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Points of Pain, Peculiar Possibilities, & A Patron Paradise

or, A slightly arbitrary set of hair-brained ideas

Roy Tennant California Digital Library

Pilgrimage to Mecca

Life in the ‘Hood
Our users are increasingly using the Internet for their information needs…can you say “Google”? As the younger generation grows to adulthood, library funding and support may be in jeopardy We’re dying out here — even if it isn’t immediately apparent But not all gloom and doom — signs of dissatisfaction w/Internet information offers us a window of opportunity We can and should trade on our reputation

What You Can Do For Us
In a nutshell: make every library LOOK HUGE and FEEL PERSONAL Build infrastructure and services that no single library can build — create BUILDING BLOCKS from which we can create services Know when to be out front and when to let us be out front Offer compelling central services that drive users to their local library

What Can We Do?
Out Google Google: Return Google results along with a good deal more Build on our strengths: Centralized metadata (WorldCat) Dispersed service points (local libraries) Think imaginatively Ripoff good ideas from wherever they can be found

The Basic Questions
What do libraries want? What do library users want? How can we get that for them (us)?

What Libraries Want
To provide for the information needs of a clientele To build useful collections and provide effective services

To be used

What Library Users Want
To find what they want To find as much or as little as they need To experience as little pain as possible To not have their time wasted To have the option to control their experience and make informed decisions To be effectively advised

Basic User Truths
Only librarians like to search, everyone else likes to find A cite in the hand is worth 10 in the database Good enough is just that Pain avoidance is a powerful motivator

Points of Pain
Library catalogs suck as information finding tools There are too many possible sources to search them separately There is little advice about which resource to search There is no advice about which is better (we know, but we’re not telling)

Why Library Catalogs Fail as Information Finding Tools
They are unable to search the entire universe of information Local catalogs often lack books that can be requested They have too little information about items Most are Unable to accept multiple metadata formats Many have hostile user interfaces (complexity is often a sign of lazy or incompetent design) Union catalogs often have multiple records

What Better Case for FRBR?

FRBR: Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records, from IFLA A recasting of bibliographic description into levels:
Work Expression (translations) Manifestation (editions) Item (copies)

Both RLG and OCLC are experimenting with it

Making the Pie
Other DL Colls. A&I Dbs OAI Repos.

The Web

Integration Engine WorldCat

Making the Pie: Metadata
Metadata: cataloging by those paid better than librarians Metadata: Structured information about an object or collection of objects We must become very, very proficient with metadata — creating, harvesting, transforming, serving; your Metadata Switch is very important work MARC is just the beginning, and unless we’re careful, will be too limiting; we must be proficient with Dublin Core,

Encoded in TEI XML Full Text

Stored
File System

Search Index

Encoded in TEI XML Full Text Structure Selected Fields Extracted
METS Repository

Stored
File System

Search Index

Records Stored Created

Search Index

Project MODS record UC Press record Profile

Library Catalog

UC Press Database

Encoded in TEI XML Full Text Structure Selected Fields Extracted
METS Repository

Stored
File System

Search Index

Records Stored Created

Search Index

Project MODS record UC Press record Profile

User queries

Library Catalog

UC Press Database

Encoded in TEI XML Full Text Structure Selected Fields Extracted
METS Repository

Stored
File System

Search Index

Records Stored Created

Search Index

Results in XML Project Profile

XSLT

MODS record UC Press record User requests book

Library Catalog

UC Press Database

Encoded in TEI XML Full Text Structure Selected Fields Extracted
METS Repository

Stored
File System

Search Index

Java servlet
Search Index

Records Stored Created

Project MODS record Profile METS record in XML UC Press record XSLT

User requests book segment

Library Catalog

UC Press Database

Encoded in TEI XML Full Text Structure Selected Fields Extracted
METS Repository

Stored
File System

Search Index

Java servlet
Search Index

Records Stored Created

Project MODS record UC Press record Profile Book segment returned

XSLT

Library Catalog

UC Press Database

Methods for Encompassing Resources
“Ingesting” — centralized by an individually tailored process “Harvesting” — centralized by a process applicable to an entire class of resources “Crawling” — software-based HTTP fetching “Dynamically Queried” — broadcast search at the moment of user need

Making the Pie Principles
We never metadata we didn’t like (metadata R Us) Decentralize metadata maintenance whenever possible Centralize metadata searching whenever possible — Federate, then slice and dice Metadata can be both mined and enhanced

Slicing the Pie
Slicing can be pre-selected or dynamic By: region (e.g., Australia) topic area format type ease and rapidity of access

When to Slice the Pie
Before searching: Select general topic area After searching: Results clustering Search within results

Slicing the Pie Principles
Strive to serve only that which will feed the hunger Few will want the whole pie; some will want it sliced; others will want to slice it themselves Slicing must happen regardless of how it was made

Serving the Pie
Provide ways for users to “drill down” in search results Guide the user to useful subject terms Cluster search results Rank by: Numbers of holding libraries Usage, e.g., “click through count” Weights assigned by librarians, or reflected in book reviews

Serving the Pie
We need ways to keep librarians happy without enraging patrons (e.g., “advanced search” option) Searching is an iterative process A good search result is not the end, but the beginning (e.g., provide ability to format a bibliography, download or print the citations)

Serving the Pie Principles
Best served by those who know the consumer Global services can (and should be) locally branded to maximize service delivery options for end users Software “skins” are not new

Things We Must Do
No more business as usual! Out Google Google (Google w/ added value) Get good at sucking things up Be good producers and consumers of metadata Work together more broadly and deeply Be user focused, but not user driven Hire out of our ranks, read out of

Recap
Help us LOOK HUGE and FEEL PERSONAL Think building blocks, extensibility, flexibility, skins, richer and more diverse metadata Federate, then slice and dice Free WorldCat!