For immediate release | July 23, 2013

Introduction to Web Service APIs using PHP and HTML

CHICAGO — By popular demand, ALA Editions announces a new session of our first-of-its-kind facilitated eCourse, Introduction to Web Service APIs Using PHP and HTML with Jason Paul Michel. This four-week eCourse will begin on Oct. 15, 2013.

APIs open up a world of content to your library and get your vendor products working in unison. Without a basic knowledge of APIs, you can’t even be part of the conversation. Recognized as a Library Journal Mover and Shaker for “forward-thinking digital services,” Jason Paul Michel will get you started with the basics. By the end of the ecourse you will be writing PHP scripts to pull data from Twitter or the Digital Public Library. Instructor Jason Paul Michel’s ebook "Web Service APIs and Libraries" is free with your course purchase and is rich with sample codes and project ideas.

Participants will:

  • Understand what an API is and why it is important.
  • Understand how APIs have been applied in library settings and ways in which they can be in the future.
  • Obtain the coding skills necessary to produce or contribute to API projects of their own.

Course Outline

Week 1:

Introduction to APIs from a general perspective. Introduction to PHP.

Content and assignments:

  1. Video lecture setting the stage (30 - 45 minutes)
  2. Videos and/or readings illustrating what APIs are and what they can achieve
  3. Assignment: Complete Code academy PHP Lessons 1 - 3

Week 2:

Learning PHP and setting up your server space.

Content and assignments:

  1. Video lecture discussing web servers and web programming (30 - 45 minutes)
  2. Videos and/or readings discussing basics of web servers and web programming
  3. Assignment: Complete Code academy PHP Lessons 4 - 5
  4. Assignment: Set up web server space with their systems department and write first “Hello World” script.

Week 3:

Working with specific APIs: Twitter & DPLA (Digital Public Library of America).

Content and assignments:

  1. Video lecture discussing, with examples, coding with Twitter & DPLA APIs (30 - 45 minutes)
  2. Readings: Twitter & DPLA Developer Documentation
  3. Assignment: Obtain API Keys for Twitter & DPLA
  4. Assignment: Write simple script for Twitter & DPLA APIs which prints out arrays of data.

Week 4:

Bringing it all together with HTML.

  1. Video lecture discussing/illustrating a “finished” product with HTML (30 - 45 minutes)
  2. Video lecture discussing next steps and possibilities
  3. Readings on web programming with PHP and HTML
  4. Assignment: Wrap PHP code with HTML for Twitter script.
  5. Assignment: Wrap PHP code with HTML for DPLA script.

Jason Paul Michel currently is user experience librarian at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where his work centers around usability, emerging technologies, UX and Web design and instruction. Author of the ALA Editions book "Web Service APIs and Libraries" (2012), he has engineered various API-driven projects and presented on these at several national library conferences. He was named a 2013 Mover & Shaker by Library Journal and received his MSLIS from Simmons College in Boston.

Registration for this ALA Editions facilitated eCourse, which begins on Oct. 15, 2013, can be purchased at the ALA Store. Participants in this course will need regular access to a computer with an Internet connection for online message board participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (MP3 files), and downloading and viewing PDF and PowerPoint files.

ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or

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Dan Freeman

Online Learning Manager

ALA Publishing