Tuesday, August 26, 2008

McGill U Library scanning books with Kirtas

Via Campus Technology:

McGill University Library in Montreal will be using a Kirtas Technologies APT BookScan 2400RA to digitize its collections. The company said that the 2400RA is capable of acquiring page images at the rate of 2,400 pages per hour. The library will be working with Ristech, a Canadian reseller, to implement the digitization solution.

The post says they will make scanned books available via print-on-demand services.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Drupal Rocks Libraries slideshow

I couldn't really track down the real author(s) of this slideshow; Acquia and the Libraries group @ Drupal.org are mentioned, but I'm not sure who made this =)

Our library's homepage is in there =)

View in Blip.tv

Via Acquia's blog.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

SOPAC 2.0: a discovery layer for every library?

John Blyberg (creator of AADL.org and now at Darien Library) posts about the new version of SOPAC-- a "Social Opac" discovery layer which, it seems, will be ILS-independent. SOPAC 1.0 works with III (or "Millennium") ILSs and Drupal, and apart from normal catalog searching, it adds features like tag clouds, reviews and more.

It seems to me that if SOPAC can have an abstraction layer so that you can plug in translators for different ILSs, it really opens the door to using all of the great modules we already have in Drupal and have the tools to "easily" build Library Catalogs Just The Way We Like.

This is our philosophy--and I guess John's--for picking Drupal: have a solid base (in code AND community) from which to build on, and... build!

I envy Darien Library, I'm sure they'll get a great new website to match their library =) Full steam ahead!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Two more libraries to go Drupal

Via LibrarianInBlack.net

Two libraries, U of M's and San Jose Library pciked Drupal as their next platform for their library web pages.

U of M's blog post details how they compared between several options like Joomla, Drupal, Plone, Typo3 and others.

It would be nice to know if they mean to only host their information pages, or if they were planning on building something more (like some OPAC functionality, or A-Z lists of journals, etc.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Yay! I contributed to core Drupal

Well, I only tested a patch for required field validation =) But still exiting!

Oh, by the way, this is part of the Drupal 5.10 security release... so scoot and go update your sites!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Drupal Millennium Module 1.4 released

This release mainly fixes some MARC import problems and adds a few new features.

You can try out our live implementation in PASTEUR, our thematic library oriented towards our Health, Chemistry and Biotechnology faculty and students. This site is also running Apache Solr for faceted search, a custom (not yet released) Millennium Authentication module and others.

From the project release page:

  • Fixed [#263310]
  • Fixes for [#253593]
  • Holdings ajax call now locale-aware
  • Fixed ids for coverimages; were incorrect if ISSN or ISBN inculded a dash.
  • Added missing "real names" for MARC language codes (e.g.: eng => English)
  • Cleanup of CSS file
New features:
  • Added more placeholders for book jacket image call (title, author)
  • Tries to get Call number from first item if not available in MARC bibliographic record
  • Adds all biblio information to Drupal's fulltext index.
  • [#260858] Added .pot file for translators
  • Dropped auto URL alias generation; should be handled by pathauto.module + biblio.module (see [#89038])

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A million free covers from Library Thing

LibraryThing just opened access to around a million cover images uploaded by LT users; you can get to them just by signing up for an API key and grabbing them from a special URL.

Tim Spalding makes some disclaimers: Amazon has more and probably better cover images, and they impose no maximum limit. However Amazon requires you to backlink to them from each image. LT has no such limit, and in fact encourages you to locally store images in order to reduce load on LT's servers.

If you installed the Millennium Module for Drupal, you can take advantage of LT's cover images like this:
  • Sign up to LibraryThing if you haven't done so already
  • Get an API key from LT
  • Put this URL into your Millennium module's settings, replacing KEY with your actual LT API key:


    It will look like this:

Friday, August 8, 2008

Spelling suggestions in Drupal + Solr search

Apache Solr has the option to build a dictionary to suggest words to search for when a search returns zero hits. I suggested a patch to the Drupal Apache Solr module that adds support for that.

If you're running this module, please help try it!

You can see it live in our production site, PASTEUR.

Atiz Bookdrive DIY demo in an hour

Sales reps from Atiz installed this monster yesterday. Look at the size of it! We have a demo in a few... I hope to post my impressions afterward.

Stay tuned!