Monday, December 5, 2011

a great look at the value of libraries

I know I'm late in the game here, but Brian over at Swiss Army Librarian did a very interesting calculation of library-vs-retail costs to the community. The results are very heartening, and something any library might want to prepare with their own numbers, in order to prove to their boards and communities the notably significant value of their worth!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

electronic catalogs

There is something deeply, deeply flawed with an ILS where I can type in "The Sound and the Fury" (in quotes!) and the book copy of the work is #10 on the results page (at least the first result was related to Faulkner; I cannot seem to reproduce the input, but I swear I looked up either the author or title at one point where the first result to come up was a book titled "Onassis"...of course, if I try to look up that work, it's impossible to find). I was so frustrated having to scroll down to find the results for things I'd typed in perfectly. I cannot understand what sort of search algorithm this software is performing on its database, but it seems as if there is something seriously off. I don't know if it's SirsiDynix itself (the ILS software creator), or if it's just that Connect (one of CT's library consortiums) hasn't upgraded its software to the latest & greatest, but I intend to find out. Somehow. Sometime. And do something about it.

I am so tempted to apply for one of the developer jobs in Utah, but...1. it's Utah, and 2. I vowed I'd never go back to being a code monkey again. That's why I moved to librarianship - I wanted to get out of the mire of endless lines of C++ (or Java, or etc.). But at the same time, I have this feeling that I've got a great stradding-the-fence skill set which would be awesome to use to improve electronic catalogs. I love databases. I just don't know if I want to code them for the rest of my life. But I know we can make them do what we need them to do...which to me includes returning the appropriate search results. Hrm.