1. My Community Contribution

    brian on 2004.09.17
    at 02:49 am

    Today I happened upon Jon Udell's LibraryLookup script. Very cool. Imagine you're looking at some page (say an Amazon or B&N page) and want to see if you can get that book at your local public library (peer to peer book networking?). Well with Jon's little bookmarklet (that's a bit of code that resides inside a bookmark in your browser) will scrape the book's serialized number, and search your local library's online catalog. Certainly cool.

    The one down side for me was it didn't work for my public library. It seems since Jon put this together in January (at least that's when his little how it works videos are from) Brookline switched systems. I'm guessing the whole MinuteMan library network (much of Eastern MA) is the same.

    So I fixed it. And as a public service, here it is:

    Search Brookline Public Library

    First, you can't click on this link, you must first save it to your browser. You can Ctrl+click (Mac) or right-click (Windows, others) on the link and choose to save it, preferably to your bookmarks bar. You'll want to rename the link once you save it so that it fits better in your bookmarks bar. Mine says simply BPL

    While I've got your attention, Brookline Public Library people: please address your website (not the search one, just the regular one.) It needs serious help. In 1995 it was OK to use FrontPage to design your website, no one knew any better. But today, letting aside the heinous visual design and usability, it simply can't adhere to accessibility standards (section 508, et al) and it takes much more bandwidth to serve and download than it should. It all starts with standards. The New York Public Library is an excellent example of standards and design in action for a public library website.

    Not one to simply bitch and run, I'd gladly speak with whomever oversees the site on what could be done with it so that it serves the community better.

    Posted in: Books · Web


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