Today in our management meeting, our Executive Director, Gina Millsap, made the comment to the effect that much of the talk with open source systems is just using that tool to replicate existing ILS practices. This thought ties into my recent post about the inter-relation between library catalogs and other sources such as bookstores. All of this makes me think that we should really talk about what we want our ILS to do for us. What would it look like? I’m going to pretend that I don’t know anything about BI or catalogs or any of that library stuff. I actually had pretty good BI as a kid, thank you to my school librarians, but I’m pretending a dream system here! When I want to find something – I put whatever comes to my mind into the computer and it tells me where I can find it. A map of the library pops up on the screen and it leads me to the correct shelf and shows me what the book looks like and exactly where it is. If the “book” comes in an audiobook format or as a movie it needs to show me those options as well, even if they are not located next to each other. I don’t want a big list of things. I somehow want it to understand what I’m looking for and make the necessary decisions to provide that for me. I’m not a techie person, so have no idea how this would actually happen. A big Google-like list of things is not helpful in this case. I want the system to do the work for me. It would provide me the options of finding something else or if what it found was not correct, it would provide some options for me to pursue. It would also give me connections to other similar items; the “if you like this, you might like..” concept. What do you want to see in a system like this?
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