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New generation of catalogues for the new generation of users: A comparison of six library catalogues

Tanja Merčun (Department of Library and Information Science and Book Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Maja Žumer (Department of Library and Information Science and Book Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Program: electronic library and information systems

ISSN: 0033-0337

Article publication date: 25 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe some of the problems and issues faced by online library catalogues. It aims to establish how libraries have undertaken the mission of developing the next generation catalogues and how they compare to new tools such as Amazon.

Deign/methodology/approach

An expert study was carried out in January 2008 to evaluate six library catalogues (one traditional and five recently modernised) and compare them to Amazon.

Findings

While the traditional catalogue has stayed far behind, the modernised catalogues have taken two different approaches in becoming the “next generation catalogue”. Two catalogues focused on improving functionality while two others decided to introduce Web/Library 2.0 trends first. At this point, none of the catalogues offer as vast a range of features as Amazon does, but one catalogue managed to surpass Amazon in some of the examined features.

Research limitations/implications

The chosen set of tested catalogues may not be representative and we cannot draw conclusions for the whole population of library catalogues.

Originality/value

The paper shows the current state of library catalogues and draws attention to some important issues concerning Web 2.0 trends. Features presented in the tabular outline can be used as pointers for further development of library catalogues.

Keywords

Citation

Merčun, T. and Žumer, M. (2008), "New generation of catalogues for the new generation of users: A comparison of six library catalogues", Program: electronic library and information systems, Vol. 42 No. 3, pp. 243-261. https://doi.org/10.1108/00330330810892668

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited