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Patron Catalog (OPAC)

Page history last edited by Gem 13 years, 6 months ago



Patron Catalog (OPAC)



First Thoughts

I'm using this section to jot down my initial thoughts but eventually everything should be listed in one of the categories below: Required, Strongly Preferred, Optional but Nice to Have, and Not Needed.




(New ILS must have these features)

  • Sorting by Relevance Ranking, Title, Author, Pub Date
  • Ability of patron to renew items through PAC
  • Patron can cancel holds through Patron Information in PAC
  • Patron-placed holds
  • Holdings Info & Circulation status
  • Ability to see circulation status info in results list
  • Ability to create limits by media format or collection
  • Ability to create limits based on locations
  • Personal List Manager function (users can check off and add titles to a list that can be used as a bibliography, can be emailed, downloaded, printed, etc.)
  • Enhanced content (book jackets, table of contents, chapter summaries, excerpts, author information and professional book reviews)
  • Ability to suspend holds
  • Online payments
  • Browse, exact and keyword index options
  • Authority Control – (e.g., use and creation of see also & other cross-references when doing subject and other searches – except keyword) this relates to the overall structure of the bibliographic database, but affects search capabilities in the OPAC
  • Ability to modify URLs to create searches (i.e.[any ISBN])
  • Link to library website in catalog
  • Persistent link throughout web catalog to seamlessly lead patron into their Account information / Patron Info in PAC
  • Patron Information in PAC available (shows charges, overdues, losts, holds, fines, etc.)
  • Patron can view/verify address, phone number, email, name, or other info via Patron Information in PAC
  • Ability log patrons out of account based of predetermined inactive time
  • Ability to run own monthly OPAC catalog hit statistics
  • In order to use list features, must login
  • Usable with or packaged with a  broadcast search engine tool (a search engine that searches the catalog and commercial databases simultaneously), such as WebFeat or MUSE  Global or other products that may emerge in this market
  • Utilizes standard protocols to enable communication with such hardware/software products as (but not necssarily limited to) computer reservation systems, debit card systems, etc.
  • Ability to sort results
  • ADA version of catalog
  • Ability for each location to have their own PAC profile
  • Multiple language options for interface
  • Back button works


Strongly Preferred

  • On the fly creation of RSS feeds (i.e. patron wishes to be notified when a new John Grisham is added to the catalog)
  • Web 2.0 features (rss feeds, ratings, reviews, tagging, faceted searching, etc)
  • Combine exact indexes with keyword indexes
  • Easy way to search non-district library holdings (such as being able to search OCLC in same interface)
  • Request ILL items straight from search screen
  • Option for patrons to see history of holds
  • Easier way to redo searches
  • Group different editions and formats of items together
  • Easier limit options
  • Easier way to reserve books and DVDs in series (such as TV episodes)
  •  Work with GSA (Google Search Applicance)
  • Compatible front end for moblie devices
  • Patron have ability to create own portal within the OPAC
  • Not lose search when idle for 5 minutes
  • Ability for patrons to choose whether or not to keep reading history (default to NOT keeping history)
  • Ability to control which limiters appear on search screen
  • Ability to create limits based on item status
  • Ability to create limits by item creation date (for new items)
  • Ability to limit by language
  • Ability to use limiters on the fly (while searching, to add in date, availability, branch, or other limiters from menu of choices)
  • Community Information/Organizations link in catalog (like community resources in HIP for Greeley Tribune, etc)
  • Children’s catalog should include filter (optional/customizable by library) to limit search results to juvenile section
  • URL Checker should be deployed as part of product to automatically check if the web content is no longer available / website has been shut down
  • Separate interface for children that employs same basic searching strategies found in adult catalog (keyword, title, author searches), but with friendly icons, lots of pictures & large print [Type Search]
  • Graphical icons grouped by thematic subjects to help guide the child through the search.  Final icons should be linked to a dynamic search against the live catalog [Explore]
  • Ability to customize search indexes that are available for users (customizable by library) – can add or remove number of searches seen by user
  • Customizable help screens
  • Links to commercial databases from within library catalog
  • If no results found, ability to link seamlessly to external/commercial databases (e.g., EBSCO, Gale, etc.)
  • If no results found, ability to link seamlessly to virtual reference service
  • Library webmasters can create their own preset searches/electronic pathfinders (e.g., on certain subjects, for certain authors, titles, etc.)
  • Ability to email and print search results
  • Spell-checker and Thesaurus
  • Circulation status include due dates
  • No more than 3 clicks to actual bib record/status information (starting the search counts as one click)
  • Search modifiable on the fly (can add operators, etc., while in results list or bib record, without having to click back to new search)
  • Advanced search screens or limiter screens should allow not only searches, but exact searches (e.g., ability to run a exact title search at a specific branch)
  • Ability to have multi-index search (e.g., showing number of hits via keyword, title, author, subject if user has not chosen a search or in addition to search type they’ve chosen)
  • Display format icons as well as display format terms available
  • Ability to show current library location's items first
  • Ability to create limits by pub date
  • Ability to change pick-up location after hold has been requested
  • Ability to track name of staff member/location when a patron record is modified/added
  • Ability for library to choose which personal information patrons can edit
  • Ability for Google to search HPLD catalog
  • Ability to integrated with Prospector like service


Optional but Nice to Have

  • Ability for individual libraries to have opening page notices:  i.e: Platteville Library will be closed on mm/dd for staff day, etc.  Or:  special program on: mm/dd
  • Ability to add videos and other media content to OPAC
  • Ability to determine what MARC fields to display depending on format of item (like should widescreen/full screen be displayed, etc)
  • Faceted Navigation
  • Breadcrumb trail
  • Ability to hide lost/missing items
  • Link to loan policies in catalog
  • Ability to create lists of recommended reading
  • Catalog’s ability to suggest new titles to a patron based on their reading preferences (patron profile / automatic reader’s advisory, such as seen in Amazon.com)
  • Ability for each library to work live on ILS/catalog server to change logo, colors, search types, etc., at will on web catalog themselves, without affecting catalog functionality
  • Customizable wording and/or look of navigation icons, search buttons, etc
  • Web catalog logo customizable
  • Fonts customizable
  • Patron portal product available, which can frame and take on look of your website. It would include streamed info/content and preset searches for titles in your catalog (for New York Times Best Sellers, e.g.)
  • Linkable to external web search engines
  • Ability to switch to/see the MARC version of a bib record
  • Ability for user to choose number of titles to be shown on results list page
  • Live guided help option
  • Ability to choose PAC profile based on IP address
  • Bulk pull option for holds (request how many copies you need of items requested instead of having to do many specific copy holds-- book club type feature)
  • Patron ability to change email, phone, alert staff of other changes



Not Needed


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