Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Searching TOC information

I was at a CARLI cataloging meeting yesterday where we discussed many things including adding table of contents (TOC) information to bibliographic records. The Library of Congress has been working with publisher to add URLs to bib records that link to TOC information, publisher summaries of the book, and brief author biographies. While this is helpful information if a patron chooses to click on the links this information is not included in keyword searching because only the link is part of the bib record.

Librarians of course would like TOC information to be included in keyword searching. It seems to me that it should be possible to harvest key terms from these LC web pages and incorporate them into OPAC searching. A first step might we using a tool like Google's Custom Search Engine to index the LC TOC pages. If we can abstract all the LC links from are catalog we should be able to give patrons the option of searching within those pages if we would want. But the real hurdle is adding that information back into the catalog so it can be used by when searching in the OPAC. Not sure it will work in a proprietary ILS but doesn't seem impossible to me. A meta search engine might be a provisional next step. I'll keep thinking about it...

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  • At 3:52 PM, Blogger Rebecca said…

    It would be great to be able to search tables of contents! Often we get books that are on a more general topic, that are overlooked when people are looking for something specific, even if there is a chapter in the book that deals with just that.

    I thought I've seen tables of contents in some records. Are those ones that have been specifically added by the cataloger?


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