PART 2: User Interaction

Below are listed questions that were submitted during the May 18, 2011 webinar. Answers from the presenters will be added when available. Not all the questions could be responded to during the live webinar, so those that could not be addressed at the time are also included below.


  • Jennifer Bowen, Assistant Dean, University of Rochester River Campus Libraries
  • John Blyberg, Assistant Director for Innovation and User Experience, Darien Library
  • Anya N. Arnold, MLIS, Resource Sharing Program Manager, Orbis Cascade Alliance
  • Allie Flanary, Faculty Librarian, Portland Community College


Feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions about library, publishing, and technical services standards, standards development, or if you have suggestions for new standards, recommended practices, or areas where NISO should be engaged.

NISO Webinar Questions and Answers

1. How are your facets indexed - i.e., can you sort within the facet by alphabetical order?

Jennifer Bowen: The default facet values are listed based upon the frequency of the occurrence of that particular value. In cases where there is a controlled list of facet values (for example, formats) it would be possible to list those in some other order, such as alphabetical. With an unlimited number of values, I don't think an alphabetical or other sort would be feasible - for example, for Creators/Authors you would potentially have every author in the catalog as a value. That kind of author browse would be better presented using a custom Browse screen that would enable a user to browse by author. For the date facet, the facet values are listed chronologically, and allow you to "drill down" from centuries to decades to individual years.

2. How do you maintain the Application Profile? What if the metadata schemas that the profile draw from changed?

Jennifer Bowen: This was a bit of a problem as we were developing the schema and attempting to use RDA data elements before they were finalized - they kept changing, and we had to keep changing the schema to keep things "in sync". At this point all RDA elements have been registered in the Open Metadata Registry, so we hope that once that registration has been formally approved that the URIs for these data elements will become stable. Other than using RDA elements, we are also using Dublin Core elements which have URIs. These are carefully maintained by the DCMI community, so that it shouldn't be a problem with data elements changing. We would definitely think twice about including elements from other metadata schemas that did not have as robust a way of handling changes as the DCMI community does.

3. Is XC making use of authority records/data in any way beyond what we're familiar with how our traditional ILS's use the data?

Jennifer Bowen: We aren't using them in the UI yet, but we could bring in authority data/cross references using an API fairly easily. We will be using authority data within the backend Metadata Services Toolkit within the next year, by developing a metadata service to automatically validate headings in MARCXML records (at first; Dublin Core coming later) and populate the records with the control number (and eventually the "URI") for the authority record. We're especially interested in using this data to enable us to aggregate records for works based upon authority data.

4. Have the patrons used tagging as much as you wanted or hoped? Any thoughts on how to get that feature used more?

5. SOPAC - Do you have a way to globally remove tags when they become irrelevant?

6. Which Drupal version you're using right now? How do you plan to migrate to the different Drupal version (e.g. 6 -->7)?

John Blyberg: SOPAC was written from Drupal 6, but yes, we plan to migrate to Drupal 7 at some point.

7. SOPAC - Do you have a way to globally remove tags when they become irrelevant?

John Blyberg: I'm not sure what you mean about an irelevant tag or how you would determine if user-contributed metadata was irrelevant. We can certainly remove specific tags if we needed to, but we wouldn't presume to remove someone's data without their permission. There also really isn't a need to remove old tags as new ones are added all the time.

8. Is XC and SOPAC available for Drupal 7?

Jennifer Bowen: XC is also currently on Drupal 6, with plans to migrate to 7 in the future.

John Blyberg: SOPAC is still Drupal 6, but we'll migrate to 7 eventually.

9. Orbis: can you share the result of your usability test?

10. Does SOPAC have private user tags available?

John Blyberg: No, that's a good suggestion though. They are anonymous, however, so you can't see who a particular tag belongs to if it's not you.

11. I notice in XC the video format search tab did not include electronic or streaming video. Would that format be easy to add to your search tab in XC? I did notice in Summit that electronic video is a format choice what fields/metadata are used to find that format?

Jennifer Bowen: In XC it would be relatively simple to add this. However, to make it really work properly, given the reality of how streamed videos are often cataloged in MARC (often by just adding a URL to a record for a videocassette or DVD) the definition of this facet value might get a little more complicated, since the optimal coded values may not be present in the original MARC record. This is a good suggestion, however, and I’ll look into whether we could add this to our default setup.