Library at Dunham Massey
We are pleased to announce that the libraries of the National Trust are now live on Copac. This is the first time that the National Trust’s catalogue has been available to search online.
The National Trust owns 140 historic libraries, containing around 230,000 titles, generally preserved in the places where they were originally assembled and read. Many are country house libraries, some collected by wealthy bibliophiles, others containing more practical everyday books, including rare provincial printing. Other collections reflect the interests of middle-class readers; some were assembled by literary figures, such as Kipling and Shaw.
Together these libraries provide an unparalleled resource for the study of the history of private book ownership in Britain and Ireland. The collections will be of interest to researchers from a wide range of disciplines, and include a huge variety of materials, from illuminated manuscripts to picture postcards.
For fuller details please see the National Trust’s Books and Manuscripts collection webpages, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also see the National Trust’s library page on Copac.
We are confident that exposure of these exciting resources will be of great benefit to the education and research communities.
We are pleased to announce that live circulation data is now available for the University of Bradford’s Copac records. This enables users to see, at the point of searching Copac, whether the item they are interested in is available.
There is now a Copac search widget for iGoogle, enabling you to search Copac directly from your start page. You can choose to search:
Results will open in a new window, allowing you to continue working on your iGoogle page while your search results are loading.
All feedback welcome!
The Copac office will close on 24th December, and re-open on 4th January. The Copac service will be available over this period, but there will be no helpdesk support. Any queries sent over this period will be dealt with when we return.
The Copac team would like to wish all of our users a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Photo by Ashley Sanders
There will be no disruption to Copac on December 15th owing to
changes in the overall plans for the Mimas service hardware transition.
We will let you know when we have transition dates in the New Year.
On Tuesday, 15 December 2009 (around 10:00am), we’re moving the Copac website to new hardware. This is part of a major hardware upgrade programme in Mimas that will ensure we have the capacity and resilience to enhance all Mimas services.
Most users should not notice the change. However, logins to Copac using Shibboleth may be unavailable for several hours during the 15th December.
Please contact the Copac Helpdesk if you are unable to access Copac after 12:00pm on the 15th.
The new personalised Copac will be made available during August 2009. Thank-you to the many people who have taken the time to send comments and requests relating to the Beta interfaces. We’ve had some really useful feedback and we’ll be following up many of the comments both before the release and over subsequent months.
The reload of the Imperial College London catalogue is now complete and all records are available for searching via Copac.
We are beginning a major redevelopment of the Copac National, Academic, and Specialist library catalogue service. The first stage of this work will introduce a login version of Copac with a range of new personalised facilities. Alongside this we will retain an open-access version of Copac.
Building on the recent Copac Beta trial, we have two new Copac Beta trial interfaces.
Personalised Copac, as seen in the beta trial, now has a new addition in the form of ‘my local library’ search, which allows members of some universities to search their own library catalogue alongside Copac, giving a single result set. This requires you to login to Copac.
The new standard Copac is a streamlined service which allows you to search and export records without logging in to the personalised Copac. It also includes a new journal table-of-contents display (where available).
Both these interfaces can be accessed at http://beta.copac.ac.uk/, and the trial will be running until 26th July.
There is a very short feedback questionnaire for each interface. We would appreciate it if you could fill in the questionnaire, or just email the Copac helpdesk (email@example.com) with any comments you may have.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended JISC’s Modelling the Library Domain Workshop. I was asked to facilitate some sessions at the workshop, which was an interesting but slightly (let’s say) ‘hectic’ experience. Despite this, I found the day very positive. We were dealing with potentially contentious issues, but I noted real consensus around some key points. The ‘death of the OPAC’ was declared and no blood was shed as a result. Instead I largely heard murmured assent. As a community, we might have finally faced a critical juncture, and there were certainly lessons to be learned in terms of considering the future of services such as Copac, which as a web search service, in the Library Domain Model would count as national JISC service ‘Channel.’
In the morning, we were asked to interrogate what has been characterised as the three ‘realms’ of the Library Domain: Corporation, Channels, and Clients. (For more explanation of this model, see the TILE project report on the Library Domain Model). My groups were responsible for picking apart the ‘Channel’ realm definition:
The Channel: a means of delivering knowledge assets to Clients, not necessarily restricted to the holdings or the client base of any particular Corporation, Channels within this model range from local OPACs to national JISC services and ‘webscale’ services such as Amazon and Google Scholar. Operators of channel services will typically require corporate processes (e.g. a library managing its collection, an online book store managing its stock). However, there may be an increasing tendency towards separation, channels relying on the corporate services of others and vice versa (e.g. a library exposing its records to channels such as Google or Liblime, a bookshop outsourcing some of its channel services to the Amazon marketplace).
In subsequent discussion, we came up with the following key points:
- This definition of ‘channel’ was too library-centric. We need to working on ‘decentring’ our perspective in this regard.
- We will see an increasing uncoupling of channels from content. We won’t be pointing users to content/data but rather data/content will be pushed to users via a plethora of alternative channels
- Users will increasingly expect this type of content delivery. Some of these channels we can predict (VLEs, Google, etc) and others we cannot. We need to learn to live with that uncertainty (for now, at least).
- There will be an increasing number of ‘mashed’ channels – a recombining of data from different channels into new bespoke/2.0 interfaces.
- The lines between the realms are already blurring, with users becoming corporations and channels….etc., etc.
- We need more fundamental rethinking of the OPAC as the primary delivery channel for library data. It is simply one channel, serving specific use-cases and business process within the library domain.
- Control. This was a big one. In this environment libraries increasingly devolve control of the channels via which their ‘clients’ use to access the data. What are the risks and opportunities to be explored around this decreasing level of control? What related business cases already exist, and what new business models need to evolve?
- How are our current ‘traditional’ channels actually being used? How many times are librarians re-inventing the wheel when it comes to creating the channels of e-resource or subject specialist resource pages? We need to understand this in broad scale.
- Do we understand the ways in which the channels libraries currently control and create might add value in expected and unexpected ways? There was a general sense that we know very little in this regard.
There’s a lot more to say about the day’s proceedings, but the above points give a pretty good glimpse into the general tenor of the day. I’m now interested to see what use JISC intends to make of these outputs. The ‘what next?’ question now hangs rather heavily.