Thursday, June 08, 2006

Mashing up the what?

In a concerted effort to make it look as if more than one person posts on this blog, I thought I'd add another posting. And after Michael's recent posts describing the new products available from our library software suppliers Talis, I thought that I'd add a link to their new competition "Mashing Up The Library". Appalling use of pseudo-hip-hoppery-yoof-speak aside, this is an interesting proposition... especially with £1,000 as a prize!

The point of the whole thing is to come up with innovative ways of enriching the data we already use as libraries (the stock we hold, resources we subscribe to) and developing them in a functional and exciting way. This could be linking to reviews from the OPAC or adding GIS information to locations to that not only can you see whether an item is in, you can find out where the library is that has it. (In fact, with an RFID system, you could find out where it was in the library!)

I just thought I'd say though if anyone came into Bolton Central and tried to mash up my library, I may just have to beat them with newspaper rods.

1 comment:

michael said...

I have a few thoughts on this:

I'm so suave in the kitchen, I don't mash - I have a potato ricer. "Potato ricing the library" isn't as catchy though, so I can see why the folks at Talis haven't gone in a middle-class-Guardian-reading-metrosexual direction with their competition.

Although m'learned colleague makes reference to hip hop, it's not the only musical genre in which mashups are widespread. The excellent 2 Many DJs uses all sorts of songs, very few of which are hip hop.

And now, the serious point: Talis' competition has the potential to be very, very interesting. I often look enviously at American library websites, where mashups and innovative web services for libraries are far more commonplace than over here. Throwing a cash prize into the mix should encourage a few coders to have a go, and we all get to reap the benefits as anything coming out of the contest will (as I understand it) be made available.