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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Yes - your opinion really does count

For the last few months, you probably noticed a change on our home page: the search box in the top right hand corner was for an online service called WorldCat Local, instead of our usual library catalog (called "iBistro," if you're curious). You may have also noticed that last week, the search box was switched back to the old one.

Des Plaines was one of several libraries in Illinois beta testing this new service, WorldCat Local. We're grateful to you, our patrons, for your patience and mostly for your great feedback about this product. OCLC, the company behind WorldCat Local, told us our library had the most usage amongst all the participating libraries. Not surprising to me in the least, because in my conversations and transactions with patrons, I can tell we have a community of savvy searchers and engaged library users.

We learned a lot from your feedback and so did the OCLC WorldCat Local team. This is important because our library is currently part of a consortial task force searching for a new and very, very improved catalog. So now we know not only what you liked and disliked about WorldCat Local, but also your general comments about searching, placing holds, narrowing searches and "social" features like reviews and tagging. Believe me, we have taken note of your suggestions and concerns and will use them in our decision-making process.

If you really liked WorldCat Local, or didn't get a chance to try it, there is still time. Just go to: and try some searches. WorldCat Local is connected to our current catalog, so you can even place holds in it and get the items reserved for you, just like you do in iBistro. WorldCat Local will be available for approximately 8 more weeks. There may be opportunities for you to "test drive" other catalogs as well - we'll keep you in the loop.

Thank you so much for helping us with this very worthwhile project. I want to particularly thank the nine community members who gave us several hours of in-depth product testing - your input was incredibly valuable and useful to me.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to know what the policy the staff at the Des Plaines library has for privacy of patrons? For example can staff employees (security and info. desk) having computer access to the content of a patron's library card info, therefore knowledge of patron's
    interests, including number of books taken out, discuss with another employee a patron's habits, visits or interests?
    Recently, within earshot, I heard one of your "security guards" point me out that I was just there yesterday taking an armload of books out, and there should be a limit.
    Besides being not of their business,
    are there privacy laws?


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