We are pleased to submit our report for your consideration. Attached is a PDF version including the text and all appendices. A Web page at http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/alephopac/report/ also includes HTML links to each appendix that we expect you will find especially helpful in your review of many of our recommendations.
As the work of the Task Force has progressed during recent months, we have focused our attention on the issues that we feel have the most immediate relevance for planning the eventual implementation of the joint union catalog. While much about the technical infrastructure that will enable this union catalog has not yet been determined, planning for local catalog implementation must begin immediately (the University of Florida is scheduled to migrate to ALEPH in early May, 2003). As you will see, we hope that the interface recommendations we’ve made will also serve as the “starting point” and a framework for discussions among those groups who will now be working on designing the OPAC interfaces for the separate Community College and State University Libraries systems.
We are also pleased to report that the work of our Task Force has proceeded very collegially and with a very high level of cooperation at all times. We think that having had a chance to work together at such an early stage of our union and local catalog planning will prove to be very beneficial to the Community Colleges (and CCLA), and to the State University Libraries (and FCLA). We are also pleased that we have had a chance to work with our colleagues from the State Library of Florida on this Task Force. As other joint planning efforts are identified to implement the union catalog and related services, we hope they will provide a similarly positive experience to participants.
User interface design is an imperfect science. We expect that some people will like the ideas we are recommending very much, and that others will simply prefer other approaches. For those of us that have been involved in designing and evaluating user interfaces in any way, these different reactions are never a surprise. We have tried to make it clear that we look forward to others now having a chance to react to the work we have done within our small group. In the end we hope that the resulting ideas from those subsequent discussions will lead to developing an optimal way of presenting library catalog data that our patrons will find effective.
Rich Bennett and Christina