The concept of Web OPACs is recent origin and it is serving as a gateway to the resources not only held by the respective library but also to the holdings of other participating libraries without to local collection but going, beyond further to regional , national, international levels. It allows users to interact with documents stored on computers all over the world and makes easier access to catalogue data in the form of bibliographic records. It becomes another search engine referred as ‘web cat’ and as an ‘Information gateways’. It can support protocols such as telnet, HTTP., ftp and Gopher and support the file and document like Portable Document Format (pdf), (HTML),etc.
According to Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science defined as: “An Online Public Access public catalogue (OPAC) that uses a graphical user interface (GUI) accessible via the World Wide Web, as opposed to a text based interface accessible via telnet”.
Features of WEB OPAC:
The important features of Web OPACs are:
1. It is accessible through internet.
2. It is possible to search independently by Author, Keyword, Title or Year.
3. Displays complete bibliographic information as appeared on reprints.
4. Features of traditional OPACs such as storing bibliographic and sometimes full text databases; providing direct access to a library’s bibliographic database by means of terminal or PC; search result in readily understandable form; reference help, etc.
5. It has ability to use hypertext links to facilities navigation through bibliographic records.
6. Linking to full text when available is there.
Advantages of WEB OPAC:
Following are the advantages of the Web OPACs:
1. It is would wide and all the time accessible.
2. The status of any book may be know as book issue or not etc. the status of an acquisition order may be available at both staff and public terminals located throughout the library.
3. It is possible for users to send reprint requests immediately by e-mail.
4. There is no limitation of time and space for searches of any document of not only his/her library but also any networked library.
Disadvantages of the WEB OPAC:
Some of the disadvantages of web OPAC are:
I. Some web OPACs, even though the link is available on the web page or the telnet address is given are restricted to a particular user community and requires the use of appropriate login names and passwords;
2. Some web OPACs do not provide links through authors or subjects;
3. Displays in most of the web OPACs failed to provide access to online help and;
4. Some of the web OPACs do not display the database being searched and call number.
- Sadaf, F. (2015). Application and utility of OPAC in Maulana Azad library.