Every year the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) hosts and funds attendance to the Developer House, an intensive week-long dive into OCLC services and APIs. This year’s December event was centered on discovery, in particular, the new discovery API and software library.
Yale’s Steelsen Smith, from the Enterprise Systems and Services group, was selected by OCLC to attend, and had the opportunity to work alongside 11 technologists from libraries across the country as well as OCLC staff and developers. As a specialist in the library’s various fulfillment systems Steelsen brought with him to the event questions about the applications of discovery in requesting and delivery and how to more fully use member services available to the Yale University Library.
Besides learning about available web services, as well as new programming techniques and languages, the event served as an opportunity to speak directly to product managers in Dublin. Of particular value was the ability to speak about Yale’s fulfillment workflows and areas where current services work less than optimally.
The week was primarily aimed at producing usable projects in discovery in a short period of time. Open source and available to the community, some of these applications are ready to use and are downloadable from GitHub.
By taking advantage of training opportunities and development events outside of Yale, Library IT is working to build relationships and knowledge that can help to improve services to staff and patrons without incurring new costs. This is in addition to the library’s commitment to contributing to various open source projects and communities, keeping Library IT active in the larger field of library and academic technology.