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Monday, September 18, 2006


Web 2.0 for the Layperson

Here is the handout for my presentation at the OLC Adult Services and Reference conference on September 13, 2006. If you have questions, you can contact me at laura@cpl.org.

Although I feel myself as a fairly progressive librarian/web site developer, I am still having a hard time wrapping my brain around "web OPAC 2.0". Yes, we have added some interactivity in our catalog - let us notify you when a new title matching your favorite searches is added, keep my reading history, patrons rate titles in the catalog - but I can't stop thinking that our patrons just want to know if the latest Danielle Steel or John Grisham is available for checkout. And most of our staff won't use the web OPAC and prefer the ancient telnet catalog instead because they don't have to sort through "all the extra stuff" in the records.

While web 2.0 stuff is good in some areas, some things should be left alone. The next version of our catalog includes a tabbed display which breaks up the record into 3 segments. Unless a special print style sheet is used, the patron won't be able to print a full copy of the record. And heaven help us when the cloud folksonomy subject headings become the norm.

Will our patrons REALLY get more out of our catalogs or just get frustrated and never check anything out again because they can find it easier at Borders?
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