Reading the article “Digital Collection Management through the Library Catalog,” by Michaela Brenner for my Digital Collections class, I got to wondering if applications like NoveList could be integrated into a public library’s OPAC. Say a customer pulled up a record for a certain novel in the OPAC, and wanted to search for similar novels. Instead of having to go looking for NoveList under the “Books and Reading” tab on the TCCL website (assuming the customer knew it was there), and then having to search for the first novel, and then search for similar novels, what if there was a hyperlink on the book’s OPAC record that said something like, “Find similar books with NoveList”?
Clicking on the hyperlink should probably first notify the customer that they are navigating away from the library OPAC, then ask for the customer’s library card number if not already provided. Then NoveList should open not on its home page, but on the page listing characteristics of the first book, where the customer can select which characteristics they are looking for in another book. The hyperlink would provide a shortcut for customers, as well as promote an often overlooked resource by listing it at the bottom of every record for every work of fiction. I wonder how complicated that would be to set up?
What would be the drawbacks of such an arrangement? Would providing a link to NoveList be similar to providing a link to Amazon? I think it’s different because NoveList is not a vendor like Amazon. NoveList may suggest books that are not in the local library system, but customers could still request them through interlibrary loan. Plus it seems many public libraries have already aligned chosen to promote NoveList over other applications by offering NoveList on their websites. Perhaps because NoveList was developed by librarians.
Subject Switch: While thinking about my digital collection project, I’ve been looking at the Walter Stanley Campbell collection of Native American photographs in OU’s Western History Collections. I wish the photogrphs could be viewed larger, and I wish there was more detail about each picture, such as where the photo was taken, who took the photo, and some details about the subject of the photo. I mean, who was Arapaho sub-chief Yellow Bear? Maybe this information is available elsewhere, but more detail or a link to additional information might improve accessability. My goal is to collect as much information as I can about my grandparents’ photographs, but of course, there is much they may not remember. Guess we’ll see what happens.