search engines and library catalogues lie in the science of information retrieval. Whereas search engines harness a range of modern information retrieval techniques to provide relevant results for their users, library catalogues are lagging somewhat behind. This chapter starts by describing how Boolean search, using operators such as ‘AND’, ‘OR’ and ‘NOT’ to combine search terms, which is the key information retrieval paradigm used in library catalogues, differs from the Vector Space Model that is used in many search engines. The chapter then goes on to explore how such search engine technologies can be applied to library catalogues and, ndeed, if combined with Boolean based search techniques can lead to a powerful and usable search experience for the library users. Finally, other features of modern search engines, such as search suggestions and facets, are also explored. If all of these technologies can be combined and implemented within a library context, it can help the library catalogue get a step closer to meeting the expectations of today’s web-savvy users.

3. Next-generation discovery: an overview of the European Scene - Marshall Breeding

Dissatisfaction with the online catalogues delivered as part of the library management system sparked the emergence of a new genre of products and services that focus entirely on providing an improved experience in the way that libraries provide access to their collections and services. One of the major trends of this phase of library automation involves a separation between the library management system that provides automation support for the internal operations, such as cataloguing, circulation, serials management and new material acquisitions, from the presentation layer facing the users of the library. In this age of decoupled systems, a variety of commercial products and services, as well as projects taken on by library organizations, now find use in many libraries throughout the world. This chapter provides a brief overview of the features and general characteristics of this new genre of library software, focusing on the products that have been deployed or developed in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. Some of these projects include adoption of commercial products from international vendors such as Serials Solutions, EBSCO, Ex Libris and open source products.

4. The mobile library catalogue - Lukas Koster and Driek Heesakkers

This chapter answers the following questions: What are mobile devices? What are mobile applications? Who are mobile users? What type of library are we talking about? What is the collection? Is the mobile view different from the standard view? Which services are targeted at mobile customers? Beginning with defining exactly what a mobile device is, and what it is not, the chapter then moves on to explore the different kinds of mobile applications it is possible to implement and look at the advantages and disadvantages ofeach. An overview of a range of mobile platforms is followed by a brief explanation of the mobile phone network technology. As mobile library services need to be developed for the end-users, the user needs of the target audience from a range of different types of library will be explored. Building on this understanding of user needs, the different types of mobile library services are then explored, before looking specifically at what functionalities of a library catalogue can be provided via a mobile device. With this background knowledge in place, the chapter then focuses on putting it into practice. Using the University of Amsterdam Library’s ‘UBA Mobile’ implementation as a case study, the practical steps that need to be undertaken to ‘get a mobile catalogue’ is followed. This part includes practical tips and lessons learned to assist in making the task of implementing a mobile catalogue easier. Next comes a selection of implementation examples spanning various types of library and different software platforms. The chapter concludes with a ten-point checklist outlining the steps to set up a mobile catalogue.

5. FRBRizing your catalogue - Rosemie Callewaert  

The Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, FRBR, is a conceptual model of the bibliographic universe. Although implementations of FRBR are beginning to emerge, it has not yet been implemented widely within the library community. However, one of the successful implementations of FRBR has taken place within the public libraries of Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. Using the Flemish public library web portal, zoeken.bibliotheek.be, as a case study, this chapter explores how the theory behind FRBR has been applied in practice in Belgium. Attention is paid both to the user experience and how the theoretical concepts of FRBR can be presented in a practical way for the end-user. In addition, the technology, particularly in terms of metadata creation and enrichment, is also described. With a look to the future, the shortcomings of FRBR in this particular case are also explored.

6. Enabling your catalogue for the semantic webEmmanuelle Bermes

This chapter provides a short introduction to the Semantic Web and its practical implementation, Linked Data. It explores the reasons why a library would want to enable its catalogue for the Semantic Web and the different steps that would need to be  taken. To help with this process, an introduction to the technology is provided and some ongoing and existing Semantic Web projects in the library domain are presented.

7. Supporting digital scholarship: bibliographic control, library co-operatives and open access repositories - Karen Calhoun

Research libraries have entered an era of discontinuous change – a time when the cumulated assets of the past do not guarantee future success. Bibliographic control, cooperative cataloguing systems and library catalogues have been key assets in the research library service framework for supporting scholarship. This chapter examines these assets in the context of changing library collections, new metadata sources and methods, open access repositories, digital scholarship and the purposes of research libraries. Advocating a fundamental rethinking of the research library service framework, this chapter concludes with a call for research libraries to consider collectively new approaches that could strengthen their roles as essential contributors to emergent, network-level scholarly research infrastructures.

8. Thirteen ways of look at the libraries, discovery and the catalogue: scale, workflow, attention - Lorcan Dempsey

There is a renaissance of interest in the catalogue. This volume is evidence of that. Yet it comes at a time when the catalogue itself is being reconfigured in ways which may result in its disappearance as an individually identifiable component of library service. This is because the context of information use and creation has changed, as it transitions from a world of physical distribution to one of digital distribution. In parallel, our focus shifts from the local (the library or the bookshop or . . .) to the network as a whole. We turn to Google, or to Amazon, or to Expedia, or to the BBC. Think of two trends in a network environment, which are termed here as the attention switch and the workflow switch. Each has implications for the catalogue, as it pushes the potential catalogue user in other directions. Each also potentially recasts the role of the catalogue in the overall information value chain. This chapter copies Stevens’s conceit in his poem copy Stevens’s conceit in his poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. Even though this results in some repetition it seemed appropriate to a topic about which we don’t yet have a single story. Much of the discussion is relatively neutral, covering recent developments. The 13 sections are bracketed with an introduction and with a conclusion which looks beyond current developments to speculate about likely direction.

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