Last month, I had a chance to attend and present at the WorldShare Management Services (WMS) Global Community & User Group Meeting in Dublin, Ohio, USA. There was much to be learned, so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts in a two-part series.
The meeting was a chance for members of the WMS community to share best practices, tools, tips and workflows with one another. I participated in a panel with developers from the WMS community. Together, we shared some advice for developers using OCLC's APIs, and we highlighted unique integrations created by the community. For my part of the presentation, I highlighted some of the terrific tools OCLC provides to developers using our APIs. Two of my favorite tools are
- API Explorer, which lets developers test API requests without having to write code, and
- our code libraries for authentication, which help developers using a variety of different languages more easily access our APIs by giving them a leg up on the authentication codes.
The panel also featured developers talking about their specific projects. Charles Hill from Westfield University demonstrated an application he created that utilizes the Acquisitions API and streamlines workflows for selectors and acquisitions staff. Lauren Magnusson from PALNI showed her work on two different applications. The first was a project called One Button, which streamlines and simplifies the user experience for patrons viewing consortial availability within the discovery interface. The second project, Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), improves the faculty experience of creating reading lists within their learning management system.
Beyond the panel I participated in, several other presentations stood out as interesting and innovative to me as a developer. The first was a panel in which Christine Sraha from the University of New Mexico talked about iMacros. iMacros is a browser add-on that allows particular actions in a web browser to be scripted programmatically. Users can record actions and save them as a script, which can then be replayed on demand. Additionally, the script can be altered to add more complex tasks, like looping. The University of New Mexico is using iMacros to help automate tasks within the WorldShare Acquisitions module of WMS. I can see how iMarcos might be useful for other tasks, such as downloading reports or doing batch actions on metadata records.
Thomas Hodge from American University of Sharjah, spoke about inserting stack map links into the WorldCat Discovery user interface (UI) using the Collection Management API and local holding records (LHR) batchload. When explaining the problem he was trying to solve for his users, Thomas reminded me how very culturally biased our library systems can be. Imagine trying to understand call numbers to find materials when your first language is in a non-Latin script or is read from right to left.
Learning about these unique problems in specific libraries always helps broaden my perspective on our library members and the users they are serving.Stay tuned for our next post to learn more about the WMS Global Community & User Group Meeting.
Senior Product Analyst