Monday, September 8, 2008

WorldCat Local at the U. of Washington Libraries

As a follow up to our camp this summer note that Jennifer Ward and her colleagues at the "other u-dub" now have published an ALA Technology Reports on their experiences with WorldCat Local. Here's the blurb. Use this link to learn a bit more about and order the publication:

Written by three UW librarians who were integral to the WorldCat Local project at UW Libraries—Jennifer Ward, Pam Mofjeld, and Steve Shadle—this LTR issue provides an overview of the UW Libraries' WorldCat Local development, usability testing methods and exercises, and implementation.

"One of the strategic directions of the University of Washington Libraries Vision 2010 Strategic plan is 'Enhance user services,'" report the authors in the Introduction of the report. "Our goal is to 'meet user needs by providing access to resources and services at the point of need an in the users' enviroments.' We strive to meet this goal through this initiative: 'Build or integrate new tools and services for information discovery and delivery.'"

As the authors also note in the Introduction, library staff knew that creating such a tool would require partnership beyond the UW Libraries.

"In the summer of 2006, the UW Libraries approached OCLC to gauge interest in a project to the discovery-to-delivery issue." And the rest is history.

In this sixth issue of Library Technology Reports in volume 44, you'll find:
  • Chapter 1: An introduction to the UW Libraries' WorldCat Local project
  • Chapter 2: A description of WorldCat Local—what it is, how it works, key features of the application, and a comparison of discovery and delivery of information before and after WorldCat Local was implemented at UW Libraries
  • Chapter 3: Information about the user experience, feedback, and testing
  • Chapter 4: Usage and Impact of WorldCat Local
  • Chapter 5: Planning and implementation documentation, including information about working with OCLC; the UW Libraries' implementation teams; circulation and interlibrary loan issues; and Web services aspects
  • Chapter 6: An overview of "working at the network level" for UW Libraries' WorldCat Local implementation
  • Chapter 7 and the appendix: A summary of the project as well as the WorldCat Local Impact Summary at the Univ. of Washington
If you have additional follow up to the camp, don't hesitate to post to the blog.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Camp kick off slides


I thought you might like to see the slides I used, with the great pictures that Nichole found, to kick off the camp. To download the Powerpoint show here it is:

Camp Powerpoint

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thanks for going camping

Thanks for coming to our first ever WiLSWorld Camp-o-rama. As I think was obvious from the format, it was all up to you to ensure the success of the Camp and you folks all came through like aces. I hope everyone is already thinking about what general topics we might explore when we go camping next year. Just give me a shout when you have an idea. There's just a couple of items post-camp I'd like to throw out and hopefully get some follow up from you.

First off if you blog the Camp, please please please post links to the Camp blog so it ends up having the whole camp-fire story, including the punch lines and moral of the stories. There's already been some pictures and video's posted. Check out John Blyberg's pictures on his Flickr site:

Second, it would be terrific if everyone would post a sentence or 2, or more if you like, of your take-aways from the Camp. What helped you? What confused you? What do you want to remember over the course of the next year as you explore all those OPAC/ILS options and approaches. Again get those thoughts on the blog and make them available for all the campers, even the ones who couldn't attend this year.

Finally my short take away. I was struck with the idea that our new OPAC/ILS's need to be "a growing organism", accepting input, additions, customizations from ourselves, other diverse libraries and patrons in order to create a system that naturally and seamlessly meets needs. That means our new systems must be specified to be flexible and adaptable requiring a lot of re-thinking on the parts of vendors and librarians alike.

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I was never good at camp...

I was the small, unathletic one who cried in her bunkbed every night. I know, such a wuss.

Move forward a few decades, and now I love camp -- at least this kind of camp. I'm the Community Librarian for Equinox, the support and development company for Evergreen open source library software. As someone who attends a lot of conferences, I spend a lot of time in very structured sessions, and I'm occasionally also the "sage on the stage" (or as it sometimes feels, "the fish in a barrel") sweating it out up on there on the podium when the real answers are out there... in the crowd.

So it's good to be here in a setting where we can share ideas in a fun, cooperative manner. Free of fear that the volleyball is going to hit me.


I'm Janet White, librarian at Blackhawk Technical College. Out of frustration with our current OPAC, we have been investigating alternatives such as the Polaris System and AquaBrowser. But these systems are expensive for our small budget.
However, I was intrigued with an article a while back in NextSpace, the OCLC newsletter. It was an article by Tom Storey called Moving to the Network Level. He wrote, "Local OPACs have served a purpose but if I were designing an information discovery system today there would be no local catalog. OPACS represent a tremendous duplication of effort." Is this happening? It would be great to have a sophisticated searching system for all or part of one large union catalog.
I am hoping to find out more about what has been done to make searching library records a more user friendly process that is afordable.

Tara Kilby

I'm the library tech at blackhawk technical college. One of my responsibilities is the operation and maintenance of the library's automation system, thus my interest in the camp.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Hi, I'm Peggy Shaffer. I work for Lakeshores Library System and since 2003 I have been a system administrator for SirsiDynix Unicorn (now Symphony). I'm interested in open source catalogs because the SirsiDynix product is old and needs updating, badly. I'm not sure that will happen so I want to explore other possibilities for catalogs.