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Automating an online display of new books in your collection

There are number of ways that you can manually update a web page on your library's site to include not only a list of newly acquired books but also the jacket art for them. Thanks to the wonders of RSS feeds, librarians are finding many ways to harness their library catalog's "new books" feed so that it can automatically update a web page listing new titles. A series of posts on the NGC4LIB list (subscription required to view the original post) in early August highlighted several ways of accomplishing this clever feat:
Recently, the Travelin' Librarian blog mentioned how the Shenandoah Public Library (Iowa) is using the jacket art available in LibraryThing to present on the library's home page a list of newly acquired items. From what I can tell, the librarians at the Shenandoah Public Library have created an account in LibraryThing where they only add new books from the library's collection (items that are presumably fully cataloged in their "real" catalog). If you're familiar with LibraryThing, which allows you to create an online catalog of your own personal collection, you'll know that your LibraryThing collection has a feed associated with it so that others may subscribe to it to see what items you've been adding to your collection. The Shenandoah Public Library took their LibraryThing feed of newly added items and made it display on their library's home page. It's a bit clunky, but it is also a clever, very low-tech and vey affordable way (i.e., free) to automate the process of displaying jackets for newly acquired books.

I don't know if our version of Ex Libris Aleph here at CUNY allows us to create feeds of items, but it would be great if it did. For an interesting example of what you can do with RSS feeds from your catalog in a way that doesn't involve jacket art but just title/author info, check out this page from the University of Alberta Libraries. Anyone know whether our catalog is capable of such things?

posted by Stephen Francoeur on Thursday, September 28, 2006