Replacing Card Catalogues

Our library has a wide range of local studies materials (newspaper cuttings, maps, microfiche etc etc) and I have recently been racking my brains to come up with a way for staff to find relevant material quickly and efficiently.  Unlike our book stock, the vast majority of these materials are not on our OPAC and are therefore difficult for inexperienced staff to find.  Consequently, there is an over reliance on more experienced members of staff who know exactly where everything is (I am as guilty of pestering them as anyone!).  The ultimate objective is to eliminate this problem and make everything easy to access to enable even the most inexperienced members of staff to deal with the more complex queries we face.

With that in mind, I have been experimenting with a Zoho wiki to enter details of the materials we have. The idea is that, once everything is added, members of staff will be able to conduct a search and then find all the materials we have on that search term.   By clicking on a search result, the member of staff would be directed to exactly where the material would be kept.  At this moment in time I am not sure how useful (or user friendly) this system will be, but I would be interested in hearing alternatives.  As it needs to be set up at a local level, the option of bells and whistles databases and catalogues is out of the question.  It needs to be free and it needs to be user friendly.  If anyone has any ideas, drop a line in the comments box.  Or else, I will just persevere with the wiki (and that looks like a lot of work at the moment!!).

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