Show and Tell: WorldCat Mashathon US wrap up

The WorldCat Mashathon US, held April 7-8, 2011 represented a successful test of a new way of hosting Mashathons. Held simultaneously in multiple locations and connected via WebEx with Webcams, Mashathon participants learned about OCLC Web Services, how to use them and shared ideas on how to solve challenges in their respective institutions. While the time and space difference between San Mateo, California and Washington, D.C. might have posed an inconvenience for some groups, this Mashathon crew just rolled with it. Photos to prove it from Flickr.

It was a tighter group this time, as Mashathons go. And people came with specific problems to solve.

Going forward, we’re talking about a number of possibilities. Perhaps a hybrid approach: have physical locations where people can gather, but also enable individual attendees. That way if you need to get out of your office to eliminate distractions, you can. But if you simply can’t travel at all—you can still participate completely virtually. Or perhaps we have a series of online presentations that you attend beforehand, culminating in a daylong “Day of Code” mashathon workshop or something similar. What do you think?

Would this hybrid approach appeal to you? How about the person who determines your Continuing Education and training budgets?

Finally, we need dreamers and doers at Mashathons. While the Developer Network is definitely the place for coders…Mashathons are also where broad, creative thinking is welcome and necessary, regardless of roles at your institution. Even if you’re not going to code anything with the WorldCat Search API, you can still understand the concepts and know how its data would combine with your data to yield some beautiful results.

Speaking of, here are some of the beautiful results of the 2011 WorldCat Mashathon US:

Netflix at My Library
Karen Coombs, OCLC Developer Network

Karen mashed up a Netflix queue feed with library holdings. It takes the feed from Netflix, does a title search from the WorldCat Search API with a DVD limit, and then asks for the specific item. Pretty simple but it underscores for the average public library user: the library often has new, timely movies. As fast or faster than Netflix. See the screen view as a wmv.

WorldCat in SciVerse
Remko Caprio, Developer for SciVerse
This app adds sidebar search results from WorldCat to the SciVerse platform. The WorldCat Search API returns related items based on topics from a user’s keyword search results. Now WorldCat creates a richer experience for SciVerse users, adding additional context to their searches. See the screen view as a wmv.

Borrow Direct made Better
Eric James, Kalee Sprague, Daniel Lovins, Analyst and librarians at Yale University
This group wanted a way to add functionality to their Voyager system. They wanted to look at their consortium partners first for interlibrary loan through Borrow Direct, using the WorldCat Search API. They’d take the basic identifiers of an item and feed it into the system to compare against the other institutions’ holdings.

Call Number Browse
Andrea Schurr, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
This project provides an online shelf-browse functionality. It takes a MySQL database and connects it to the WorldCat Search API for additional data. The search box returns items by call number order, and you can go backward and forward through the list. It uses an alpha-numeric sort on the string, and the call numbers are formatted to handle the sorting process.

Catalog Manager for National Digital Newspaper Project enhancement
Ed Summers, Library of Congress
Catalog manager is envisioned as an internal app for the National Digital Newspaper Project. This start on the project takes the records that a serials librarian finds but would like to update, using the LCCN and OCLC numbers. It then uses the WorldCat Search API to get updated bibliographic information and the permalink to make the titles available for the digital content. See the screen view as a wmv.

Small library Web presence
Bruce Washburn, OCLC Research
An experimental project from the OCLC Innovation Lab, this is a pretend site for a tiny library. MapFAST settings are used to give results for geographically-relevant materials that links to It uses Registry data to help fill in some gaps about staff and other services. Bruce explored the use of the WorldCat Search API to help create (more full) inventory records. He also used his Android phone to do barcode scanning to input data into the inventory system. Hear Bruce talking about his mash-up in this wmv, and hear more about the project from the Innovation Lab's video, below.

Apologies to Andrea, because we forgot to share your screen during show and tell. So there’s no WebEx recording for you or for the Yale group (because they didn’t use screens).

If you want to see the whole Show and Tell, beginning to end (with all 55 minutes of pauses, discussions, camera bobbles, stops and starts), you can with the recorded streaming link. But really, the links above provide a much more concise viewing experience.