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Report reveals what users want from library catalogues

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The end user’s experience of the delivery of wanted items from library catalogues is as important, if not more important, than his or her discovery experience, according to a new report from OCLC into what librarians and users want from library catalogues. It also found that end users rely on and expect enhanced content including summaries/abstracts and tables of contents and that an advanced search option (supporting fielded searching) and facets help end users refine searches, navigate, browse and manage large result sets.

In addition, the study showed that library staff and end users approach catalogues and catalogue data purposefully. End users generally want to find and obtain needed information, while librarians and library staff generally have work responsibilities to carry out. The work roles of librarians and staff influence their data quality preferences.

The results in the report are based on OCLC's focus groups, a pop-up survey on WorldCat.org and a web-based survey of librarians worldwide.