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Please give me exact meaning and difference between OPAC and Web OPAC.

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Dear Sri Lulu Raut,

Thanks for your post.

As I understand the basic difference between the two are: WebOPAC allows remote access (through internet)  while OPAC does not. It provides on-site access only.


Siddhartha S. Ray, Calcutta

Thank u very much sir...

But is opac can access any where

Dear Rout, 

               Just simple considers it that OPAC has limited access within in campus or a LAN (environment)  whereas WEB-OPAC  it has remote access and also you can search the databases of a particular institution from anywhere.

With regards,

Sumit Chakraborty.

Hi Web opac online database hold by the library search world wide through the Internet but opac means online database hold by the library and search with in library only. Rapid question ask in every interview these days.



OPAC stands for Online Public Access Catalogue. An OPAC contains all the bibliographic information of an information centre or we can say it is a gateway to information centre‘s collection. OPAC is the modern and flexible form of the catalogue, usually instantaneous and sophisticated access to any recorded information within a computer. Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science (ODLIS) defines OPAC as, “An acronym for online public access catalog, a database composed of bibliographic records describing the books and other materials owned by a library or library system, accessible via public terminals or workstations usually concentrated near the reference desk to make it easy for users to request the assistance of a trained reference librarian. Most online catalogs are searchable by author, title, subject, and keywords and allow users to print, download, or export records to an e-mail account.”


Web OPAC is an OPAC, which is provided on the web and with the help of internet anybody can access it from anywhere. According to Washington University in St. Louis, “A Web OPAC interfaces, which uses the World Wide Web protocol to act as an OPAC.” 5 According to ODLIS, “An Online Public Access 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." Web OPAC is an independent program designed separately from the library program. It is programmed to facilitate members to access the OPAC, through their own search, for the ease of borrowing, instead of searching through the card catalogue. In addition members can also request for the information about borrowing, reservation, etc. related to their own library profile, as well as to make automatic reservations.


 ** OPAC (LAN/Intranet) usage is limited, only the persons in LAN can use it.

** Users have to follow the program of the particular OPAC software in that library.

Web OPAC :

 ** The usage is global, a person can access it from anywhere.

** Web OPAC, html files are used which hyperlink to the subject areas or disciplines.





  1. Users can immediately notice the missing reprints by author search.
  2. Updating can be done quickly as Users take keen interest to submit the reprints.
  3. It is accessible all the time, worldwide.
  4. Increases awareness of 'Scientific Research Contributions' made by the Institute.
  5. It is possible for users to send reprint requests immediately by e-mail.
  6. Compilation of various lists of reprints becomes very easy.


Feature of Web OPACs :

The important features of Web OPACs are8 : q It is accessible through internet. q It is possible to search independently by Author, Keyword, Title or Year. q Displays complete bibliographic information as appeared on reprints. q Graphical user interface (GUI), which is typically thought of as a combination of windows with pull-down or drop-down menus, icons and a pointing device such as mouse or trackball to manipulate information is available. q Features of traditional OPACs such as storing bibliographic and sometimes full text databases; providing direct access to a OPAC serves an even more varied and
diverse population, the interface must
address the problems created by increasingly
different skills and knowledge of the users. 

I agree with u...but u said that for web opac internet is required .so,in case of opac is internet require ?????

Dear Friend, Rout 

There are lots of difference between OPAC and WEB-OPAC if you ignore their purpose and similarities. The purpose is unique, "To provide the information to users or visitors". 

All the comments have already been mentioned/pointed out the differences as you wish to get.

I would wish to summarize them in major sub-headings. The differences may be drawn based on the following

- Availability.

-Accessibility or transaction of information.

- Technical Complexity.

-Infrastrual requirements/ needed supports

- Cost

- Security / protection

- Debugging / Troubleshooting


If you read and compare the OPAC and Web-OPAC with these highlighted terms you will get many differences but again purpose will be same, "Providing access to the users."

Thank you


Dear Mr. Lulu rout,

For clear picture of your query, find below the screenshot of our institute OPAC. It can be enable to search the library catalog, renew books, reservation of books, access other subscribed contents etc. But right now, it can be accessible only within our institute using WiFi or LAN connection in both mobile and laptop.

System view


Mobile View:


Also, we are working on it to bring into online, that is Web OPAC since students are facing problem while they are in vacation due to not able to access outside of our institute.

Thank u very much I can understand about this .

Dear LULU,

               one more thing is term ONLINE creates wrong notion, online in case of OPAC does not means always on Web. OPAC is gateway of information within institution ( search within determine premises) on the other hand Web OPAC is not limites within areas. We can search WebOpac from anywhere by the help of network.

same as online and offline... opac with in the four wall  of the library and web opac any where and any time 


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