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I spent Tuesday in the company of some very interesting developers and librarians as part of necode4lib, the regional chapter of code4lib.

The event was hosted by the Boston Public Library. We were given a fascinating tour of the Open Library scanning facility: ten “scribe” workstations, manned by full-time staffers. I didn’t have my camera (and presumably the scanners’ Canon 5Ds were off-limits), but there’s a good report on the facility from Everything Miscellaneous. As developers we were encouraged to build on top of the free content that’s pouring out of the project, and I’ll definitely be giving that some thought.

I haven’t worked directly with or for libraries yet, so for me the day was mostly a note-taking and networking experience. There are a number of technologies I need to learn more about, including the LibraryThing APIs, COinS, unAPI. Bookworm needs to export more structured data in a useful way, especially when it comes to playing nicely with citation management software. I think I now know enough to stay away from XForms.

I’ll definitely be at the code4lib 2009 conference. I even have a vague memory of promising to give a lightning talk on ePub.

Tags: code4lib,

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