I’ve been thinking a bit about the library catalog lately, mainly due to my time at CiL talking with Tim from LibraryThing, as well as being on the NGC listserv.
We know that OPACs suck. They suck because they don’t meet the expectations of patrons, and are written for librarians and not the public. But we hate the OPAC because it just fails to deliver the information cleanly, and doesn’t allow for serendipity. But the OPAC is only one part of the ILS, and the other parts are where I feel like I’ll get pushback from within my library.
In thinking and planning in my still-new-to-me position as Head of Library IT, I’m looking at the next year, the next 3 years, the next 5 years. It’s clear that getting out of our current system will benefit us, and that’s not really a question. The question is: where do we go? I don’t want to jump from, I want to jump to.
So what do I want out of an ILS? I know what I want out of an OPAC…and I know how I want it to look, act, feel. But I don’t feel like I’m quite comfortable making judgements about the rest of the ILS quite yet. I know I want flexibility, but that’s like saying I want color…there needs to be more specificity before there is any usefulness in that word. And I’m just not quite sure.
Those of you with more ILS experience, or more experience in other parts of library administration (especially Access or Circ or Acquisitions)…what do YOU want out of an ILS?