OPAC Home > So What? An Art and Visual Resources Library Perspective

Art libraries and visual resources centers stand to gain from next-gen OPACs in several ways.

  • Increased usage statistics and patronage
    • Increased access to collections via federated searching
    • Ex. local image collections
  • Greater patron search efficiencies
    • Art and visual resource librarians will be able to focus more time on complex bibliographic instruction
  • The ability for increased patron self-service
    • Difficult artist name spellings could be resolved via spell checking
  • Increased patron information discovery
    • Alternative spellings on the patron’s results page could more efficiently lead the patron to unknown foreign spellings of an artist’s name
    • Versus the less efficient “see also” links within individual records

Librarians are at an important crossroad in the history of information management. No other time in human history has so much information been produced. Libraries have a unique heritage with written works. However, libraries have been slow to adapt to users’ needs in the digital age. Art libraries have been somewhat isolated from these effects. There is still a need for well produced monographs within the worlds or art, architecture, and museum librarianship. However, researchers prefer digital access to texts and images through a single interface. As this trend continues, art libraries and visual resource centers must realign themselves to provide this type of access in order to remain relevant to today’s library patron.

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