Monthly Archives: December 2008

Happy New Year!

Best wishes for the New Year from the Open Library team!

This year has been a busy year for us, and we’re happy to have met a lot of our goals for 2008:

  • This year we dramatically grew the site. Open Library now has 23 million pages about books and authors.
  • We added Full-Text search, and now have more than 1 million books in our full-text search engine.
  • We launched Scan-On-Demand, which allows you request a public domain book from the Boston Public Library to be scanned. Open Library will deliver a PDF of the book to you in about a week, and the digital copy will be available for others to read online as well.
  • We launched a new open source AJAX bookreader, which is now in beta testing on the site.
  • We launched a JSON API, a book covers API, and a Javascript API to help developers interact with Open Library.

We’re looking forward to making the site even better in 2009! We hope you have a great year!

OpenBook WordPress Plugin

The OpenBook WordPress Plugin by John Miedema can be used to easily reference books from inside your WordPress blog and automatically pull covers and book data from Open Library.

We’re quite excited to see people using Open Library and building new tools using our public APIs.

Here’s an example of using the plugin:

[openbook booknumber=”0143034650″]

This book was pulled in by using this tag in the WordPress post:
[openbook booknumber="0143034650"]

The “booknumber” in this case is an ISBN book identifier and is causing a search behind the scenes.

You can also use the Open Library opaque IDs to refer to a book when the ISBN isn’t available (e.g. for books published before ISBN existed!)

In that case your link would look like this:
[openbook booknumber="/b/OL14015131M"]

Many of the Open Library books (particularly older ones) do not have a cover associated with them, but you can add one from the Open Library page for that book!

The OpenBook article in the Code4Lib journal describes some of the design decisions and implementation. (Note: the article mentions the old [openbook]0864921535[/openbook] way of using the openbook shortcode. The newer [openbook booknumber="0864921535"] style should now be used instead.)