Everybody's Libraries

May 16, 2008

An implementation of the DLF’s Basic Discovery Interfaces recommendation

Filed under: architecture,online books — John Mark Ockerbloom @ 4:21 pm

The DLF’s ILS-Discovery interface recommendation work, which I’ve been leading, continues. We’re now in the process of producing the official recommendation, which I hope will be out soon. (Especially since I fully intend it to be out there before I head off to the great white North in early June.) And the May Library Gang podcast features a conversation with me and various other folks in libraries and the commercial world about the ILS-DI work and its implications.

You don’t have to wait until the official release, though, to start experimenting with the interfaces. I’ve now implemented the Level 1 recommendations for The Online Books Page, so folks can see what an implementation can look like to an application. (And you’re also free to just use the interfaces if you find the data and services useful, though I reserve the right to limit access to them if out server gets overloaded.) I’ve also put up a page with more information on the interfaces and how to use them.

I’m hoping we’ll see ILS-DI interfaces for standard ILSs as well before long (whether they’re provided by ILS vendors or library developers working on top of vendor interfaces.) We have some interest in having the interfaces on top of our Voyager catalog, though that would take a while longer to implement. The Online Books Pages implementation, though, shows how the interfaces aren’t just for ILS’s, but can also use data and services from other online digital collections.

If the recommended interfaces become sufficiently widely and uniformly supported, a discovery application could draw on a wide range of sources, both in a local library and beyond it, and let its users discover resources from any or all of them in a largely seamless fashion. Which I think is a great way to help readers take full advantage of the library resources we all make available for them.

In the meantime, I hope you find this example implementation useful. I’ll be happy to hear and answer questions and comments about it, and about the ILS-DI work in general.

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