Speakers will examine the advantages and
disadvantages of current OPAC interfaces, and general principles and
practices based on their research. They will evaluate moving from
character-based to web-based OPAC as well as updating existing
web-based OPAC. They will also look at the impact of web search
engines and online bookstores on user search behavior and
expectations. Alternative OPAC interfaces representing academic,
public, and school libraries will be demonstrated.
Jamshid Beheshti, Ph.D. Director
of the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, McGill
Elaine Toms, Ph.D. Associate
Professor, Faculty of Information Studies, University
Johan Ragetli, Library
Information Analyst, Kawartha
Pine Ridge District School Board
Stephen Sottong, Engineering,
Technology, Computer Science and Psychology librarian, California
State University, Los Angeles
Scott Breivold, Media,
Communications, & Arts Librarian, California
State University, Los Angeles
Program followed by the LITA Internet Resources Interest Group
1. The One-Stop-Information Search: What we can learn from Web search
Speaker: Elaine Toms
process of looking for information is, in general, well understood; an
activity formerly the prerogative of information professionals it is
now practiced by the masses. Yet, many studies have shown numerous
adverse results, e.g., about 50% of queries on a typical intranet do
not match the system response. Part of the problem is that search
interfaces have changed little in thirty years, and in fact are a
retrograde step when compared with the capabilities of databases in
the 1980s. The defacto search box has become an artifact of most
web-based systems, but those boxes are woefully inadequate -- like
giving a person a sharp stone with which to built a house. Using
recent empirical work, this presentation will discuss the requirements
for search interfaces and how they affect the development of digital
2. Joint OPAC Design Project
Speaker: Johan Ragetli
This presentation will describe a recent and ongoing OPAC design
project using iPAC software from epixtech.
The main goal of the project was to customize the look and
operation of the OPAC that was suitable to all partners, using
vendor-provided system tools and other custom features. KPR operates a
shared catalogue with the local public library and local catholic
school board in a unique three-way consortium, which moved to Horizon
software and iPAC in May 2002. It was launched with a single default
profile, out-of-the-box, which was subsequently modified for each
location. Critical tasks involved designing one interface for the
Consortium and additional interfaces for each location. Each location
should have the ability to limit a search by location, and the
interface should be suitable for the general public, school users,
children and adults.
OPAC Interface Design
Speaker: Stephen Sottong
& Scott Breivold
Two members of the California State University, Los Angeles Web Team
will discuss how the LibraryÂ’s catalog pages were developed.
Using the Innovative Interfaces (Innopac) product as their Â“back
end,Â” learn how the design of the web-based library catalog evolved
and how the interface was modified to address problems discovered in
patron usability testing sessions. They will also demonstrate
how the various screens of the CSULA Library catalog were simulated
constant look and feel and are cross-browser compatible.
4. The Future of OPAC Interfaces
Online catalogues have evolved over the years from character-based
search engines to relatively sophisticated Web-based gateways.
The prevalence of digital documents and the growing number of
digital resources, however, have created new challenges for interface
designers of OPACs. This
presentation will examine the problems, and potential solutions for
developing creative interfaces for OPACs with the aim of reducing
syntactic and semantic knowledge required by the users for retrieving
Beheshti holds a
bachelorÂ’s degree from Simon Fraser University, British
Columbia, MasterÂ’s and Ph.D. degrees from University of Western
Ontario, Canada. He
is the Director of the Graduate School of Library and Information
Studies at McGill University, where he has taught for the past
eighteen years. His
teaching areas include information technology, information retrieval,
publications have appeared in the Journal of the American Society for
Information Science and Technology, Information Processing &
Management, and Education for Information among other international
journals. He has co-authored an electronic multimedia CD-ROM book.
He has also presented numerous papers in international
conferences in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Asia.
His current research is on automatic classification and
interface design for information retrieval.
Toms is Associate Professor, Faculty of Information
Studies, University of Toronto.
She has previously worked as a teacher, librarian and database
manager. Her primary research area is in information interaction --
examining how people access and use information and how tools should
be designed for effective use. One of her current research foci is the
Johan Ragetli graduated from
Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, University of
Western Ontario. Currently, he is the Library Information Analyst for
Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board in Peterborough Ontario.
His responsibilities include administration of library systems,
automation of school libraries. He is also the Technical Services and
web and electronic services development team leader.
Stephen Sottong is the
Engineering, Technology, Computer Science and Psychology librarian at
California State University, Los Angeles.
Prior to becoming a librarian he was an electrical engineer in
the aerospace industry. In
addition to writing on Web page design, he has written extensively on
the technical difficulties associated with e-books.
is the Media, Communications, & Arts Librarian at Cal
State LA. In addition to running the LibraryÂ’s newly created
Â“Music & Media Center,Â” Scott is the liaison to the
departments of Art, Communication Studies, Music, and Theatre Arts
& Dance. As a member of the LibraryÂ’s Web Team, he served
as leader of the design sub-group for the team's recent Library web
For more program information, please contact: Holly
California State University Los Angeles
5151 State University Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90032
Tel: (323) 343-4993
Fax: (323) 343-5600