The Shifted Librarian - Shifting Libraries at the speed of byte
 Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Adding RSS to Library Catalogs

Integrating Internet Content (I'll link the article when it becomes available online)

"At the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Behesda, MD, we have used RSS both to integrate Internet content into the NCI library system and to make content from the library system available on our intranet in the form of RSS news feeds. This new content makes our library system a more useful and timely resource, allowing us to better 'feed' the information appetites of our clients, whose jobs require that they keep up with cancer and healthcare news, events, research, and politics. After the initial investment of time and technology, the information flows without requiring hands-on staff effort....

Considering how aggregators are used--primarily to keep up-to-date with content from other sites--we elected to create two feeds that offer 'current awareness' about content on the LION system: a snapshot of recently added items in our collection and the latest headlines from NCI Current Clips....

As part of our upcoming marketing and research efforts, we plan to discuss these technologies with our clientele, to find and work with early adopters in the community, and to spread the word to others about the potential RSS offers to keep current." [Library Journal's netConnect]

This is exactly what I was saying at the BloggerCon session about aggregators - librarians are a natural point of entry for educating the public. Librarians are the information center of their communities. University librarians can help their faculty and students, public librarians can help their residents, corporate librarians can help their company's employees, etc. It's a win-win situation to spread the gospel of RSS when it's ready for prime-time.

News aggregators are basically an information service, and there's no group better suited to teach information services than librarians! It's great that NCI is leading the way!

The article also includes the following sidebar:

"A few commercial ILS vendors are beginning to support RSS for integrating content into their systems. In a recent survey of 12 large system vendors, three expressed interest. While Brodart has no current support for RSS, it is considering offering XML output from Amlib databases in a future release, with a timeframe of at least 12 months. Dynix responded by highlighting its Horizon Information Portal product, which includes XML support and could, in the firm's view, 'handle' RSS content.

The most substantial response came from Sirsi. Its Sirsi Rooms product can integrate RSS feeds with many other types of content into appropriate 'rooms,' which libraries using this software would typically organize by subject area. While Sirsi doesn't natively support RSS exports or publishing, the Unicorn application program interfaces (APIs) would allow local development of RSS feeds."

I am extremely disappointed to learn that Innovative didn't even express interest, let alone respond positively. Get with the program, III!

So which ILS vendor will be the first to hop the cluetrain and begin providing RSS feeds to which patrons can subscribe? New additions, popular titles by genre, series titles or author feeds... it's a great service the vendors should be providing; it's a no-brainer, especially since libraries could then display those feeds on their own sites. I'll have to figure out the best way to make III see this.

11:57:24 AM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

Hackfest Goodness


"David Mattison points out this project that was set up as part of Access 2003 Hackfest:

poopScoop - David writes: 'The project I helped out with, along with seven or eight other people, was a Movable Type Weblog called poopScoop Im not making this up hosted at the University of Winnipeg. The Weblogs intended as a virtual reference desk binder that staff can post to and consult as they come on and go off duty at the reference desk.' (RSS feed)" [LIS Blogsource]

Excellent! This is very needed by reference desks everywhere. I'm curious to see what else came out of the Hackfest, so I'm watching the Access 2003 Hackfest page and usr/lib/info.

9:20:43 AM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!