Just relaxing with a glass of wine after a very very Library 2.0 day :-)
With a lot of help from Iman Moradi (blog/flickr), we ran an introduction to Library 2.0 for members of our Subject Teams and Tech Services this afternoon. Then, after a coffee break, we watched the SirsiDynix Institute Weblogs & Libraries: Communication, Conversation, and the Blog People web seminar given by Michael Stephens.
All in all, it’s given us a lot to discuss as we look towards (hopefully) implementing a Library Services or Computing & Library Services weblog. Fingers crossed that next week’s Library 2.0 Web Seminar will be as much fun. I’m keen to run into Stephen Abram at the upcoming SirsiDynix SuperConference in Birmingham as I want to find out what Library 2.0 things the company has in the pipeline — the API layer in the upcoming Horizon 8 release is defintely a welcome step in the right direction.
There was a lot of interest amongst staff in the new NCSU OPAC, especially as a lot of pioneering work on faceted searching was carried at here at Huddersfield by Amanda Tinker and Steve Pollit. I’m hoping that there might be potential for us to implement some of Amanda and Steve’s research into our OPAC.
We’ve also got a plateful of potential new features to unleash on our unsuspecting students — simple renewals via email, RSS feeds, keyword search alerts, “people who borrowed this…”, and more. I’m hoping to see if we can’t do some cool stuff with SMS as well.
2006 is already shaping up to be a busy year for the Library Systems Team — we’ll be involved in the RFID implementation and stock conversion (we’re currently out to tender on this) and we’re also implementing Talis Reading List. One thing I can’t stand is having nothing to do, so I’m not complaining :-D
I noticed Talis have stated that both John Blyberg and myself are developing these things purely for our own patrons/students. Whilst that’s true to an extent (after all, I work for Huddersfield not SirsiDynix), we’re both freely sharing much our code so that other Innovative and SirsiDynix customers can play around with it if they want to. Librarians have a long and proud tradition of sharing freely and I don’t intend to buck that trend just yet.
Speaking of which, I’ve been busy working on a Perl module to process the XML output from HIP 2.x/3.x and turn it into a simple Perl data structure. The XML output from HIP gives you pretty much all the information you need, but the structure is a little unwieldy. I’m hopeful the module will make it easier to quickly develop cool stuff like RSS feeds and OpenSearch interfaces from the OPAC. Once I’ve got the module finished (and posted on this site), I’ll also use it underpin the REST interface. In turn, that should make the REST code more manageable and I might be able to get that code to a stage where I’d be happy to make it available to the SirsiDynix community.
Unfortunately I’m currently suffering from a mild case of tendonitis in my right arm and hand, so I’m not doing as much coding as normal until it clears up. Still, as long as I can lift a glass of wine and snuggle up to Bry on the sofa in front of the TV, I’m happy :-)