Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Library book lookup from your browser

Have you ever seen a book on Amazon or another website and wondered whether your local library had a copy of it?

I have to admit as much as I like my library, Indianapolis Marion County Public Library. I do not care for the web interface with it’s URL session ids and timeouts and JavaScript linking! So I try to stay out of the website until I want the book. I saw LibraryLookup on 43 Folders. I tried LibraryLookup, but was annoyed with the ISBN interface. BookBurro looked promising but it only worked on 20-some library. I’m not a member of any of those libraries.

I decided to roll my own Firefox Search Plugin–which is very simple to do. You just have to know the query keywords for your library (such as isbn, keyword, title). The IMCPL is an IPAC system and uses “UTL” for its title keyword. Just drop the finished file in your Firefox/Profile/searchPlugins folder with a “.src” extension, and restart Firefox. That’s all there is to it.
Here is the code for the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library for title searching:


<input name=”term” user>
<input name=”index” value=”UTL”>
<input name=”spp” value=”50″>

-Stephen M. James

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