July 2008 Archives
A couple days ago USA Today published an article about how libraries are adapting to the Internet. The article focused mostly on the availability of computers. A number of patrons were interviewed. One had this to say:
"You should be able to walk into any library and find Internet service ...."
That statement made me cringe a little, but I didn't really know why until later when a co-worker (and co-blogger) referenced Wired magazine's monthly "Expired, Tired and Wired" feature. Then it hit me.
TIRED: Finding Internet service in a library.
WIRED: Finding a library in the Internet
Any suggestion on what has "Expired?"
Thanks to Resource Shelf for pointing out the article.
Hello everyone. We've received feedback from patrons, authors, and librarians in regard to libraries disappearing from items that they hold. We have verified that something is indeed amiss with the holdings data on WorldCat.org and our development teams are working now to track down and correct the problem. Thank you for your patience and I'll reply here when I have a status update.
UPDATE: You should now be seeing complete library holdings on all items current as of 11:00 AM ET Tuesday morning. Please note that holdings are currently static, meaning that no new updated holdings are yet being added. We expect to have live, updating holdings visible again by this weekend, but all missing holdings that were reported this weekend are back in WorldCat.org. Thanks again for your patience.
FINAL UPDATE: As of 2:00 PM ET Thursday, all live library holdings are now available.
The internet resource icon on WorldCat.org has been a hot topic of conversation for quite a while among our users and our user experience groups here working on worldcat.org. Originally when we put that icon on our search results and detailed records as a secondary icon, it was meant to indicate that "this item is also available online".
Much to our (and our users') dismay, we noticed the icon appearing on items that weren't actually available online...Turns out, this problem is a result of different interpretations among catalogers of what a 'version' of something actually is. So, we are working diligently on filtering our data to more accurately display the internet resource icon only when a true online version of the item exists. This change should be reflected on WorldCat.org in August or September!
But there are even more challenges with this darn little icon. The internet resource icon carries a lot of weight. Internet searchers are looking for items that they can find online, and to most of our searchers, this is the only or most visible indication we give on search results or detailed records that it is available online, even when the user is not actually authorized to view the item. Why is this? Because the internet resource icon was originally intended to just show that a 'version' of this item existed online - but it wasn't meant to indicate whether the user is authorized to view it.
We realize we have a usability challenge on our hands...
Users want to be able to tell up front what they can access online when they are searching. Unfortunately in most cases, WorldCat.org doesn’t know what users are authorized to access.
So our challenge is: would users rather see what they *might* be able to get online with the possibility of failed attempts? Or would users rather see what WorldCat.org absolutely knows they have access to online, with the possibility of missing out on other items that they are authorized to access?
The WorldCat detailed record page lets you know when other WorldCat users have an item on one of their public lists - if you follow the link here, you can get to other interesting comics and library items these users have saved.
Now, I haven’t seen the new movie (…yet) – but from the creepy images I have seen on TV, in all the articles and blogs posts such as this one – maybe some of the library’s more 'kid friendly' options, like this, would be a better bet for the little ones.
Today the NYT Home & Garden section profiled an architect/designer named Kelly Wearstler. Kelly has a love of out-of-print books. She frequents several high-end book stores that carry these and other hard to find design books and scours them for ideas.
I could launch into the typical why-aren't-libraries-the-cool-place-to-be refrain, but that's not the point.
I'm glad folks like Kelly point me to the $3,200 out-of-print books available in boutique shops. More than likely I can dig up the book somewhere in my state and through inter-library loan, I just might be able to get a copy for myself.
I wish Kelly and other's like her could experience what I experienced when I was a student working at The Ohio State University Main Library. Shelving books in that cavernous, 14-story building introduced me to more information and ideas than any boutique book store could hope to.
I wonder what sits next to David Douglas Duncan's Goodbye Picasso on the shelf at OSU?
- The Tip of the Week is exclusively about WorldCat and how to look up materials at your library on the Web.
- The Tribune story is part of a larger technology assistance article, but it makes a nice mention of the Firefox and Facebook widgets for WorldCat, too.
Hooray for libraries making the news. If we all share the story with someone we know, maybe we'll make the "top e-mailed stories" list!