Capitalizing on Information Organization and Information Visualization for a New-Generation Catalogue

Charles-Antoine Julien, Catherine Guastavino, France Bouthillier
2012 Library Trends  
Subject searching is difficult with traditional text-based online public access library catalogues (OPACs), and the next-generation discovery layers are keyword searching and result filtering tools that offer little support for subject browsing. Next-generation OPACs ignore the rich network of relations offered by controlled subject vocabulary, which can facilitate subject browsing. A new generation of OPACs could leverage existing information-organization investments and offer online searchers
more » ... a novel browsing and searching environment. This is a case study of the design and development of a virtual reality subject browsing and information retrieval tool. The functional prototype shows that the Library of Congress subject headings (LCSH) can be shaped into a useful and usable tree structure serving as a visual metaphor that contains a real world collection from the domain of science and engineering. Formative tests show that users can effectively browse the LCSH tree and carve it up based on their keyword search queries. This study uses a complex information-organization structure as a defining characteristic of an OPAC that goes beyond the standard keyword search model, toward the cutting edge of online search tools.
doi:10.1353/lib.2012.0022 fatcat:kopktpagnncijhlzkda7dbkd6q