Thursday, January 29, 2009

How a Library RSS-feed can cheer you up!

With the current Library-Management-System we are using at the Libraries of the University of Groningen, it is not possible to get an output on newly added books or publication to the Catalogue in RSS (or otherwise).
So many, many hours of library staff have been put into the fabrication of static lists and overviews, mostly manually.
A special project was set up last year to create a new system just for that.
It resulted in a complete new portal outside the current CMS of the University, because that does not support or offer the desired functionality. It has the looks of the University and you can see it here. Lists are available sorted by subjects or location.
See: The result is a list sorted by author with limited info and the url to the OPAC-record. Bonus is the RSS-feed option:

You would expect to be abled to see the new books as they come in, but the system is organised around a fixed set of data created or received per month. So the RSS results every month contains one line of text saying that there are new books, with a link to the relevant page on the new portal New Books.

Now, this did not make me happy. I am not sure how our end-users think of this, but I personally, would like to have a list with the details of the new books.
A few months have gone by, and on a bright Monday morning last week, i got a message that there WAS actually an option to see those title by means of an other RSS.
And then I cheered up. And it stayed that way the whole day.

I immediately ran the feed through Feedburner, added some social stuff and published it on:

New Books on Medicine

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Now users can : We get stats of usage and clickthroughs via Feedburner.

This is how a simple RSS can make a librarian smile .....
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