Open Library

As you might have heard the relaunch of the Open Library is now complete. What does this mean? Well for starters, a really nice welcome page. Then, you can browse by author or subject. There is a pre-coordinated list to search from or you can do your own search. Basically these features and others are familiar to us because they show up in many websites from Amazon to our OPACs. What’s a little different is the Library Thing spin among others. Users can help build the library, participate on the blog, edit pages and more. It seems so far to combine several web 2.0 social tools that encourage users to participate and be active members of the project.

The goal of the Open Library is to create a webpage for every book published. I’m hoping that this project will expand to other formats and have a webpage for streaming videos, music, or even artwork.

Here’s the Open Library’s philosophy statement:

To build Open Library, we need hundreds of millions of book records, a wiki interface, and lots of people who are willing to contribute their time and effort to building the site.

To date, we have gathered over 20 million records from a variety of large catalogs as well as single contributions, with more on the way.

Open Library is an open project: the software is open, the data is open, the documentation is open, and we welcome your contribution. Whether you fix a typo, add a book, or write a widget–it’s all welcome. We have a small team of fantastic programmers who have accomplished a lot, but we can’t do it alone!

Open Library is a project of the non-profit Internet Archive, and has been funded in part by a grant from the California State Library and the Kahle/Austin Foundation.

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