LJ Article on the New Website and Catalog

Library Journal wrote a great article about our new website and catalog. They interviewed my boss and I’m happy to say that the article focuses on the real star of the show: SOPAC3, the catalog.

SOPAC 3 eschews bibliographic record-level search, instead using its own works-level concordance. When patrons conduct a search, rather than retrieving pages full of separate, individual records by format—To Kill a Mockingbird the book, the audiobook, the ebook, large print, or e-audiobook, for example—each title is displayed as a single record, with clickable tabs enabling users to check the location and availability of each format.

“I think what this whole project has really confirmed for us is that works-level catalogs are what lay beyond the event horizon, and that the bibliographic record, as a top-tier discovery entity, has outlived its usefulness in a digital, multi-format age. The work record is our path forward,” explained SOPAC developer John Blyberg, Darien’s assistant director for Innovation and UX.


I’m immensely proud of the work John and James did with the catalog. I’ll be doing some write-ups about the process of the website site of things (John built it himself instead of using a readily available CMS) at some point. The last few months have been really focused on the new site so I’m pretty drained and tired. Launching it was only the first step. Maintaining it and keeping it well-organized on the backend will be an on-going process. My write-ups may be a little slow to appear since Michael Schofield and I are working on our book on service design.

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