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May 04 2011 - 09:49 AM
What Students Want: A "Recommender" Service in the OPAC
"Recommender" features built into online catalogs have been a controversial issue in Library Land because they rely on a record of individual borrowing that is perceived by many librarians as a threat to patron privacy. Columbia University Libraries (CUL) has been a leader in the protection of patron privacy since Director Paula Kaufman rebuffed the FBI's attempt to keep international students' reading habits under surveillance in 1987. EDUCAT is set up to break the connection between reader and book once the item has been returned and any fines satisfied. This article in D-LIB Magazine proposes an anonymous recommender that works in conjunction with the catalog: Adding Value to the Library Catalog by Implementing a Recommendation System The desirability of a recommendation feature was recently validated by a usability study at one large academic library that reports on the USABILITY4LIB mailing list that students (but not faculty) were open to a feature like "users who viewed this also viewed..." But they were not interested in qualitative reviews or a peer rating system. And the idea of a recommendation pointing to anything but full text was unacceptable.
|By: Frank Webster|2767 Reads