A post about things that should be changed over at Random Access Mazar caught my eye, especially regarding the catalogue:
I discussed this earlier in a post called Less Data means Less Search. One of the things that bothers me is the lack of more meaningful data in many of the records. This is changing as table of contents are now regularly entered but there is still alot of old materials that have not been.
Right now it seems like some libraries, mine included, think that linking to a table of contents is a solution. This helps some but presumes I’ve already found the work. As a science student many of the research works are anthologies, collected papers or books with whimsical names. This often means that I have to hope that I chose keywords in the subject or keywords chosen by the cataloger. This isn’t always the case depending on how specialized a resource I’m looking for and isn’t the catalogers fault. Having the table of contents at a minimum and more data if possible helps alot in finding what I need. This is why I often look for other sites to search to start getting ideas and then use the catalog to see if we carry it. Worst case scenario I look for books that are in the general area of what I want (but not actually what I want) and try to find call number areas to browse.
I’ll end the rant here but you can read the old post for more. I do want to mention that I updated the link to my mock-up in the old post that uses data from Amazon. Again it suffers from the same problem as above, but if we’re going to be pulling in data we might as well pull in some reviews.