More Library Mashups

Oct 2014 | 352pp

Price: £59.95
CILIP members price: £47.95

Share this page

Join our mailing list

More Library Mashups
Exploring new ways to deliver library data

Edited by Nicole C Engard

More Library Mashups shows you how to take data from multiple channels and mix it to provide better services for your library users.

The book contains case studies, tutorials and examples from 24 creative library professionals from around the world who describe how they are mashing up free and inexpensive digital tools and techniques to improve library services and meet everyday (and unexpected) challenges. The book provides step-by-step guidance to allow you to work smarter, obtain maximum impact, enhance your library’s website and provide value-added services for your library users whether you have no programming skills or are a seasoned expert.

The book is divided in to 5 parts, Part 1 covers the basics of mashups including using the online service IFTTT (“If This Then That”)  to automate the collection, manipulation and sharing of data and information across a variety of networking, bookmarking, blogging, media and file sharing sites; using OPenRefine to clean and reshape and visualize your library’s data;  and using Umlaut to aggregate delivery/access options from multiple sources - both existing library ‘enterprise’ software and public access services on the web - and ‘mash them up’ into a unified interface.

Part 2 shows you how to enhance the library website with outside data from sources including LibGuides, Twitter, WordPress and Google Calendar. Part 3 focuses on mashing up library catalogue data to make it available in new, interesting and useful ways which offer eye-opening and inspiring routes to library collections.  This part includes chapters on how to search your library collection from within Twitter to answer reference questions and how to create a current awareness service for Wikipedia relevant to your library collection.

Part 4 covers data visualization and includes chapters that show you how to transform your digital archive collection by creating a visual, interactive timeline; create maps that provide real-time data on the availability of computers in your library; and tell stories with Google Maps mashups such as using markers on maps to enhance the understanding of books and their contexts.

Part 5 is about using mashups to create value added services such as using Yahoo Pipes to merge new sources and create automated current awareness feeds; creating a unified discovery portal for library and archival collections; implementing a single sign-on process using open source software; and facilitating serendipitous discovery of photographs, documents, maps and other primary sources using Serendip-o-matic.

Readership: The book will be inspiring for small libraries looking to work more efficiently and provide enhanced services to their users without breaking the bank. It is also full of ideas for how large libraries can improve their websites and use their library catalogue data more effectively.

Foreword - Michael Sauers 
Introduction - Nicole C. Engard 


1. IFTTT makes data play easy? - Gary Green 
2. The non-developer’s guide to creating map mashups - Eva Dodsworth 
3. OpenRefine(ing) and visualizing library data - Martin Hawksey 
4. Umlaut: Mashing Up Delivery and Access - Jonathan Rochkind


5. Building a better library calendar with Drupal and Evanced - Kara Reuter and Stefan Langer 
6. An API of APIs: a microservice mashup for library websites - Sean Hannan 
7. Using a spreadsheet to add Open Library covers to your site - Rowena McKernan 


8. Twitterbot: searching your libraries’ catalogue via Twitter - Bianca Kramer 
9. Putting library catalogue data on the map - Natalie Pollecutt 
10. Mashups and next generation catalogue at work - Anne Lena Westrum 
11. A Wikipedia current awareness service to deliver catalogue records using Google Apps Script - Natalie Pollecutt


12. Telling stories with Google Maps mashups - Olga Buchel 
13. Visualizing a collection using interactive maps - Francine Berish and Sarah Simpkin 
14. Creating computer availability maps - Scott Bacon 
15. Getting digi with it: using TimelineJS to transform digital archival collections - Jeanette Claire Sewell 


16. BookMeUp: creating a book suggestion app. an experiment with HTML5, web services, and location-based browsing - Jason Clark 
17. Stanford’s SearchWorks: unified discovery for collections? - Bess Sadler 
18. Libki & Koha : An example of single signon integration via leveraging open source software - Kyle M Hall 
19. Disassembling the ILS: using MarcEdit and Koha as an example of how users are using system APIs to develop custom workflows - Terry Reese 
20. Mashing up information to stay on top of news - Celine Kelly 
21. Facilitating serendipitous discovery with Serendip-o-matic - Meghan Frazer

'Librarians should buy this for their own professional development and library directors should look at as an investment in their people.  Whether you complete the projects listed or are just inspired – as I was – to think about how to apply their concepts to my own library, this book is worth your time.'
- David Whelan,

'The whole book is packed with ideas and recommendations for ways to add value to library data. Each chapter is a case study of a library mashup that has been successfully carried out and the contributors explain their projects in an inspiring and positive way, giving us the detail needed to replicate their work and learn from their mistakes. There are instructions, screen shots, code snippets and project plans, and many of the case studies provide us with direct links to access their code in GitHub.'
- Serials Librarian

'More Library Mashups is essential reading for staff in all libraries offering web-based services - and isn't that everyone? It does not just focus on the projects presented but inspires the reader to apply the resources available in new ways, and this makes it a truly valuable book - and you do not have to be a computer geek to use it.'
- Helen Dunford, TAFE Tasmania, Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association

'This is an exciting and practical book designed to assist those with or without coding experience in enhancing their collections and services with mostly low-cost, homegrown solutions.'
- Beth Ashmore, Metadata Librarian for Serials & Electronic Resource, Samford University Library, Serials Review

Nicole C. Engard is the Vice President of Education at ByWater Solutions. Her primary role at ByWater Solutions is to educate librarians about open source software with a focus on the Koha ILS. Nicole keeps the library community up to date on web technologies via her website What I Learned Today... ( In 2007, Nicole was named one of Library Journal's Movers & Shakers and in 2009 she was the editor of the Facet book Library Mashups.

PART I: Mashups: The Basics

1. IFTTT makes data play easy?Gary Green

IFTTT (“If This Then That”) is an online service that can be used to automate the collection, manipulation and sharing of data and information across a variety of networking, bookmarking, blogging, media and file sharing sites. As well as explaining how IFTTT works, this chapter will illustrate how it can be practically used, including: Sharing news articles to a variety of social networks using different ‘voices’ depending upon the focus of the news article and which social network account it is being shared with; the building of a personal work log from your LinkedIn updates, Google calendar entries and work related blog posts; and the automation of work account tweets based upon unusual criteria, including warning people of possible library building closures due to forecast snow.

2. The Non-Developer’s Guide to Creating Map MashupsEva Dodsworth

Map mashups have come a long way since they first appeared in 2004. What used to require cartographic and computer expertise now involves a simple need and desire. The world can be navigated through a web interface and with today’s technology, anybody can do it. Most recently, many have taken advantage of map mashup technology as finding aids for library material. Libraries are linking their digital collections to maps, geocoding locational data and offering easier access to library catalogs and the collection themselves. This chapter introduces readers to creating map mashups in a non-developer’s environment.

3. OpenRefine(ing) and visualizing library dataMartin Hawksey

Martin Hawksey, learning technology advisor at the Jisc Centre for Educational Technology and Interoperability Standards (CETIS) shows how the history of repository deposits can be visualized as organic ‘code swarms’. Using widely available OAI-PMH data this chapter provides step-by-step instructions cleaning and reshaping the data in OpenRefine, the techniques being applicable to a number of other scenarios.

4. Umlaut: Mashing Up Delivery and AccessJonathan Rochkind

There’s a lot of focus on discovery, but what happens after discovery: Getting users to what they discovered, the “last mile” of delivery or access? We realized that this ‘last mile’ had too many forks in it in which users could lose their way. Umlaut is open source software which aims to aggregate delivery/access options from multiple sources — both existing library ‘enterprise’ software and public access services on the web — and ‘mash them up’ into a unified interface. Umlaut is an extensible platform that can be customized by individual libraries to sources of info fit for their individual needs. Umlaut exposes it’s aggregated information via it’s own API to allow libraries to then “re-mash” it’s content into other places, such as the Catalog.

PART II: Mashed Up Library Websites

5. Building a better library calendar with Drupal and EvancedKara Reuter and Stefan Langer

After building a new Drupal-based website and subscribing to Evanced Solutions’ Events, Kara Reuter and Stefan Langer wanted to build a better library calendar.  On the one hand, the Events software offers useful event management tools, including registration and attendance tracking.  On the other hand, Drupal offers powerful tools to dynamically display content.  Through the power of mash up, the Evanced Events Importer module was born.  The module imports data from the Events software’s built-in XML fee, maps the data to fields set up in Drupal and syncs content as changes are made to the original events.  Library patrons access the calendar as a seamless part of the library website while staff members use the tools offered by the Events software to manage their events.

6. An API of APIs: A Microservice Mashup for Library WebsitesSean Hannan

At Johns Hopkins University, we recently moved from a monolithic, cumbersome, and very limited CMS to a more flexible approach that uses Ruby, HTML5 and Javascript to pull website content from external sources (LibGuides, Twitter, WordPress, Google Calendar). This chapter will detail the implementation used to wrangle all of the disparate APIs into a centralized API that allows us to easily repurpose content–for example, building hours–in our other presences (Facebook, institutional portals, etc.). Discussed is the simple-but-powerful Ruby framework that powers the API, the Javascript used for the client-side display, and using a server-side cache to improve scalability and side-step API rate limits.

7. Using a spreadsheet to add Open Library covers to your siteRowena McKernan

Building on a mashup which utilized a combination of an API from and Google Drive API to display book covers on a website, Rowena modified the CSS to create a horizontal book flow and added PHP to allow auto-links back to her library catalog as well as simplified to JavaScript to get only the information that the library users really needed. This mashup also includes using WordPress as a subject guide site and installing a plug-in that loads custom JavaScript/CSS on specific pages.

PART III: Mashing Library Catalog Data

8. Twitterbot: Searching your libraries’ catalog via Twitter Bianca Kramer

Inspired by the (now defunct) Twitterbot initiative from The Guardian and using information from the Digerati Marketing-blog, the Utrecht University Library developed their first Twitterbot (@UniUtrechtLib) utilizing the freely available web tools Yahoo Pipes and IFTTT (If This Then That). By tweeting at the Twitterbot, it is possible to search the library collection of digital publications (electronic journals, e-books, electronic theses, cartographic material, a large number of web lectures and other materials) from within Twitter. As the tool was made almost exclusively with freely available web tools, it can be easily replicated and adapted to the specific needs of any given library.

9. Putting library catalog data on the map Natalie Pollecutt

There is a wealth of detail in library catalogue records, and libraries spend a great deal of money and staff time creating these rich resources. It makes sense to view this data in ways other than just through a catalogue search. With online tools it’s a fairly easy process to make record data available in new, interesting and useful ways which offer an eye-opening and inspiring route in to our collections. It is easy to export catalogue data, prepare it with geo-information and import into a Google Fusion Table to map and filter catalogue data visually. Library users instantly understand what is available through the familiar interface of a Google Map. The Wellcome Library has been able to use these techniques for our Medical Officer of Health collection, our AIDS posters, and to show where we’ve sent our material on loan to other exhibitions.

10. Mashups and next generation catalogue at workAnne Lena Westrum

The active shelf at the OSLO Public Library is an interactive physical device that lets users look up and explore library books. In the long term, the project aims to produce a service that could be an integrated part of the actual bookshelves in the library, as well as a mobile app the user can use from his own smartphone or tablet. The service uses, an enriched RDF version of the library catalogue, and its authority files. This includes data about books, music, movies, persons, organizations, topics and genres. The dataset consists of an RDF version of the main MARC catalogue, enriched with book cover URLs harvested from external datasets, as well as a FRBR-like work-manifestation-structure that identifies the unique works described in the catalogue, and clusters the different editions and translations of each work. The dataset is updated daily to account for additions, deletions and changes made in the catalogue.

11. A Wikipedia current awareness service to deliver catalogue records using Google Apps ScriptNatalie Pollecutt

Library staff who blog or tweet might appreciate a current awareness service for Wikipedia (or other web sites) that are relevant to your collections. You can build one with Google Drive and Google Apps Script (based on JavaScript). The result is a timely and relevant email straight to your inbox with links to the first few relevant catalogue records and more. Staff can set the Wikipedia search criteria themselves, so can make the search as narrow or broad as they like. Links to top catalogue records give them a one-click route to your library’s holdings to quickly gather information for a tweet or blog post.

PART IV: Visualizing Data with Mashups

12. Telling stories with Google Maps mashupsOlga Buchel

The first Google Maps API was released in June 2005. However, regardless of the technical advancements and ease of use, Google Maps mashups are slow at finding their way to libraries. One of the reasons is the lack of theoretical frameworks for using map mashups in libraries. Without theories, we can pin books or other documents to maps, but pins and markers leave us with many unanswered questions such as How can pins or markers on maps enhance our understanding of books and their contexts? How can we make book metadata visible and comparable? How can we tell stories about our collections? How can we extract stories from metadata, gazetteers, and other knowledge structures in our catalogs? In this chapter we discuss how these questions can be answered with storytelling techniques borrowed from information visualization and geovisualization.

13. Visualizing a collection using interactive maps Francine Berish and Sarah Simpkin

A collection is more valuable for users expecting immediate access when it is made available remotely. This project demonstrates the use of Google Fusion Tables to make a selection of rare uncatalogued historic maps of Ontario and Eastern Canada at Western University remotely accessible to students, faculty, and the greater online community via an interactive web-based index. Google Fusion Tables saves information via cloud computing, meaning that maps can be scanned and updated from anywhere in the world given an Internet connection and permission to update the file, enabling real-time index updates from any location. Development of this index in the Google environment using KML means that this map index and table can be easily shared and embedded.

14. Creating Computer Availability MapsScott Bacon

To further serve patrons at the Bryan Information Commons, Kimbel Library staff created computer availability maps that provide real-time data on the availability of computers in the library and commons. A login/logout Perl script loaded onto each machine determines whether machines are available or in-use. These values are stored in a library database, and are pulled into an API to determine which icons will populate the map. The maps are then published on monitors at the library help desk, on the library’s web pages and on the library’s mobile website. Mashups like these can help patrons accomplish their tasks more easily and can provide added value to library services by leveraging existing resources and staff expertise.

15. Getting Digi With It: Using TimelineJS to Transform Digital Archival Collections Jeanette Claire Sewell

Jeanette Claire Sewell, Cataloging and Metadata Librarian for the Houston Public Library, will explore the creation of visual, interactive timelines with TimelineJs, The chapter will include a step-by-step guide to creating a timeline and discuss the unique and exciting ways that TimelineJS can help promote digital collections.

PART V: Mashups for Value Added Services

16. BookMeUp: Creating a Book Suggestion App. An Experiment With HTML5, Web Services, and Location-Based BrowsingJason Clark

With features like geolocation, voice input, and offline data storage, HTML5 is changing the way we can develop for the mobile platform. In this chapter, we’ll take a close look at a prototype mobile web app, BookMeUp, that uses HTML5 features along with the Amazon Product Advertising API and the MapFAST Geographic subject headings API from OCLC to suggest related books to read based on a user’s location and/or search query. The chapter will focus on some of the cutting edge features HTML5 has to offer, but will also look to ways you might use mashups in your mobile development.

17. Stanford’s SearchWorks: Unified Discovery for Collections?Bess Sadler

SearchWorks is Stanford University’s library discovery portal, built on the open source Blacklight system. SearchWorks provides access not only to books and marc records, but increasingly also provides access to Stanford’s digitized archival materials, photographs, sound recordings, and geospatial data. This mash-up approach to the library’s collections has given us opportunities to think about the best ways to present diverse data formats in a unified interface design with a consistent look and feel. We are also increasingly publishing APIs for our digital library collections and infrastructure, and we hope to become a source of data for mashups that others will create.

18. Libki & Koha : An example of single signon integration via leveraging open source softwareKyle M Hall

There are numerous ways to implement single sign-on processes across disparate systems ( LDAP being the one that comes to mind the most ), but what do you do when you need to integrate software that does not support these protocols? The open nature of both Libki and Koha allowed the Crawford County Federated Library System to integrate a single sign-on process between the Koha ILS and the Libki kiosk management system by means of a set of scripts and code modifications to allow Koha to act as a master list of users which multiple Libki servers throughout the system could use for authentication.

19. Disassembling the ILS:  using MarcEdit and Koha as an example of how users are using system APIs to develop custom workflowsTerry Reese

Once a record has been loaded into an ILS, these records have traditionally been inaccessible to specialized metadata editing tools like MarcEdit, a freely downloadable metadata editing application.  Rather, users have had to rely on the built-in metadata editing tools, or rely on messy data exports to extract, change, and then re-import data back into the ILS. To that end, a direct integration framework was developed into MarcEdit with the express purpose of providing search, update, and record creation directly within an ILS system.  To demonstrate the feasibility of the new framework, MarcEdit was paired with Koha, and open source ILS system with a read/write API – -and utilizing this API, created a new mash-up that allows users utilizing the Koha ILS system the ability to edit, create, and save metadata within their ILS system directly through MarcEdit.

20. Mashing up information to stay on top of news Celine Kelly

Celine Kelly, Knowledge Services Manager with A&L Goodbody solicitors, discusses how her library has used the free tools available from Yahoo Pipes and Mailchimp to create internal current awareness products for the firm. Building and automating these bespoke alerts has allowed the library to support lawyers’ needs to stay on top of news about certain topics, companies, legal developments and clients and has allowed the library to meet a growing appetite for focused, relevant and timely news. Celine guides the reader through the steps taken first to use Yahoo Pipes to mash-up and filter out relevant content and second, to use Mailchimp to build the branded news and industry alerts. The process of creating these current awareness products has not been a completely smooth sail. Celine discusses the issues around End-User-Development generally and some of the specific issues, concerns and heartache of using these and similar DIY mash-up tools in the corporate setting.

21. Facilitating Serendipitous Discovery with Serendip-o-maticMeghan Frazer

Serendip-o-matic connects a researcher’s sources to digital materials located in libraries, museums, and archives around the world. By first examining a user’s research interests and then identifying related content in locations such as the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Europeana and Flickr Commons, the serendipity engine helps users discover photographs, documents, maps and other primary sources. The tool leverages multiple APIs to return results from disparate platforms in a unified, engaging result set. Twelve scholars built Serendip-o-matic in just one week as part of One Week

One Tool, an open-source software-development institute sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and hosted by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) at George Mason University.

More titles in this category >>