KohaCon10: Library Data for Fun & Profit

David Friggens gave us a very animated (slides and speaker) talk about how to present our information in different ways to our patrons.

First example was from the University of Dundee and their serials holding chart. It’s a graphical representation of what issues the library has of a specific serial.

Next, word clouds. One way to use a word cloud is to show what people are searching for right now – or today – or this month (I can’t share a link to an example of this cause the system they use does not have permalinks – another reason to use Koha).

One that I’d love to see is RSS feeds for new titles in different subject areas. This is possible in Koha with the custom RSS feeds, but it would be awesome if it was just a default function.

Some libraries are showing what has been checked in or out recently in different ways – one example was to have it publish to Twitter.

Yet another graphical display would be to show a map of where you can find the item in the library right from the bib record display in the OPAC. There are different ways to handle this – flash, image files, etc. Along the lines of mapping would be usage heat maps to show where things are circulating more or less (this is not something David or I have seen anyone do yet).

We have all of this data in our libraries that we can mash into new and interesting visualizations and tools. As I say in my mashups talks (and my book did get a shoutout by David), we just have to open up our data. David gave us a great quote by Rufus Pollock about open data:

“The coolest thing to do with your data will be thought of by someone else.”

We have to open up our data and see what gets created with it!

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