Online Public Access Catalog


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Related to Online Public Access Catalog: OPAC

Online Public Access Catalog

(library)
(OPAC) A computerised system to catalogue and organise materials in a library (the kind that contains books). OPACs have replaced card-based catalogues in many libraries. An OPAC is available to library users (public access).
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Support services for remote users of online public access catalogs.
With the rise of automated library systems--first circulation control systems in the mid-1970s, then fully integrated systems with online public access catalogs [OPACs] through the 1980s--the distinctions between bibliographic files created, controlled, and accessible only by technical services personnel and those of public services became blurred.
In the 1980s, many libraries began to implement integrated library systems locally, including online public access catalogs (OPACs) and acquisitions and serials subsystems.
Inside the Cataloging Directorate of the Library of Congress, passionate debates about the essence of quality cataloging have taken place, and catalogers and reference librarians alike have argued that anything less than the full original cataloging record created by specialists at the Library of Congress introduced corruption into LC's online catalog, and that the distribution of cataloging other than this type was a disservice to other libraries depending on LC for the solid foundation on which they constructed their own online public access catalogs and other bibliographic files.
Undergraduates have made the transition from card catalogs and printed indexes to online public access catalogs (OPACs) and CD-ROM periodical indexes relatively quickly due to the media hype of the need to adopt the new technologies.
The Online Public Access Catalogs (OPACs) of today are a tremendous improvement over the computerized storage systems in the early days of the computer.

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