Mashup Magnificents

By Teresa Koltzenburg | If you've ever visited the user-outreach Mecca that is the Ann Arbor District Library (AADL)—either physically or virtually—then it's likely no surprise to you that the winner of the Talis-sponsored "Mashing Up the Library" competition is none other than AADL's very own John Blyberg (also of John's entry, the Go-Go-Google Gadget (more information about it on here), "shows how simply library information can be integrated into the personalized home page offered by Google," says Talis's technology evangelist Paul Miller.

John Blyberg's Go-Go-Google Gadget"If you're unfamiliar with the Google gadget," explains John in his post describing his entry, "they are the little customizable panels on Google's personalized home page." At the right is what the page looks like with all four gadgets enabled (to see more detail, click through to John's Flickr site).

"What [the entry] does is basically what we've been asking for, for a very long time," notes Paul Miller. "It takes library information out of the library and puts it where users are actually spending their time. And in this case, it's on a personalized home page, the Google offer, which I'm sure is a destination visited by an awful lot of people."

Users can install just one or all four of the gadgets, says creator John Blyberg, and the gadgets "can be dragged around the page and individually configured." The gadgets enable the user (on his or her very own Google home page) to:
  • display the hottest items at the library;
  • display the newest material at the library;
  • display all currently checked-out items; and/or
  • display all requested material.
Main Building of the Alliance Second Life Library 2.0 Second Life Library Lauded Too
Second prize in Talis's "first competition intended to openly encourage innovation in the display, use, and reuse of data from and about libraries" was awarded to the collaborators working on the Second Life Library 2.0. An effort spearheaded by the Alliance Library System, based in East Peoria, IL, USA, the Second Life Library, says Paul Miller, had two main strengths (in regard to the competition and judging). "This is a really good example of global cooperation," Miller notes. "So although the Alliance Library System is the leader on the work, we have a team of twenty-five to thirty librarians around the world, working with them on this, putting their time and effort into it. That, we felt, was something worth rewarding."

And, adds Miller, the idea "to build a library in Second Life and to deliver real library services there" is worthy of accolade too. "They are creating access for a lot of the electronic-journal content that participating real-world libraries have access to, and they also offer things like lectures and courses. There are even special exhibitions in there. In fact, for September 11, I'm [seeing activities about] the World Trade Center and forums in which people are talking about the issues [surrounding the events of September 11, 2001]. This is real community-type stuff, and it gives users access to electronic resources, too."

(Read more about the beginnings of the Second Life Library in Tom Peters's ALA TS Blog post, "A Library for Avatars.")

Start Your Mashups!
The esteemed panel of judges has finished up with this first round of entries, but for those of you who don't want to wait to enter your very own "Mashing Up the Library" creations, you don't have to! As of today, says Miller, Talis has re-opened the competition for submissions. "We're basically going to run it all the time. We want to encourage people to show off what they are doing as they do it," he explains. "Every six months or every twelve months, we will gather up previous periods' submissions, review them, and go through a similar judging process."

In addition, Miller notes, "as particularly compelling entries come in—if something amazing comes in—we'll simply reward it straight away."

Congratulations to the winners—and to the mash-er-uppers.... start your coding creations!

Technorati tags: , , , , , , ,