Monday, August 30, 2004

RSS Feed of Library Books Checked Out

Now, isn't this a useful little thing? Peter Rukavina, who lives on Prince Edward Island, has created a Perl script that "automatically connects to the web-based Dynix (aka Epixtech) OPAC and grabs a list of the items I've got checked out and the date they are due. It then creates an RSS feed that I can read in my newsreader every morning."

Stephen Cohen over at the Library Stuff blog responds: "Of course, the first thing that came to mind was that Peter should contact Dynix and show them what he has done. My second thought was that he should contact the other vendors and show them how it can easily be done. My third and final thought was to contact Peter, get on my knees, put my hands in the air, and scream, "I'm Not Worthy". Great spidering work Peter. I'd love to see some other feeds that can be created with the Dynix catalog (RSS Feeds by DDC or subject headings, perhaps?)"

DDC...hmm, there's an idea. Wait, Dewey R Us! Off to OCLC Research this suggestion goes! And thanks to David Leslie for pointing me to this--he had mused only a few days ago how useful it would be to have such an RSS feed.

And apropros of nothing....I've met Peter Rukavina. He spoke at the Access 2002 conference in Windsor.

7 comments:

Jeff Chow said...

This seems like a really good idea. Very creative. I commented on Stephen Cohen's blog asking whether he thought our library email reminder service might be useful as an RSS feed. He commented that our service, Library ELF, as he put it "This just screams RSS Feeds...". It would be interesting to see more comments about creating RSS feed of library circulation information. Especially, who is the primary audience (high-volume users, techie users etc). And also, are news readers popular enough with the general population yet?

Again, bravo Peter for your creative idea and implementation!

Jim Robertson said...

Great idea. If I was going to develop this for my library's users -- allow them to subscribe to their own "my books" feed -- any thoughts on how to handle the security factor? How do I allow them to subscribe to their own books, while making sure others could not subscribe? If I made the URL contain a combination of last name and library barcode, would that be secure enough? Would that combination be "exposed" in a "view source" in any way? Thoughts?

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