From the catalogs of babes











{August 14, 2009}   bad catalogs affect more than findability

We had another instance today of a patron searching for a title we hold that didn’t return in the search results. This time it wasn’t a student–it was the chair of the fashion design department.

She didn’t make a big deal out of it, blowing it off like it was a random typographical error, perhaps. Sometimes I wonder if it even occurs to patrons that it’s the catalog that’s broken, not them. When their catalog search doesn’t work, a lot of people walk away with the impression that they’ve done something wrong, when really it’s the fault of the catalog.

I worry about this building a cycle of poor self-esteem and confidence, especially considering that library anxiety is a documented issue. Not only might our patrons walking away without the resources they seek, but also without the belief that they are smart or skilled enough to find those resources in the first place.

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