Last month I attended the annual Digital Library Federation spring meeting and David Rumsey, renowned for his collection of historical maps, was one of the keynote speakers. Prompted by David Rumsey’s map ticker and what he said in passing about "moving among the maps" in Second Life, I’ve been brooding about the perceived lack of browsability in the digital library context. How would we "move among the books" in MBooks?
You may have noticed that the links to Google Books in Mirlyn have a little more information lately. We have always provided links to online copies in both Google Book Search and MBooks. We're now using the Google API to provide links to any book in Mirlyn that is also in Google Book Search.
Over the past year we've been developing a new collection building tool to be used in conjunction with the MBooks "page-turning" application already available. This tool will allow users to create their own collections of MBooks items and view public collections created by others. Users will also be able to do full text searching across all items within a collection.
The Usability Working Group (UWG), along with our 2 fantastic and hardworking interns, is spending the summer conducting usability research on MTagger. We started by doing a heuristic evaluation and cognitive walkthrough. The goal for these evaluations was to reveal a preliminary set of issues pertaining to the usability, functionality and aesthetics of MTagger and to facilitate prioritizing further benchmarks. This report is now online.
We get questions from MBooks users (most recently from dfulmer in the comments to this post) about how to link to pages, what the URL parameters such as "num" and "seq" mean, and other questions about links and page numbers.
Earlier this week, I had a chance to give a brown-bag session on a new API into our catalog, Mirlyn (Ex Libris's Aleph software).
At the University of Michigan Library, in partnership with Google, we have been busily scanning our collections. This opens up lots of possibilities, including an exciting one that launches today: search the full text of a book from within Mirlyn, the library's catalog.
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