I just had a short chat with a friend about the catalog at her local library. They used to have a terrible system that didn’t seem to work at all and now they’ve put Aquabrowser on top of it:
[09:47] Friend: *sigh*
[09:47] Friend: catalogs are so finicky!
[09:47] Nicole: yep
[09:47] Nicole: what’s the matter now?
[09:47] Friend: sheesh
[09:48] Friend: i just want a listing of the books on CD that the Indepence library has on hand
[09:48] Friend: so i can pick on out and run in and get it at noon when they open
[09:48] Friend: i dont have time to browse there
[09:48] Friend: and browsing the books on CD is so…not fun
[09:50] Friend: and they have these “overdrive audio books” but i dont knwo what the heck that means
[09:50] Nicole: 🙁
[09:50] Friend: yeah
[09:50] Friend: silly libraries
[09:51] Friend: i even called someone at the central library to ask if they knew how to get the results i wanted…he didnt know
[09:51] Friend: but he tried
[09:52] Nicole: see there are all these fields that catalogers enter data into that the catalogs don’t even read
[09:52] Friend: then what’s the point?
[09:52] Nicole: it’s a real pain to me too – cause why do i bother putting that info in there?
[09:52] Friend: heh
[09:52] Friend: yeah
[09:52] Friend: and i found out that it’s not possible to search by format or branch with the aqua browser
[09:52] Friend: …at least not the way they have it set up
[09:53] Friend: you have to search for something and THEN refine it by those sort of things
[09:53] Friend: there must be a way to have it both ways
[09:55] Nicole: i’m sure there is … the data is there … it’s just a matter of people writing the right damn code
[09:56] Friend: it’s true
[09:56] Friend: i wish i could query the catalog directly
[09:56] Friend: seriously
[09:56] Friend: are catalogs built on relational database systems?
[09:58] Friend: i know koha’s built on mysql
[09:58] Friend: so that would be simple
[09:58] Friend: maybe i can do some SQL injection into this FLoP catalog….
[09:59] Friend: i guess not…
[10:00] Nicole: probably not – i’m pretty sure that it’s secure
[10:01] Friend: well the only way i can even limit results to branch and material type is by using the “advanced” settings of the old system
[10:01] Friend: the one with the piss poor search
[10:01] Friend: so single letters dont give me results
[10:01] Friend: like…i KNOW they have DaVinci Code on CD but searching Title won’t bring it up
Why do we put our patrons through this?? I don’t know – and I don’t have the time this morning to get into it – but I really thought I should share with you all.