Online Catalog Design Models: Are We Moving in the Right Direction?

A Report Submitted to the Council on Library Resources August, 1995


Charles R. Hildreth, Ph.D.

Palmer School of Library and Information Science

Long Island University

  • Introduction
  • OPAC Access Models
  • Conventional Information Retrieval Systems: The Boolean Model
  • Advanced IR Research and the Probabilistic Retrieval Model
  • Browsing and Exploring: A New paradigm for IR/OPAC System Design
  • Conclusion: Outline of the Next Generation of Online Catalogs
  • References

  • Acknowledgements

    I wish to thank Christine Borgman for her wise and helpful comments on earlier passages of this Report. I also wish to acknowledge several individuals who have had the greatest influence on my intellectual growth in the areas of subject access, online catalogs, and information retrieval theory and research. These individuals are: Pauline Cochrane, Karen Drabenstott, Marcia Bates, Micheline Hancock-Beaulieu, Stephen Robertson, and Stephen Walker. They are, of course, in no way responsible for my shortcomings as a researcher or writer.

    Both I and the readers of this report are greatly indebted to the Council on Library Resources for its leadership in the areas of enhanced bibliographic access to library collections and for commissioning the study which is reported on here.

    Lastly, I dedicate this Report to my young son, Matthew, who displayed uncommon patience with his father during the Summer of 1995, when this Report was being prepared. Updated: March 27, 2000