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CODE4LIB  February 2011

CODE4LIB February 2011

Subject:

Re: A to Z lists

From:

Jonathan Rochkind <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 16 Feb 2011 19:22:22 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (87 lines)

Yeah, as one of the developers of Xerxes, I've been meaning to fix that long-page problem. If any other PHP developers want to contribute a patch, please feel free. It won't take any herculean R&D to fix that feature, just figuring out what the interface ought to look like and making it so.  (Fixing the caching headers so a browser can cache that page wouldn't hurt either). Just hasn't been a big enough priority for me to get to.  Open source, developers work on what's a priority for them locally,  if you need something else please help fix it! 

As far as librarians wanting certain resources to be findable but NOT through the catalog... this is a mystery to me. If you want users to find it, why would you want it not to be findable thorugh the catalog? In my experience, sometimes there are semi-reasonable reasons behind this, that don't really mean what they seem to mean:

1) We don't want it in the ILS back-end because it will confuse our data management prctices, and having it in the ILS back-end is the only way to get it in "the catalog".  This really means the ILS back-end workflow is crap (as all of ours are), but a solution (in addition to getting a better ILS), would be creating a 'discovery layer' on top of the ILS that is your front-end catalog, but can include records not actually in the back-end ILS. (But you're going to run into problems with (de-)duplication if SOME of your 'extra' content is ALSO in the catalog and others isn't. What we really need is a back-end metadata management system that actually WORKS WELL, but none of us have it.)

2) The catalog interface sucks, nobody will ever be able to find databases in there. Solution here obviously is a better catalog interface, possibly including the ability to list/limit just the things you call 'databases'. 

3) We just don't want them in the catalog, because they don't belong there. Okay, on this one I'm stymied. Some people are insane. 

I think we need to do it with an interface that works for users, and we need to do it without making back-end workflow more expensive (ideally it should make it LESS expensive to not have to maintain seperate datastores for this stuff!), but I can't see any reason we should _intentionally_ present our users with multiple search interfaces, each of which searches over different "types" of content. Oh, you use THIS form to find e-journals, and you use this OTHER interface that works completely differently to find databases ("what's a 'database' exactly? Well, you see, I dunno, I know it when I see it), and you use this OTHER thing we call 'the catalog' to find, well, it's hard to say exactly what's in there, it's just everything else, except for the things that aren't in it either. 

I understand how some of us are stuck doing that because we can't figure out a way out that doesn't mess up workflows and that  works for users -- but I absolutely and completely do not understand doing that with INTENTION. 
________________________________________
From: Code for Libraries [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Thompson, Keri [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 5:46 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] A to Z lists

We have a home grown system built on CF/MSSQL.  It currently manages our electronic serials licensing workflow (or part of it at least) as well as generating the A-Z list.  One peculiarity of the list, and one reason why we're still using it, is that staff wanted to be able to include "select" free/open access serials in a list while *not* adding them to the catalog.
I hope to replace it with something more automated in the near future.


Keri Thompson
Head, Web Services Department
Smithsonian Institution Libraries
e. [log in to unmask] t. 202.633.1716
www.sil.si.edu || www.smithsonianlibraries.si.edu || www.biodiversitylibrary.org
.: yes, we're on twitter @silibraries :.


-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nadaleen F Tempelman-Kluit
Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 4:37 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] A to Z lists

We user Xerxes too to serve up our databases A-Z list but as we have so many databases (900 or so.....) that it takes a really long time for the page to load, as the way Xerxes is currently designed, it loads the whole A-Z list at once. So if you have a large number of databases, be warned that providing them through Xerxes may result in your users waiting awhile...

Nadaleen Tempelman-Kluit
Discovery and Digital Access Librarian
Bobst Library, New York University
[log in to unmask]
(212) 998-2469



----- Original Message -----
From: Naomi Dushay <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 4:29 pm
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] A to Z lists
To: [log in to unmask]


> if you put the info in a Solr index, you could use Blacklight on top.
>
> On Feb 16, 2011, at 1:18 PM, Michele DeSilva wrote:
>
> > Hi Code4Lib-ers,
> >
> > I want to chime in and say that I, too, enjoyed the streaming
> > archive from the conference.
> >
> > I also have a question: my library has a horribly antiquated A to Z
>
> > list of databases and online resources (it's based in Access). We'd
>
> > like to do something that looks more modern and is far more user
> > friendly. I found a great article in the Code4Lib journal (issue 12,
>
> > by Danielle Rosenthal & Mario Bernado) about building a searchable A
>
> > to Z list using Drupal. I'm also wondering what other institutions
>
> > have done as far as in-house solutions. I know there're products we
>
> > could buy, but, like everyone else, we don't have much money at the
>
> > moment.
> >
> > Thanks for any info or advice!
> >
> > Michele DeSilva
> > Central Oregon Community College Library
> > Emerging Technologies Librarian
> > 541-383-7565
> > [log in to unmask]

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