The magnanimous folks who are planning the 2007 NJLA conference have invited little ol’ me to give a presentation on unAPI in April. I’m excited about the opportunity to evangelize about all of the interesting work and ideas out there in LibraryLand and beyond, and I have subsequently, and humbly, requested to expand the scope of my talk. Fortunately, they have agreed, and I’m sharing the title and abstract here to gather impressions.
Thanks especially to Brian Hancock for encouraging me to present at TAG two months ago, to Mary Mallery for the invitation, and to Dan Chudnov for inspiring the lion’s share of the ideas I intend to ramble about.
A library revolution: Returning the means of production via service discovery, systems integration, and open standards Imagine, if you will, a world where library services are automatically discovered; Library users retrieve information objects and metadata with a single click, never having to navigate the dark alleys of dead-ends that are full-text resolvers; Information sources and services are connected and remixed according to user preferences and needs, where and when they wish. What if we could leverage existing library and industry standards, applications, and protocols to make this a reality? And soon? Technologies such as OpenURL, COinS, unAPI, OpenSearch, and DNS-SD are explained and their promise is examined in this context, alongside ideas such as service registries, auto-discovery, and integration of search and resolve systems. Such evolutionary steps paired with bold, forward-thinking direction and a commitment to innovation may indeed lead us to this "revolutionary" scenario.