The LibraryLookup Project is not new (began in Dec 2002!) but i had not heard of it before so when Phil Wolff from Skype Journal mentioned it to me the other day after the DataPortability Meetup, i put it on my to do list- and today i have done it.
This afternoon, i called one of my local libraries that is open on Sunday (not that many are open on Sundays anymore!) to find out that the Peninsula Library uses a Catalog by Innovative. So having that information i gave the LibraryLookup Generator a try- but was unsuccessful (test page worked but bookmarklet did not so perhaps not compatible with current version of Firefox?). So a quick search brought me to WorldCat's xISBN bookmarklets that already had my local library system configured, so with one quick drag to my toolbar and bingo- i was good to go.
So what does the LibraryLookup tool do?
So let's imagine that i am on Amazon.com and i am looking at David Weinberger's book 'Everything is Miscellaneous'. I don't have a Kindle so no easy download for me- and perhaps i am not sure i want to commit to having a copy in my book collection before i read it (well this book i actually do-and well marked it is!).
So before purchasing of Amazon.com, I decide to see if my local library system- in my case the Peninsula Library System (PLS)- has the book available. Clicking on the Peninsula Library Bookmarklet i installed- extracts the ISBN from the URL on the bookseller's page (Amazon in this example) and then goes to a library catalog and searches by ISBN.:
A search against the PLS Catalog shows me libraries in my Library System that i can borrow from that have the book in their collections. I can then cruise down to that location to pick it up, place a hold on the book if it is checked out, or put a request for interlibrary loan right from my browser. There are also many ebooks available from my PLS library system so i can get immediate access to those.
Great stuff- i can't believe i did not know about it all these years! Thanks for the tip- Phil!
Do you live in the Pennisula and don't have a library card (shame on you!)- get it here or find your own public library nationwide.