>No intention to spoil our users and our fun with vuFIND. Just taking stock after 1-2 years of working with >vuFIND, here are few general questions,
Here's my take (and I'm cc'ing several of my colleagues in case they want to add or dispute anything):
1. is vuFIND primarily an experiment? if not why haven't more sites switched to production like VU or NLA?
We consider it "beta" but still more than an experiment. We're planning enhancements this summer: regenerating our solr index with SolrMarc 2.0 (get spell checker, linked 880s, etc.), implement nightly syncs, implement patron empowerment features (CAS + MyResearch module) and add server redundancy; longer term we're planning to enhance the non-Roman script functionality, search engine optimization, and add non-MARC metadata (journal articles? Visual images? Government documents? We're still debating) .
2. is SOLR indexing satisfactory?
I would say 'yes', though there's certainly a lot of customization we'd like to do.
3. how many staff are needed for vuFIND's viable maintenance? for developing/adding features?
We've had a project manager and programmer analyst each at 50% over the past year, and smaller amounts of time allocated from usability, web design, systems, and other kinds of librarians. I would say we could have used much more (and we'll be ramping up this summer and beyond).
4. do we want vuFIND to measure up to the ILS (Voyager, Aleph, III, etc.) OPAC, or we like it as an alternative, for its discovery tools?
As others have pointed out, VuFind is already superior to traditional OPACs in certain ways: relevancy ranking is extremely powerful. Faceted navigation is great, too, but there's a lot of tweaking that needs to be done in our case. The traditional OPAC is currently better at integrating authority files and displaying complex indexes (e.g., authors sub-arranged by titles)
5. what is plan B at your institution for when the vuFIND guru leaves?
We're planning to continue running Voyager and VuFind in parallel. Developments are moving so fast, that it's hard to predict the landscape 5 years from now, but in the mean time, VuFind gives us an excellent open platform both for "production" and R&D.
6. do we need someone to co-work with Andrew on the installation package? on keeping track of developments, road maps?
Great idea. I think some of my Yale colleagues who are real programmers are planning to contribute code. I hope to contribute in other ways (e.g., on integration of authority files, analysis/enhancement of non-Western language functionality)
7. which collections, other than the catalog and OAI/repositories have we added? which API to other collections have we installed? are now tested?
So far we've only indexed our catalog MARC data. We've done some testing of other record sets (e.g., visual image records).
I'm sure many of us cope with these questions and could benefit from the variety of our replies. Kindest thanks,
Ya'aqov Ziso, Electronic Resource Management Librarian, Rowan University 856 256 4804