I didn't go to Betsy Wilson's talk, so these are some general suggestions for possible future changes to our on-line catalog. Comments about books could also apply to all other media for which we keep records in the catalog.
Our on-line library catalog might be more useful to students, faculty members and the general public if it included the following:
- Reviews of each book, with 1 to 5 stars ratings, with a link in each book's record to a ratings form. See Amazon.com for examples.
- Links to full text of books that have full text in any on-line database. E.g., Baen Free Library, Bartleby.com, Focus Collection, Oxford World's Classics, Questia, etc.
- Links to web sites that can translate foreign language text into English provided they can interact with other web sites to translate the texts of books on those web sites.
- Subject approach as one available option. For example, if I want a book on how to repair my house, I want to be able to find it under "House repair" and under "Home repair," with further break-downs by type of repair and part of the house.
- Author and/or title approach also, in case the catalog user already knows that John Doe wrote a great book on how to repair screen doors.
- Key word search of titles and contents notes as another way the user can find the most useful books. The more ways people can find information, the better.
Submitted by Camille Holser