From my perspective, as someone working in a public library, I really
want to be able to hit our OPAC with marketing type queries to provide
promotion of library materials using real-time, or near real-real time
data. Fundamentally, the Holy Grail of API queries for me is as follows:

For a given time period, what titles circulated the most, and which are
currently in stock.

Secondarily, I would like to know:

For a given item, what is its set of bibliographic data.

My reasons for wanting this are basically to I can create pages on our
public Web site that promote items that are in the catalog, likely to be
in stock, and can deliver our patrons an immediate and satisfactory
result. Further, the information on the page and in the catalog should
match. I think this is a big deal, because regardless of what we like to
think, public libraries are largely in the business of lending books and
other popular materials. Building web presences that actually accomplish
this, and are not tied to a vendor specific solution would be a _huge_
deal. Currently, I am stuck with an III catalog, and both of my rather
modest requests are not possible (at least according to the
documentation I have available) through programmatic methods. I can
accomplish such things by manually running reports, and then somehow
importing the data into pages, but that in and of itself would consume
all my time, and is not what I want to do with my career.

Anyhow, I hope that helps.

- David

David Cloutman <[log in to unmask]>
Electronic Services Librarian
Marin County Free Library 

-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Matthias Einbrodt
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2009 1:09 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CODE4LIB] APIs that an OPAC should provide ...


I'm interested in your opinion regarding the question which (kind of)
APIs an OPAC should provide nowadays and in the near or maybe not so
near future!

Thanks in advance and best regards

Matthias Einbrodt

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