Catalog Enhancements – VuFind, WorldCat Local, and LibraryThing

Product Statement by CCL-EAR Committee

OPACs lack many of the features that students have come to expect from their interactive online information sources. As a gateway to a library’s collection, the OPAC needs an upgrade. Reinventing the OPAC has become a lot easier with the advent of catalog enhancement products, which allow a library to dramatically improve the catalog’s look and feel, search capabilities, and social interactivity without having to go to the effort and expense of replacing the entire ILS. VuFind, LibraryThing for Libraries, and WorldCat Local are three catalog enhancement products that will engage students with a more familiar interactive experience.

All three catalog enhancement products are intended to make a library’s OPAC interface more interactive and engaging for the user. Choosing which of these enhancement options to go with will depend on a library’s resources in terms of both budget and staffing. LibraryThing for Libraries and WorldCat Local do not require a lot of system maintenance or technical expertise on the part of a library’s staff, but these options will cost more than VuFind, which is an open-source product. VuFind offers the most flexibility of all of the products; libraries have the freedom to change the source code and customize features according to their needs or preferences. VuFind does require more staff time (for installation and maintenance) as well as technical expertise of a dedicated programmer or in-house staff.

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