Beyond the OPAC: creating different interfaces for specialized collections in an ILS system

Sai Deng (Wichita State University Libraries, Wichita, Kansas, USA)

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives

ISSN: 1065-075X

Publication date: 2 November 2010



This paper aims to discuss the experiment in creating featured collection web sites from specialized data in the Voyager integrated library system (ILS). The specialized interfaces for different collections aim to offer flexible collection‐driven web presentations for easier resource discovery and increased user attention.


The Faculty Research Showcase and Women's Studies Video Resources web sites at Wichita State University (WSU) Libraries are discussed. The paper addresses the model used to create the web sites: selecting data from Oracle database, presenting SQL query results, and creating the web sites using ASP, XHTML and CSS for browsing and search. The alternative approach of using XML, XPath and ASP.NET is also discussed. Some features of the public web sites such as linking each record back to the online public access catalog (OPAC) and adding both really simple syndication (RSS) feeds and cover images using both syndetic and locally‐created graphics are addressed.


Specialized Voyager data presentation is an example of the disintegration of library data and services. The new interfaces are user‐centered and provide visually‐appealing supplemental presentations to the traditional OPAC.

Practical applications

Web sites can be seamlessly integrated into public programming events and library instruction sessions to introduce local authors, featured collections, and resources in a specific area. The project model can be applied to different sets of data by slightly modifying the query, the programming, and the webpage appearance. Other possible local applications include leisure reading books, new book lists, movie collections, and local art museum collections. This approach can be applied by other libraries to highlight collections.


The paper takes a fresh look at the traditional OPAC and library datasets and illustrates new ways to present the bibliographic data in a library database.



Deng, S. (2010), "Beyond the OPAC: creating different interfaces for specialized collections in an ILS system", OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 253-262.

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