Subject access to OPACs: exploiting the capabilities of FileMaker Pro for designing a novel interface

2018-01-05T09:32:29Z (GMT) by Shabahat Husain
Ever since the libraries came to being, subject access has had been a problem. More often than not, subject searches result either in no retrievals or too many records, discouraging users to proceed further. Solutions to these problems were found in improving search methods, indexing techniques, developing user friendly novel interfaces and other methods. The present work attempts to tackle the problems of subject access using an experimental online catalogue by designing a graphic front end user interface, wherein an enhanced indexing technique that is traditional classification system coupled with improved search method by providing end user thesaurus were incorporated by using Macintosh compatible software package called FileMaker Pro. The system provides subject access by three methods i.e. Class Number Search (CNS), Subject Heading Search (SHS) and Keyword Search (KWS) to cater to the needs of two different levels of users i.e. naive or ordinary level and another for the experienced or advanced level users. A cross section of the searchers were invited to evaluate the interface. On the basis of their reactions, certain recommendations were made for the improvement of the system. In the process the capabilities and limitations of FileMaker Pro were assessed and suggestions were given for its further improvement. Certain points pertaining to the further research on the subject were also recommended.