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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

new GALILEO interfaces

I saw the GALILEO interface screenshots at a presentation a few months back and it looks like a HUGE step forward. I think it looks really great -- not overwhelming in information displayed, a simple interface, terminology that makes sense, etc.

I have been using GALILEO since its early days. It was incredibly helpful to me as a sometimes distance ed grad student (I was part face to face (f2f) and part distance ed.) However, as wonderful as it was, at times I found it very hard to navigate. I got lost a lot! Now, the folks at GALILEO have worked on it a whole bunch, and every version/upgrade/enhancement is better and better. I can't imagine how hard it is to get all of the different vendor databases to play nice.

Of course, as the functionality and interactivity of the web continues to grow, I think we all probably want more, more, more. I want to be able to take data -- my searches, my bookmarks, my images, my video, my audio (but unless it's music I don't really care for audio... I'm a visual learner, after all!) and put it in one place, organized in a way that makes sense to me. I love pageflakes for that reason. It provides a central place on the web to pull in all of the content that is available. Unfortunately, for things which are static (e.g., not published as RSS), you can't really save active searches which will update automatically. sigh.

So, I hope at some point that is a feature of GALILEO (and maybe it is in the new version or slated for a newer version). Pines/Evergreen is already providing all searches as RSS feeds. I realize Pines/Evergreen is very skeletal in some areas, but the RSS feed thing is wonderful!

The other thing I really appreciate with some of these new services is that each user can create an account, which is fully customized (dependent upon their access levels, of course!) Truly, it's about time this is a reality for everything. I should be able to customize my tool bar in the catalog software so that the things I do regularly are saved. If my chosen default for all searches was a boolean AND, it would save me time. Instead I have to chose that setting each time. I am able to save my searches, so I do a clunky workaround. My favorite search technique SHOULD be save-able (and that is just one small example!)

Anyhow, sorry for going off on the tangentially related. ;-)

You can see the GALILEO screenshots here:
galileo new interface screenshots

Launching as Beta: Scholar: Monday, September 10, 2007; Kids, Teen, High School, Public Library: week of September 24-week of October 1, 2007; public launch in December.

Looks very interesting!

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