I was playing with Director’s Station and thought, “I wonder if I could do something like that, but with search data.” I played around and made (with the assistance of tagcrowd.com) a little cloud of search terms. I wrote about it on Twitter, and today mir_b made a little cloud of authors.
As mir_b notes, it’s a fair amount of work to do something like this, and it’s probably not feasible to do so on a regular basis, but it provides a fascinating glimpse into what patrons are actually entering in our catalog search boxes. You see a lot of titles entered starting with “the” and a lot of authors (in the keyword search terms I used, at least) entered “first name last name.” Depending on your point of view, that goes to show that libraries have a lot of teaching to do to get patrons to enter things the right way, or that catalog vendors have a lot of catching up to do to meet what have, by now, become current search standards. I’ll let you decide.