Results tagged “api” from WorldCat Blog

For those developer/tech-oriented among us, we have some good news.
worldcatsearchapi badge.jpgWorldCat Search API enhanced
The WorldCat Search API now enables developers to limit the results returned to an individual library, without authentication.

With this functionality enhancement, the eligibility requirements for the WorldCat Search API have also been updated.

NB: ALL 200+ current WorldCat Search API WSKeys will remain active through at least September 1, 2010. This eligibility change should affect very few future requests for service. In addition, there is even more good news if your library doesn't currently qualify--or if you're a developer who is not connected to a library.

WorldCat Basic API planned
As much as we love, we've wanted to provide an additional general Web service to WorldCat for a long time now. So we're very excited that later this year you'll have access to a simple API into WorldCat that anyone and everyone in the world can use, for noncommercial use. Called the WorldCat Basic API, it will provide a mashable access point for lightweight apps built by developers who may or may not have ties to the library community.

Sign up for the monthly e-mail updates to hear when WorldCat Basic API is available, and start planning your apps now!

New WorldCat Search API

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There's a new Web service available for you IT developer types, called the WorldCat Search API. It will help libraries integrate WorldCat data into their own Web sites, link resolvers and other applications. It joins other Web services like xISSN that helps library developers do more with WorldCat data.

Here's some more technical information about the API, borrowed from the information on the OCLC Web site.

With the WorldCat API, developers can:

  • Query the WorldCat database, containing more than 100 million bibliographic records contributed by librarians and other information professionals at thousands of WorldCat member libraries worldwide

  • Retrieve a geographically sorted list of WorldCat libraries that own a specific item. Each library listing includes the institution name, location and the URL of the library's Web catalog record for that item

  • Gain access to WorldCat from clients that can send RESTful URI queries with either the OpenSearch or SRU protocols and can accept RSS, Atom, MARC XML or Dublin Core® responses.

The API is free to qualifying libraries who are Governing members of OCLC. Other organizations interested in using the API can use this handy sign-up to receive additional information.

I am really excited to see what cool new tools and mash-ups emerge from the developer community with this new point of access. In fact, we have an event for developers in the planning stages, related to the WorldCat API. If you've ever played around with Amazon Web Services, I think you're going to like this

Google <--> WorldCat

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Google recently released a book viewability API that provides links to books in Google Book Search using ISBNs, LCCNs, and OCLC numbers. Basically (without going into a bunch of code stuff that I don’t really understand), this API allows other organizations to link to books that Google has scanned (and will scan) based on data that is pushed/pulled automatically back and forth between the requesting site and Google.

[BTW... You now know the ugly truth: I am not a programmer; see “code stuff” and “pushed/pulled” above]

The upshot of all this, though, is that sites like can provide a link back to Google Books. Sometimes that will mean the full text of the book, sometimes not. For example, Cory Doctorow’s great novel, “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom,” is available in full. So the page for that book shows a link under “Get it” to “View Item Online (Google Books).” This takes you to the Google Books page for that work and the full text.

It’s not just a one-way street, though. If you find a book in Google Book Search, you can often follow a link for it back to local libraries through So, suppose you locate the Google Book page for "The Future of Freedom" by Fareed Zakaria. You'll find that the entry for this work is a limited preview. But you'll also find a link under the "Buy this Book" choices to "Find this book in a library," which (you guessed it), takes you back to the page for it.

Fun stuff.