Bundle o' Updates

In addition to our Lending Launch last week, we’re constantly adding new bits and pieces to the site almost every day. Here’s a bunch of things we’ve been working on:

  • Over 10,000 human edits last week!
    Wow! So great to see so many people making large and small contributions to the catalog. Some standout editors include Fiction Addiction, menolly42, Anonymous (no, really), and an actually anonymous editor who has taken an interest in books written in Raeto Romance languages. We’re also seeing new books being added in a variety of languages, by R. Knoop, for example. [this is good]

  • Data Out
    In an effort to make it easier to extract records from Open Library, we’ve begun sprinkling links to RDF and JSON versions of Editions, Works and Authors, as well as improving the way you can access MARC for editions where it’s available (e.g.). There’s a link to the MARC source in the history list for editions.
  • Revised Author RDF
    There was some great discussion on our ol-tech mailing list to approach a consensus on what approach we should take with our Author RDF offering (e.g.). Thank you very much to all the contributors to that, and to Karen Coyle for handling the final construction. We’ll be releasing updated Work and Edition RDF in the coming weeks.
  • Send to Kindle
    There are new Send to Kindle links alongside all the ebooks you can read via Open Library. That’s in addition to viewing the gorgeous hi-res scans in the BookReader, downloading a PDF, plain text, ePub, DAISYs and MOBI.
  • Bot + Write API = Magic!
    Our superstar intern, Daniel, has created a new bot whose sole task in life is writing some 4 million LibraryThing IDs to our edition records. He’s also been working on refining the general process of writing a bot for Open Library in the hope that this might be functionality we could offer more broadly to developers outside the core team.
  • Working with Librivox?
    For the audiophiles out there, we’ve begun initial conversations with Hugh at Librivox to get audio editions from them into the Open Library catalog. Edward has also been poking into the CERN biblio data that was released a few months ago. We’d like to get that online!
  • Two stellar enquiries
    I was probably a little over-excited to get 2 awesome emails within a couple of days of each other. The first was from the Tolkien Librarian asking when he’ll be able to merge duplicate Works, and the next was from the Marylebone Cricket Club, wondering if we’d be interested to try to help blend cricket-related bibliographies from 3 of the premiere cricketing libraries around the world. The answers were, of course, Yay! Woo! Soon! And YES!
  • Ariel Backenroth has joined the Open Library team
    We have been looking for an additional Python developer for a while, and I’m very pleased to say that Ariel has come on board. He’s a long time Freebase developer, and we’re looking forward to seeing how we will be able to leverage Freebase as a comparative dataset we could learn from and exchange with.
  • Dumps of the entire Open Library dataset
    Anand has been working on getting more regular dumps available. As it stands, we’re generating monthly dumps that are available for download via our data page in the developer section of the site
  • Planning out the next 4 months
    We’re thinking through the next batch of work we’re going to try to roll out: tools for merging duplicates, operational stability, lists v1, annotations, and bringing full text search back online.

Whew! Onward!