For immediate release | December 11, 2015

Intro to Web Service APIs: eCourse and eBook bundle

CHICAGO — ALA Publishing eLearning announces a new iteration of its popular eCourse, Introduction to Web Service APIs Using PHP and HTML eCourse/eBook bundle. Jason Paul Michel will serve as the instructor for this four-week facilitated eCourse starting on Feb. 1, 2016.

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.

After completing this eCourse, participants will:

  • understand what an API is and why they are important;
  • understand how APIs have been applied in library settings and ways in which they can be used in the future;
  • obtain the coding skills necessary to produce or contribute to your API projects.

eCourse outline

Week 1: Introduction to APIs from a general perspective. Introduction to PHP.

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

Week 2: Learning PHP and setting up your server space.

  • Video lecture discussing web servers and web programming (30 - 45 minutes)
  • Videos and/or readings discussing basics of web servers and web programming
  • Assignment: Complete Code academy PHP Lessons 4 - 5
  • 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).

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

Week 4: Bringing it all together with HTML.

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

About the Instructor

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 Publishing facilitated eCourse, which begins on Feb. 1, 2016, 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.

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Marketing Manager

ALA Publishing