Open Access for Library Catalogs

LCC Numbers:
Z286.O63 Open Access Publishing
Z693.A1-695.83 Cataloging

Inside Higher Ed has an exciting article discussing the work being done by some libraries, including Oregon State, Villanova, and Rochester to create open access library catalogs.

I think open access is a wonderful concept, which is finally gaining some notoriety. Especially after Harvard’s recent decision. After dealing with numerous aggravating catalogs in my years, the idea of an open access catalog is a breath of fresh air. The article specifically highlights Villanova’s VuFind catalog which already puts many standard systems to shame. I recommend going to the site and typing in a favorite author just to see how the catalog easily, quickly, and simply displays items in a demo catalog. Another wonderful attribute to VuFind is “faceted searching” which allows user to narrow by genre, author, etc. This function can be seen on sites like Amazon or Newegg.

My favorite quote comes from Jeremy Frumkin, the Gray Family Chair for Innovative Library Services at Oregon State who says, “The more we could simplify the experience, the better people reacted to it.” Duh. That is what people want!


Cohen, Patricia. Harvard Research To Be Free Online. , Ala.: New York Times, 2008.

Guess, Andy. Open Minds, Open Books, Open Source. , Ala.: Inside Higher Ed, 2008.



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