Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Searching The OPAC

INNOPAC records can be retrieved by searching in INNOPAC's web-based Web OPAC or by staff searches performed from within various INNOPAC functions. This "Overview" section discusses Web OPAC searches and staff searches, although the focus is on Web OPAC searches.

INNOPAC uses indexes when it performs searches (the library has a great deal of leeway in specifying which fields will be included in each index). The examples in this lesson are based on the indexing options that many libraries have chosen, however, it should be noted that indexing can differ from library to library.

The Web OPAC uses HTML links, buttons, and forms to guide patrons through the search options.

The menu structure and available options for the interface is quite flexible. The Web OPAC offers great flexibility in design of the interface.


The Web OPAC menus are entirely under the control of the library and may be changed at any time by library staff.

In addition to offering various indexes for record retrieval in the OPAC, the library can also offer some or all of the following services to Web OPAC users (some of the following are products which the library must acquire separately):

  • Information about the library and its catalog (see Library Information).

  • Opportunity for patrons to enter suggestions and describe materials the library should acquire (see Library Information).

  • Information about items on reserve (see Reserve Lists).

  • The ability to connect to other databases or systems (on the same machine or different machines), such as journal citation databases or to other library systems using the Z39.50 protocol (see Reference Databases).

  • The ability to export records in a variety of formats, including, for libraries on the Internet, the capability to email the records (see Export Marked Records).

  • The ability for patrons to view their own records, renew materials they have already checked out, and to cancel their own holds (see Patrons View Their Own Circulation Records).

  • The ability to transfer a search to an INNOPAC system at another library with whom there is a co-operative agreement (see INNOPAC Partners).

  • The ability to restrict a search to a particular collection, such as the West branch, or music recordings (see Search Scoping).

  • Display of the table of contents for particular titles (see Tables of Contents).

The opening screen that patrons see in the Web OPAC might look similar to the following (the library has complete control of the layout and options on this screen; see Search Help Screens in the Web OPAC Management section):

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