Electronic Resources and Next-Generation Public Library Catalogs

Tracy L. McPeck (Prince William Public Library System, USA)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 21
EISBN13: 9781466651012|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4466-3.ch001
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This case study examines the user experience of six public library catalogs (OPACs) in terms of the next-generation characteristics identified by library literature. One open source Integrated Library System (ILS), Evergreen, was compared to one proprietary system, Polaris. One library used its respective ILS alone, while the other libraries’ catalogs used a third-party discovery layer in conjunction with the ILS. The purpose of this study is to compare open source versus proprietary ILSs and discovery layers in terms of their next-generation characteristics with particular attention to electronic resources, namely e-books. Of the six libraries compared, the two libraries that used the proprietary add-on BiblioCommons featured the most advanced next-generation catalog characteristics. The two ILSs that did not use any added layers offered the fewest next-generation traits. The catalogs of public libraries vary greatly in their offerings, but add-ons, such as BiblioCommons, enhance the user experience and the retrievability of electronic resources.
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