my tag cloud and forcing an opac solution

Jason Griffey makes a good point, the “tag cloud” I referred to when talking about daveyp’s OPAC subject cloud was a bit of a misnomer. Now that I’m using LibraryThing, at least a little bit, I have been looking at my author cloud which makes me think one thing “Man I read on the plane a lot!”

I’ve been swapping email with Tim over at LibraryThing because I’ve been talking to some small libraries (less than 10,000 volumes) about OPAC ideas. LibraryThing doesn’t have an enterprise version yet, but it’s got some features I’d love to see in my own OPAC, like a feed for “recently added” books, options for turning book cover display on or off (why is this so hard?) and all the cloudy goodness. The small-library OPACs I’ve seen are often either kludgey stripped-down versions of larger ILSes, or they’ve got terrible web implementation which seems added on as an afterthought. If anyone has seen a stand-alone OPAC that’s attractive, cheap and easy for non-techies to implement, please let me know. We don’t need patron or money management features, just the book parts, and maybe a “checked in/out” flag.

While you’ve got your OPAC hat on, read the ILS Customer Bill of Rights and the four fundamental must-haves.

  1. Open, read-only, direct access to the database
  2. A full-blown, W3C standards-based API to all read-write functions
  3. The option to run the ILS on hardware of our choosing, on servers that we administer
  4. High security standards

Is that too much to ask? Don’t miss the comments, I’m going to make “glommed-together, katamariesque nightmare ILS codebase ” part of my lexicon. What’s katamari, you ask?