Monday, September 11, 2006

Put LibraryThing in your OPAC: Volunteers?

The pitch: Do you manage a library OPAC? Do you want to see what LibraryThing data would look like in it? I don't want your time or effort. All I need is your permission to query your site from mine--with very respectful hit-throttling. Just don't ban my IP and I'll show you something different.

I'm particularly interested in Innovative Interfaces Millennium OPACs.

The backstory: A number of libraries have talked about or tried to put LibraryThing in their OPACs. One I was working with was going to put LibraryThing recommendations on book detail pages, but found it hard to bolt the two together from their side. LibraryThing provided APIs to its data, but the OPAC couldn't handle the other side. (To remove recommended books not in the library they had run each book against a screen-scrape of their own catalog, which proved much too slow.) It was time to try it from the other side.

What I've been doing: I've been working on a LibraryThing/II mashup, hosted on LibraryThing and for experimental purposes only. The test screen-scraped the OPAC, added in relevant LibraryThing data--tags, recommendations, reviews, ratings, covers--and returned it. The test was page-by-page, so it generated no more traffic than if I were browsing around the OPAC by hand. But my IP got blocked anyway, presumably automatically.

Although I make no apologies for hitting a library website a hundred times, if I blogged about the effort, and Lib2.0 people visited, it might well generate a small spike in traffic. So, I'm looking for permission, or at least a casual promise to look the other way. You don't need to sign anything, and you can deep-six the effort any time you like.



Anonymous Jane Hyde said...

Hmmm, I might be willin', but I'm not sure what you want to do with my OPAC. Let me know. Jane Hyde

9/11/2006 9:01 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Basically, show pages from your OPAC with LibraryThing data inserted into it. So, a book page would get enhanced with book recommendations and tags and so forth.

(send by email too)

9/12/2006 12:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...'s Millennium

9/12/2006 5:42 AM  
Anonymous yoko said...

I'd love to do it, but unfortunately our OPAC isn't publicly accessible-- it's set up so that it's only available to our library patrons, which is our current policy. Sorry.

I'd love to see how it works, though. I hope you find a willing volunteer.

9/12/2006 11:24 AM  
Blogger Darla said...

email me and we will see what we can do. I am interested, I don't know how it will work with Library Pro, but it would be interersting.

9/12/2006 12:05 PM  
Anonymous Lynne Litchfield said...

Our library OPAC is controlled by library card number and PIN - but as we let anyone join I would happily issue you a ticket to do this.

9/12/2006 6:45 PM  
Blogger James said...

We run on voyager but we (well I at least) would be very interested in seeing what you could do with it...


9/27/2006 9:35 PM  

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