There’s a radio commercial that I heard this morning for the yellow pages (I think, I’m still waiting to hear the commercial again to confirm this). They are advertising themselves as the Find Engine. This got me thinking about our library catalogues again. The debate has been raging about how our OPACs suck and there is a lot of merit in the arguements for this. The biggest question is whether our students can Find It; are we a Find Engine, should we be? The number of students who come to the research help desk looking for materials in our catalogue, I’d say we are not a great find engine. I’m not going to wade too deeply in the catalogue debate but perhaps we need to think of ourselves as Find engines.
Our library is presently undergoing transformation, a very exciting time as we start surveying all of the exciting opportunities we could be a part of. Part of a discussion at a meeting today turned towards blended librarianship. By considering learning theory, how students and faculty learn, rather than straight librarianship we may be able to move towards a catalogue that acts more as a Find engine. By considering how people learn, how they search, we can design more intuitive catalogues and help simplify the process. I’m interested on how this way of thinking would affect all aspects of the library, especially for instruction. A thought I think I will mull on for a while.