Nicole Engard, author of Library Mashups: Exploring New Ways to Deliver Library Data (published by ITI), reviewed the current state of the art and showed us some great examples of mashups, and even did a live demonstration to create one. One of her favorite sites is ProgrammableWeb, which has lots of mashup examples.
Nicole’s reasons to use mashups in libraries include:
- Provide better service to patrons,
- Add value to catalogs and websites by making them “one-stop shops”,
- Taking library services to patrons where they are (Facebook pages, etc.), and
- They are a learning experience, and librarians should never stop learning.
Her favorite tool for creating mashups is Yahoo! Pipes (which is what she used for her demo) because it makes the job so easy; no programming is required.
Here are some great examples of mashups (not necessarily just for libraries):
- Bike Tours in California, which maps long (100 miles or more) bike rides on a Google Map.
- Trulia and Zillow for real estate and neighborhood data.
- HousingMaps, showing listings from Craig’s List on a Google Map.
- Reading Radar which combines New York Times bestsellers with the corresponding Amazon data.
And for libraries, Nicole pointed to the sites listed in her book. Its website is http://mashups.web2learning.net/.
If you wanted to know more about mashups, this was the session to attend, and judging from the full room, this is a topic of interest to many people. I’m looking forward to reading Nicole’s book!
Columnist, Information Today, and IL 2009 Blog Coordinator