On a recent trip I read the October issue of Computers in Libraries magazine AND I read it nearly cover-to-cover. (Unheard of for me these days.) The October issue is focused on online public access catalogues (OPAC) and integrated library systems (ILS), and includes articles on open source OPACs as well as possible next generation ILS. One article is available for free on the Information Today web site ("Fac-Back-OPAC: An Open Source Interface to Your Library System") with the rest available for a fee. If the articles seem of interest to you, you might check your library to see if it has the issue.
Why should we care about OPACs and the like? Some digitization programs are loading their materials into OPACs rather than using something like CONTENTdm. Placing the materials in the OPAC means that the items will be discovered along with other materials when users do searches. However, the OPAC may not display the materials the way we really want. So there are pros and cons, just like many of the other decisions we make.
If you are a library, should you consider using your OPAC to house your digitized materials. Yes, consider it, along with the other options available to you. You may find it to be the right option, at least for the moment.
Technorati tag: Digital Asset Management