Prism Blog

Leeds Libraries and Facebook

Following on from Terry’s post about the way that Highland libraries have embedded the Prism search box into their Facebook page, I was interested to see how Leeds Libaries are taking an opposite view – and using their Prism interface to surface the feed from their Facebook site.

As many libraries seek to attract new users and engage with their customers, it’s becoming increasingly important to be able to create not only a suitably branded web presence for the library catalogue, but also one that offers multiple channels to ‘speak’ to users. Currently Leeds Libraries  are parallel running their ‘old’ catalogue with the new interface, which is allowing them to fully ‘road test’ the functionality and get feedback from users as to what they want to see. 

The integration of the Facebook feed on the front page, allows for a seamless ‘news’ feature to appear on their catalogue home page, the recent information covers such diverse topics as the death of the writer Beryl Bainbridge to encouraging people to still celebrate the World Cup. This is all contained within a well designed page, making the information easy for users of the catalogue to consume.  The flexibility of the interface aids the useability of the interface, and keeps it fresh and entertaining.

Have a look here to see what you think.

University of Northampton Launches Prism 3 With Links to SFX and Public Library Holdings

The Library and systems team at the University of Northampton have this week released their new Talis Prism 3 catalogue to students. They’ve provided a link from the library homepage here and are encouraging students to give them lots of feedback on it whilst they parallel run Prism 2 and Prism 3.

The University undertook their own design work and have tied it to the look and feel of the University brand – giving a seamless feeling for students using disparate library services.

Mike Aynsworth, Information Systems Manager, told me that “Prism 3 has been configured at the University of Northampton primarily for student resource discovery. We’ve used the Juice project to extend the catalogue to include links to COPAC, Waterstones, Amazon, SFX, Northamptonshire libraries and other useful alternative sources”.

The links out to SFX are especially interesting, as the technical team at the University have utilised Juice to point students directly to the full text where it is available, and when not, it takes students to the SFX listings. The team are planning to further extend their alternative resources by adding in direct links to ebooks too.

The use of social media is incorporated too, with the option for students to bookmark searches with Delicious.

The team are also using the flexible design of the user interface to cater for the OPAC machines actually within the library, allowing for a more locked down “kiosk mode”.

To see the University of Northampton’s catalogue in action go to:

Another University Parallel Running with Prism 3

uni chichester prismThe University of Chichester are now live with their new catalogue, parallel running both Prism 2 and Prism 3 for a few weeks before moving to Prism 3 as the default catalogue. This gives staff and students alike a great opportunity to try out the new OPAC as the project team in charge of the implementation at the University were keen to allow staff and students to migrate to the new service naturally.

Prism 3 has been created to make the design of the user interface extremely flexible and the project team have created the design to fit in seamlessly with the branding of the University. The team were also able to link other useful information into the header such as library opening hours and location information.

The University have aso blogged about the release, at English Liblog@chi here.

Popularity Contest

I wonder how many of you saw the recent popularity list of most visited libraries?  As with any list this is subjective, but the main point of the MLA report was two fold, firstly that Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library had more visitors and lent more books than any other in 2007/08. Closely followed by libraries in major cities such as Birmingham, Manchester and Croydon.

However the second part of the report was also interesting; as the BBC states (after the doom and gloom about the number of physical visits being down overall)

“But the number of people accessing library services via the internet, for services including book renewals and catalogue inquiries, was up by 20%, with more than 76 million web visits.”

This isn’t surprising news, the way in which people access services has changed to being online as a first port of call. So, with 76 million web visits how are you going to make sure that users keep returning to renew items, or see what you have in your catalogue? At Talis we have prepared for this by ensuring that the next generation OPAC can have an attractive interface, and also that the search can be accessed from anywhere. Its by having an attractive, modern and intuitive interface to your web presence that will keep your users coming back and also attract new ones.

Please see Richard’s post below for details of how to do this.