Friday, July 10, 2009

Library Web Services

In an all-day workshop on APIs and mashups, Karen Coombs of the University of Houston offered numerous examples of how libraries can enhance their catalogs and websites. Her materials can be found at While I don't see school librarians doing coding in PHP and XML, I do see using some of the widgets on a library webpage and even playing around with creating really simple ones on their own. There were also interesting suggestions for linking from an online catalog to resources elsewhere (e.g., book covers in Amazon or LibraryThing), reviews, etc.

Yahoo Pipes is a simple way to find some already created mashups as well as find some and modify them to meet your needs. Try out creating a mashup from multiple RSS feeds on specific keywords.


  1. Watched the video, and it seemed to explain the general concept of what a pipe is and how to create one. I was able to replicate the process in a very simple way by basically copying the guy in the video. I don't know that I could do anything more complex at present:) I also wondered if a pipe could be published and read in my iGoogle page as opposed to Yahoo Pipes? Not sure.

    A pipe would be a useful tool if one subscribed to a lot of RSS feeds or digital updating of some form. I could also see yahoo pipes being a nice way to see if someone else has made a pipe to fit your interests, or at least made one close enough to clone and modify.

  2. I see pipes used to add code to a webpage or link to another application. They definitely recommended looking for pipes that did what you wanted and modifying them.