KohaCon13: OPAC Roundtable
John Crockett from Washoe County Library System moderated the OPAC discussion at KohaCon13 and summarized and reported the topics discussed.
There was talk of changing the indexing system from Zebra/Solr to Elasticsearch (http://www.elasticsearch.org/). However that would be a major endeavor yet one worth pursuing. As a step toward this the participants agreed that we should create clear and concise documentation for how zebra indexing works. The goal being to provide the community with a better understanding so that we as a community can identify areas within indexing that can be improved or changed to better serve the users of the catalog. There was also discussion about trying to add the ability for the libraries to have greater control over relevancy sorting works.
Some libraries reported that their is an issue that appears when using SSL on the OPAC. The example brought to the discussion was that when a patron uses a link to place a hold on an item from a result things tend to work fine however, if they choose to use the “Login to your Account” at the top of the screen they loose their search. The discussion revolved around the use of SSL for the entire site or just when users log into the catalog. There are apparently performance issues when SSL is used on the entire site, the extant of this performance hit was debated.
A request was made to begin to expand the single sign on features within Koha. This could allow for users to automatically be signed in via a number of out site systems, Moodle (https://moodle.org/) was sited as an example. The topic of patron privacy was brought up during this discussion and there were a number of proposed solutions to this issue.
A final discussion revolved around the use of the term OPAC. There were a number of folks that discussed how long it took them to figure out what the term meant and weather it actually had any meeting outside the library. We agreed that the term “catalog” was preferred.
There was a short discussion revolving around the use of discovery tools and how to integrate them into Koha. This discussion was short lived though. Chris Cormack demonstrated an install of a discovery tool that sat under Koha rather than on top of Koha.
Overall the feel of the group was that the OPAC, now catalog, is performing quite well.
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