I wrote a bit of code today that I think is kinda nifty. I was trying to
illustrate some ideas that I've been kicking around for a while.
In the tables underlying our OPAC (Oracle under Voyager), there is a table
linking subject heading IDs to bib record IDs. Starting with some subject
headings, I look up all the bib IDs linked to them. Then I go back the
other direction and grab _all_ the heading IDs linked to those bib IDs, so
most of the time new headings are picked up.
Then the user can select from the returned headings and go around again,
widening and narrowing the search each time. At each stop along the way,
every subject heading is linked to a canned search of the OPAC.
So far I've found it a much more natural and powerful way to find things
by subject than the OPAC itself. It's a single, straightforward
ColdFusion page. Most of the few hours it took to cook up went into
getting the SQL right.
I'd appreciate any feedback from anyone who'd like to take a kick at the
tires. You can try it out at
University of Waterloo Library
"The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up
in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office." -Robert