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3/06/2006

New Catalog Kiosk

It's hard to believe that it's only been a year since our system finally got rid of the last few remaining dumb terminals (there actually were only about three dozen units system-wide, but they were still green screens none-the-less ) that were still in use as public catalogs -- it really seems like so much longer.

Fortunately our upgrade to Horizon last May changed all that. :)   And, with the standardization of PAC PCs system wide, it not only gave us the ability improve access but to also offer our patrons a lot, lot more.

Fast forward nine months and several technology projects later and I was pleased to finally send out this brief announcement to staff today ...
Catalog Kiosk Update:

For those of you who have been waiting, PLCMC's new catalog kiosk is on its way. Starting this week, University City begins the pilot for this new catalog interface that includes among other enhancements the ability for patrons to self-register for themselves for new library cards.

Yes, that means no more need to decipher messy handwriting (is that M or a N?) or second guess an email address. With the new catalog kiosk patrons will be able to enter all their personal information themselves and then see a staff member to complete the process and receive their card (procedures for this are also being piloted by UC staff).

In addition to simplifying the library card application process, the kiosks are also customized to each branch location with a profile that a) highlights the branch by name and photo and b) lists upcoming branch specific programs. Other features of the kiosk include staff reading recommendations, system-wide resource highlights, and easy access to OneSearch research tools.

Staff can preview what their specific location will look like by substituting their branch abbreviation to the end of this URL: http://www.plcmc.org/kiosk/default.asp?locid=ml. (replace ML with your branch ID). Kiosk configurations will be rolled out to all locations beginning in April, once the pilot at UC is complete.

If you have any suggestions for improving this interface, please let me know. We envision that the features on this page will change as we continue to work on improving catalog and information access.

Anyway, I'm just curious ... are there any other libraries out there that have developed something similar for their OPACs?

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2 comments:

Mohamed Taher said...

Congratulations on this innovative and creative visualization.

I have added the Kiosk in my list of Best practices - see Information Visualization
Innovative Practices to Connect Every Book, Its Reader, A Survey by Dr. Mohamed Taher


The above Webliography (and its supplement, Mining The Library Catalog: Emerging Trends, A Literature Survey) aim at:
a) identifying the best practices in alternative cataloging and b) enable the information professionals to visualize excellent models of visual catalogs.
Best, Mohamed
A Multifaith Librarian and Information Visualizer

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