Get on the Bandwagon — New Book Lists by RSS

Here’s a bandwagon I urge you climb on: ‘Using RSS Feeds for New Book Titles – Calling All Publishers.’ In her essay, Connie Crosby at asks a series of excellent questions:

Why do the publishers not just each have their new titles in an RSS feed, which I could read in my aggregator (feed reader) like I do a number of the blogs and news feeds I follow? And why could those feeds not be taken together into one feed, or filtered according to my collection subject needs? Why could my library association not pull all feeds together onto one webpage for those people who don’t use an aggregator?

Indeed, why not?
Connie suggests that publishers link their new book titles to their own shopping carts — a great first step. I’ll go one further: What if you, as a librarian, gave publishers (or the company that aggregated RSS feeds on behalf of many publishers) a URL that could link a new book title directly to the relevant order screen on your library’s book jobber’s web site. This could even be something as simple as an OpenURL — you provide the “stem,” the address of a link resolver, while the publisher appends all the specifics of the given book title — assuming your book provider has a resolver. You subscribe to the RSS feeds (broken down, of course, by subject, genre, age, or however you like), click a link, and order the book. And from there, the book flows into your normal ordering process.
Next time you meet with a book vendor’s sales rep, ask them if they can so something like this — and if not, when they will be able to.

One thought on “Get on the Bandwagon — New Book Lists by RSS”

  1. Ken: thanks so much! Definitely what I was talking about is a first step. I am in a small shop so the ordering aspect itself has not been a big issue, but the larger the library the more relevant this will be.
    All of this seems so simple. The only reason I can figure out this hasn’t been done, at least in my industry, is that the marketing/sales people don’t know about this and don’t know know how to ask their technical people for it. Conversely, the technical people possibly don’t know this could be of value to clients.

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