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This paper sets out to provide an overview of the open source online public access catalog (OPAC) software known as Blacklight. It includes a discussion of the reasons why…
This paper sets out to provide an overview of the open source online public access catalog (OPAC) software known as Blacklight. It includes a discussion of the reasons why the University of Virginia decided to create the Blacklight project, rationale behind design decisions, an overview of the technologies used, and some examples of interface designs and object behaviors.
Design approaches discussed include open source methodologies, model/view/controller development patterns, and strategies for efficient staff training and utilization.
The Blacklight project is not yet complete, but initial usability testing is favorable. The project shows particular promise among previously underserved populations such as music researchers, and for previously under‐used collections.
Libraries who are considering de‐coupling their OPAC from their Integrated Library System will find useful information about this process as undertaken by the University of Virginia, as well as more information about Blacklight, and more information about whether Blacklight might be a good fit for their library.
Blacklight is an open source OPAC system that is particularly well suited to large libraries with diverse collections. It is the only open source OPAC system with a focus on creating customized interfaces for specific populations.
This study seeks to apply ecological psychology's concept of “affordance” to graduate students' information behavior in the academic library, and to explore the extent to…
This study seeks to apply ecological psychology's concept of “affordance” to graduate students' information behavior in the academic library, and to explore the extent to which the affordances experienced by graduate students differed from the affordances librarians were attempting to provide.
In‐depth, qualitative interviews with graduate students and academic librarians explored how the students perceived and used the library's various “opportunities for action” (e.g. books, databases, instructional sessions, librarians, physical space, etc.) and compared these perceptions and behavior with librarians' intentions and expectations.
Findings indicate a disparity between expectations and experience and point to graduate students as an underserved population in this context, especially in terms of the library's outreach efforts. In addition, because graduate students are increasingly teaching introductory undergraduate courses, communication methods that bypass graduate students tend to miss undergraduate students as well.
Practical implications discussed in this paper include possible methods of improving communication channels between graduate students and academic librarians, and considerations for information literacy instruction.
This paper presents a unique perspective by using affordance theory to frame students and librarians' expectations about library services. The findings are particularly valuable for their implications for library‐patron communication and information literacy.
THE year 1954 opened more brightly, in some respects, than most previous years. Salaries are better than they used to be, staffs are larger, and hours are shorter. But there is even less room for complacency or even bare satisfaction than there was forty years ago. Then, however poor was the pay and however long the hours, there was every indication that librarianship was gradually becoming recognized as a profession which in time would rank with the great professions. Principles and objectives were clear and were never lost sight of, but librarians and assistants of that day realized that the great professions were dependant, not only on principles but upon absolute mastery of technique; that no lawyer could survive who merely talked grandiloquently about the principles and objectives of his calling; that the medical man endured—and in many instances enjoyed—a severe and lengthy training in technique and practice, and that even when he became a specialist his prime need and principal qualification was absolute mastery and up to date knowledge of technique and practice in his field of specialisation. In the light of that fad a detailed study of library technique became accepted as essential, and a mass of practical and technical literature was studied and mastered by more than one generation. For examination purposes, perhaps more than for any other reason, the present generation of assistants continues that study, but there has been a change of weight. Today we hear frequently that technique is relatively unimportant and that principles and objectives are the vital essentials.