Monday, December 21, 2009

Hey Kids!

And those who work with them...
As Amy said in the last post, we recently sent out an email to our school media specialists asking for their wishlist for a kid's catalog. We've gotten a few replies and we'd love to hear more from our school media specialists and our children's librarians.

The top requests are:
  • Search by title, author, subject, keyword, and series.
  • Title searches that don't require the use of quotation marks to bring up one-word titles.
  • Spellcheck
  • The ability to sort results, especially sort by call number.
  • Results with the location in bold
  • The ability to add local subject buttons to the main page.
So far, we have good news for you! The regular Evergreen OPAC does a number of these things already. It is possible to search by title, author, subject keyword and series and searches by title for books like Night and Bud Not Buddy turn up the appropriate book as the top result.

Evergreen does have a spellcheck and it does allow sorting of results, though I think we'll have to add call number to our list of requests. The advanced search screen does allow the searcher to limit results to Fiction or Nonfiction, so it's possible that we could incorporate that feature into the results on a kid's catalog.

We brainstormed with some librarians from King County about possible features for a kids catalog and we'd love your feedback on some of these ideas.

Like you, we want to enable local buttons on the main interface – right now, you all have the same buttons on the front page of the kid's catalog. We'd like to have a mechanism for each library to create their own buttons with their own searches.

Other ideas we had:
  • The ability for each library to customize their individual kid’s catalog to their needs
  • The ability to choose from a variety of image sets in the customization of these picture-based subject categories
  • The ability to restrict to just juvenile content searches if the library desired; customizable by library
  • Kid's catalog should build upon current Evergreen OPAC limiters to include reading levels and series information
  • The inclusion of grade reading levels in the bibliographic record search results
  • The ability to customize each search button so that the search can be optimized to the library’s individual catalog
  • The ability to customize each button so that, instead of a search, a reading list of web catalog links and web site links can be produced for the user to follow
  • The ability for the user to rate each title
  • The ability for the user to write a review for each item in the catalog
  • The ability for user reviews to be sent to the individual library for moderation purposes before they are posted
Keep your suggestions coming and we'll keep adding to our list.
Kate Sheehan
Open Source Implementation Coordinator


Kate said...

What if, as a part of the search process, a child could click on their grade level? The grade level could factor into the search, and yield results based on grade level, or at least serve the best matches at the top.

Bibliomation HQ Staff said...

Great idea! Are you imagining something like a faceted search or something the searcher indicates at the beginning of the search?

Jess said...

Don't forget that once the kid finds what s/he wants on the OPAC, the next step is often then to place a hold on it. Try not to make the switch from kids PAC to MyAccount (or some kind of authentication) too jarring. (Kids MyAccount?)