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Friday, 29th May 2009

WorldCat Mashathon inspires nine new tools for European library users

From the Announcement:

Librarians, developers, information managers and other Web professionals who gathered Wednesday and Thursday, 13-14 May 2009 for the second ever WorldCat Mashathon have already shown off nine new applications created during the event for library users.

Held at the International Institute of Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the WorldCat Mashathon attracted more than 40 participants from Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States who represented all types of libraries and cultural institutions. The goal of the event was twofold: one was to raise awareness of the WorldCat Search API and related Web Services freely available from OCLC and other library-related organizations. The equally important second goal was to help developers connect with fellow developers and other technology-minded thinkers to work on shared solutions to similar situations or challenges within their respective settings.

Outcomes from the two days typically included a range of mash-ups, apps and new creative ideas to implement in developers home library catalogues. Examples of successful projects included:

WorldCat World Tour an app that finds artists albums through the WorldCat Search API and uses a UK-based streaming music service to play the musical tracks online. (Hear the developer present at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QndR-yOZkKg)

WorldCat Identities widgets 4 small blocks of functionality that build on each other to turn a Dutch catalogue ppn number into an OCLC number, return author names, citations and related works (subject headings) in XML and JSON. (Try the demo at http://www.worldcatdoor.org/widgets/ppn/)

Also available at a WorldCat Library a new sidebar in the Wageningen UR Library Catalogue that uses the WorldCat Search API and the WorldCat Registry OpenURL Gateway to display a location-sensitive listing for other WorldCat libraries who also hold the item. (See it in action at

The format of the Mashathon included a mix of short prepared presentations and spontaneous small break-out groups. A mix of seasoned and early career professionals made for a rich environment for creative innovation and fresh approaches. Videos, photos and tweets from the event may be found at the tags #masheu09 and #mashathon on YouTube, Flickr and Twitter.

Mashathon organisers are enthusiastic about the success of the event series.

This is such a great way to bring the library development community together, explained Roy Tennant, one of the founders of the OCLC Developer Network. We are so pleased with the creativity of the implementations and expect the tools created these two days to continue delivering long-term value for libraries and library users around the world.

Future mashathons will be announced on the OCLC Developer Network blog (http://worldcat.org/devnet/blog/).

Qualifying organisations who are interested in requesting the WorldCat Search API access can contact OCLC through the form found at www.oclc.org/worldcatapi/ordering/.

Source: OCLC


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