Several useful web services are starting to emerge, and it’s time to start thinking about integrating them into library management products. The most obvious, and possibly most useful, one that springs to mind is the Google spellchecker. Misspelt searches are still a major source of failed catalogue searches, and if we could do a ‘did you mean xxx’ like Google, it would help our users.
The sad thing is that although I can see this as relatively easy to do outside our LMS, I can’t see anyway of integrating into the web OPAC. My alternative is to start writing an interface outside the LMS, which just seems pointless.
Another useful service is the OCLC ISBNx lookup – you submit an ISBN, and get back a list of ISBNs of related works (e.g. Paperback vs Hardback, previous editions etc.) – again, a neat way of extending the users search for them. As above, integration into the library catalogue interface would seem like the ideal, but I’m currently talking to the team at SFX to see if we can get it integrated into their product
These are not new ideas to the area, and Art Rhyno has already done this anyway, but it’s something that I’d like to do if I get the time. It would also be nice to see these as part of standard LMS functionality…