Web OPAC or Web-based Online Public Access Catalog of Library Management Systems is widely used in both public and academic libraries for quick and easy access of the library resources- both conventional and digital. It is perfect to say that the foundation of the modern, digital library has been laid by the Web OPAC and libraries owe a lot to it. It worked as a catalyst for change and paved the way for new and improved services, such as online catalogs, digital collections, e-books, etc, that can be accessed anytime, anywhere.
Libraries that were using OPAC and now switching to an advanced alternative- Web OPAC. Most likely your library has also adopted Web OPAC as it has become a hope for the libraries to sail through these unprecedented pandemic times and a better future.
What to expect from the Web OPAC switch?
Well, OPAC and Web OPAC are similar to each other in many basic functions such as browsing, searching, retrieving, and viewing materials in a library. However, the key differentiator is ‘access’. An OPAC can be accessed in the library, institution campus over LAN/Intranet, whereas the Web OPAC can be accessed anytime, anywhere in the world through the internet. Also, Users need to follow the program of the particular OPAC software used in the library while Web OPAC has HTML files that hyperlink to the subject disciplines or areas.
As Web OPAC is comparatively new to libraries, it is important to understand its features and analyze if your Web OPAC has most of the features incorporated. Let’s get started.
FEATURES OF A GOOD WEB OPAC
- It is easy to access via the Internet anytime, anywhere
- A good web OPAC is Interactive, flexible, accurate, and user-friendly.
- It provides secured access to digital materials.
- It has good collaborative capabilities.
- It displays tabs for quick access to certain categories of resources.
- It has a powerful and faster search engine with relevant filters to narrow down search results.
- It has searchable terms across multiple fields and searching independently by Keyword, by Year, or by Author Name is possible. A user can also use the combination of search keys such as Keyword+Year+Author Name to find the right resource.
- It displays the whole bibliographic information/descriptions as appeared on reprints.
- The search results display all relevant results to the query. For eg: all references with matching author name appears on the search result.
- It allows users to save their favorite searches in a basket and share them with others.
- It helps users to check current and previous loans, renew and reserve books, check reservation status, and more.
- Users can see book previews available on Google Books.
- Users can click on the hypertext links to navigate through bibliographic records.
- It can evaluate collections with rating and review platforms.
- Easy access to News Articles via OPAC Bulletin
- Easy accessibility via single sign-on makes Web OPAC in iSLIM, a library management system, a preferred choice of many corporate libraries.
- Users can add notes or highlight their book list entries by adding them to the basket.
- It can give the best-personalized recommendations for users based on your transactions, searched history, and more.
- It has features that allow you to share a search result or items added in a basket on social media sites like Facebook, Gmail, etc with a few clicks.
- A responsive iOPAC is compatible with different screen sizes, operating systems and gives a user-friendly, intuitive interface.
- More like this/ Related items is an interesting feature that helps users read similar books to what they are reading right now, selected or checked out books.
ARE YOU REALLY USING THE BEST WEB OPAC?
Looking at the list of features (and there are still more), we, as the best Online Library Management System providers, know that not every Web OPAC available in the market is perfect. Some Web OPACs may lack providing links through subjects or authors, fail to provide online help access, or do not display the accurate database being searched – and the list goes on. If you feel your Web OPAC lacks most features, it’s time to switch to the best LMS system ‘iSLIM’. Our LMS has the feature-rich Web OPAC module that will help your library members to easily access the library. Also, makes the digital library a blissful experience for users with easy access to library resources both conventional and digital like never before!