The Krafty Librarian, a medical librarian in Ohio, asks what happened to library mashups
I recently read where the Journal of Biomedical Informatics recently had a call for papers for their special issue on Semantic Biomedical Mashups. I look forward to reading it when it comes out. However, this has me thinking. Where are all the library mashups? Talis had the Mashing up the Library competition last year, but I haven't seen any information on it for this year. The Talis Mashing of the Library competition boards are silent. The last post was made by David Rothman over 27 weeks ago. The Second OCLC Research Software Contest ran from July 1, 2006 through September 2006, however I haven't heard anything about it this year.
Here's some possible answers, but by no means all of them.
People building book finding systems started building in things into their tools rather than having to wait for users to mash things together. LibraryThing has scooped up a bunch of good ideas, and Book Burro continues to make almost all of my earlier fussing around with Greasemonkey unnecessary. When software developers listen to the feedback loop from their customers, it's not so necessary for those folks to write code to get their ideas in play.
Library systems are woeful in general for being easily reachable by ordinary mortals, in part because the book finding systems in them are designed primarily as hermetically sealed units with proprietary and inward-facing programming interfaces. So there aren't a lot of hooks to hook in on.
People are lazy, and when they've suitably scratched the mashup itch to solve the problems they see around them, they go off to the next thing (twitter, facebook, etc).
(hm, is there a super-easy twitter library mashup just waiting to happen? rss feed of something + twitterfeed? can't do every new book, but perhaps some subset...cookery? knitting? hmm)
Mostly, though, these sort of things are just happening (and much more so than in 2005 or 2006), and it's not notable that it happens to be a mashup - the notable part is that library directors are blogging, library patrons are writing book reviews, and the like. Perhaps the next steps are micro-steps, things like storytime hours being a one-click add to your calendar using a tool like IBM's Operator plugin for Firefox.