Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The new OPACthing


The Librarything has announced that they are going to market java widgets that can be used in conjunction with commercial OPACs to provide additional information to library patrons. Tim posts on the Librarything's blog, "The paid widgets will include book recommendations, tag-based browsing, ratings, reviews and so forth." They are offering a FRBR inspired related editions widget for free. This widget uses their ISBN data to collocate related records.

It is unclear how widely it will be used, if it really will be as easy as they claim, and what it will cost. However the announcement continues a trend of third party companies (Endeca, Acquabrowser, etc.) offering to enhance library OPACs. I believe it also Librarything's first formal step into the world of traditional libraries. Tim Spaulding at Librarything once hinted that he thought they might one day compete with OCLC. Stay tuned...

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3 Comments:

  • At 5:57 PM, Blogger Tim said…

    We'll compete with OCLC in a limbo contest. (Or maybe I should propose something employees have talent in, like show tune lyrics.) But I don't think we'll be competing with OCLC.

    I do look forward to open data forcing OCLC to change--to be what it ought to be, not the somewhat "gray" entity they are now. LibraryThing has and will be 100% behind that. But we'll never compete directly with OCLC. Apart from their being no real grounds for competition, we're a bug and they have big feet.

     
  • At 9:30 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    My first response is - Wow, Tim commented on our blog!

    More to the point, the line about librarything and OCLC competing came from my memory of an NGC4LIB email. Going back and looking up the Oct. 20, 2006 email, the actual quote was, "... LibraryThing may well end up competing with OCLC on these features [Wiki like user editing features]." Apologies if I over read those remarks and all the comparisons between XISBN and thingISBN.

    However, I think (hope) that Librarything could emerge as an alternative to OCLC for bibliographic data. Bugs can be quite powerful ...

     
  • At 2:26 PM, Blogger Tim said…

    Fair enough. We may compete on suchnot. But people—including people at OCLC—have intimated that LibraryThing is actually trying to assemble book data to serve it back out again a la WorldCat. No, we're not.

    Speaking of Star Wars and OCLC:
    http://www.librarything.com/thingology/2007/04/worldcat-think-locally-act-globally.php

     

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