Home > catalog > an ILS for the future (and the future is NOW)

an ILS for the future (and the future is NOW)

Ivy, Diane, Ana, and a variety of posts found on other blogs … they’re all making me think and giving me new things to read [and I thank them].  Diane pointed me to an article by Kristin Antelman “Identifying the Serial Work as a Bibliographic Entity,” Library Resources & Technical Services, 48:4 (2004) and we discussed it via email a bit which started me on a new bend in my mind. Follow along!

So – I’ve discussed changing MARC and ranted about changing now and lots of other stuff.  Last night I had a thought whilst brushing my teeth (what, doesn’t your mind wander?), why can’t libraries have a system similar to how Amazon works?  And, I use Amazon because they have a huge variety of things for sell (unlike Borders or Barnes & Noble which are also quite excellent for their products).  You can find both professional and non-professional reviews of any item sold at Amazon. You can find details on the items themselves, in many cases you can even ‘sample’ the wares.

So – what if we have books, journals/magazines, videos, music, etc. etc. all in the same catalog.  We allow the patron to choose where they wish to search OR if they want to search the whole kit-n-kaboodle [breaking the results into the groupings]. We link things – “you searched X title which is #4 in Y series, do you wish to see the series?” or “you searched B movie which is based on C book, do you wish to see the book?” etc. and etc. Either noting whether or not the library has X or C in the collection or perhaps noting you can get X or C via ILL (or even purchase is commercial purposes are allowed by your local governing body) or perhaps just showing what is available at that library – it should be flexible to allow the librarians to make that decision. Huh. Even as I type this my mind is exploding with possibilities.

Some ILS are already doing the groupings bit – providing the results in groups of format for the patrons to determine if they were looking for a video or a book or a sound recording or whatever. Some are also making the links and allowing for reviews to be added/searched/read.  Brilliant! We’re just a hop, skip, and a jump away! 

One key, I think, is getting our data in usable format. Getting ALL data into usable format. Standardizing input across the lands. Maybe an ISO is needed. Read more about my epiphany on this in several posts start with MARC and machine readability (revisited) and move on from there.

Another key would be getting the various publishers, vendors, jobbers, etc. to agree to allow taking their data into the BIG database rather than using their propriety searching. Or maybe we could link in via our catalog to their database. This would have to be worked out. I tend to think, in my cynical way, the insertion of their data into our system would not be permitted. It’s all about $$$ baby.

Huh. I wonder if Amazon uses an off-the-shelf system or home-made. Betcha we could adapt is to our needs…

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Categories: catalog Tags: , , ,
  1. June 9, 2010 at 3:40 pm
  2. June 10, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Naw, too many words (joking!) I’ve been reading it and my mind is expanding. Thanks Ana. This quote “Our present languages are not especially adapted to this sort of mechanization” says it all. Our present language (MARC) is not especially adapted to the types of re-use and research ideas we have envisioned.
    1945. Wow.

  1. September 24, 2010 at 9:01 am

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