I ordered three books on Amazon earlier today. Later, I got to wondering which of these might have been available at my local library. I live in Keene, New Hampshire. The town's public library and that of the local college, Keene State, are linked together, and can be explored at the Keene-Link website. I've known this for long enough to have forgotten about it. Until just now, it never occurred to me to do the obvious thing: use Amazon to investigate books, but check the local libraries for availability before ordering anything.
As it turns out, one of today's 1-click purchases is indeed available at the college library. It's apparently too late to stop the order, but I'll certainly check next time.
Of course, I immediately began plotting an app that will merge Amazon and my local libraries into a single search experience. This would make a great project for the new Sherlock SDK -- if it weren't such a hideous Frankenstein monster, that is.
Next, I got to wondering whether the local service is XML-enabled (unlikely), how many different variations on this theme are exibited by other local libraries around the world (zillions), and when all this stuff could be expected to work seamlessly together (don't hold your breath).
So it's hopeless, right? Hardly. As I contemplated asking the library's tech nerd about the possibility of an XML API, I did some noodling around. Given this Amazon URL:
all you really need to do is grab the ISBN (ASIN) and tack it onto the end of a Keene-Link URL, like so:
REST. Low coordination cost. Ya think there might be something to it? Now pardon me while I duck out and grab that book while it's still available at the library.
When will your items arrive? Shipping Soon: 3 items - delivery estimate: December 4 - December 10.
Sheesh. What was I thinking?
Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/11/27.html#a517