LibraryLookup update

The LibraryLookup project seems to be moving forward nicely. The Feb 15 issue of Library Journal has this article by Brian Kenney. Elsewhere, The Shifted Librarian, pointing to Peter Scott's Library Blog, writes:

What a great blog! Smart marketing. My favorite part, though, is that the Lane staff are promoting the LibraryLookup bookmarklet they made through Jon Udell's generator. They have a whole page devoted to it. Excellent! [ The Shifted Librarian]
I'm seeing other libraries put up LibraryLookup how-to pages for their patrons too, for example the King County, Washington library. Ole Anderson wrote to point out that the Danish public library portal (which fronts about 300 libraries, he says) uses URLs like this --, which means this bookmarklet -- -- should work for all of them, if you're coming from, say, At the University of Texas, you can use this bookmarklet -- UTNetCAT.

I doubt I'll be able to keep up with all the permutations for much longer. But that's fine. Now that the idea has taken root, the appropriate place to find the bookmarklet that works with your library is...on your library's website. I'll help wherever I can, and in particular, I'd like to expand the number of systems covered by the bookmarklet generator -- any contributions there will be most welcome.

Looking back on the project, it's fascinating to see how certain implementation choices preclude this style of lightweight integration. OPACs that launch Java applets turn out to be LibraryLookup-hostile. Likewise OPACs that generate session IDs into their URLs. There may be defensible reasons for these choices, but the LibraryLookup approach throws the tradeoffs into a whole new light. I've been amazed to see non-technical librarians describing their OPACs as being "the wrong kind" of software. To them, "wrong" means "doesn't work with LibraryLookup." Translated into geekspeak, it means "isn't RESTful" or "gratuitously requires session IDs." I hope the legacy of this project will be that, in some small way, it helps bring these two worldviews closer together.

Former URL: