Posted by: Steven Harris | April 16, 2008

Can I interest you in an ILS?

Saw this announcement recently:

http://blogs.lib.berkeley.edu/shimenawa.php/2008/04/04/ils_basic_discovery

about developing standards for interoperability between the ILS and “discovery applications.” If this wasn’t being led by the DLF, I might think there was some kind of weird collusion going on. I think there is a pretty specific agenda here, that seems to focus only on the communication role between the interface and the ILS. But it may have implications that look out way beyond the current fetish for finding a better public interface for the catalog.

Since the project is only looking at that communication role, there is little said about what features the interface should have, from the public perspective. What do you think a public “discovery application” should have? (I do so enjoy putting quotation marks around that phrase!)

How about:

  • ability for the patron to save any metadata they find
  • ability to export or mashup the data elsewhere
  • ability to apply their own tags (shared or private)
  • ability to write comments or reviews (shared or private)
  • customizable notifications (email, RSS, or whatever they want)
  • customizable screen layout
  • federated searching
  • customizable search functions (“I am interested in this database but not that.”)
  • built-in citation management (or seamless communication with such a utility)
  • interoperability with any number of outside applications
  • links to related materials (reviews, contents, images, excerpts)
  • links to full-text
  • ability to search on any of the above metadata elements (“I only want things tagged with…”)
  • access to use data
  • variety of search skill levels
  • ability to search beyond the walls of the home library (other libraries, databases, the web)
  • seamless ILL request for items not in the home library

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