OPAC Design Enhancements and Their Effects on Circulation and Resource Sharing within the Library Consortium Environment
A longitudinal study of three discrete online public access catalog (OPAC) design enhancements examined the possible effects such changes may have on circulation and resource sharing within the automated library consortium environment. Statistical comparisons were made of both circulation and interlibrary loan (ILL) figures from the year before enhancement to the year after implementation. Data from sixteen libraries covering a seven-year period were studied in order to determine the degree to which patrons may or may not utilize increasingly broader OPAC ILL options over time. Results indicated that while ILL totals increased significantly after each OPAC enhancement, such gains did not result in significant corresponding changes in total circulation.