Distributed Index of All(*) Library Location and Event Data

Dan Scott

Laurentian University logo


Evergreen logo

Koha logo

VuFind logo

Visualization of RDFa for a book in Evergreen
Visualization of RDFa for a book in Evergreen, focusing on the schema:Offer section
Visualization of RDFa for a book in Evergreen, focusing on the schema:seller section of the offer


This was a sticking point...

  • schema.org/Library : A library. Usage: Between 100 and 1000 domains
  • schema.org/Museum : A museum. Usage: Between 10 and 100 domains
  • schema.org/Archive : In the process of being defined.
  • schema.org/Cemetery : A graveyard. Usage: Between 10 and 100 domains

Evergreen does this!

Visualization of RDFa for a library branch, including opening hours, contact info, and hours

Most other ILSs do not

Meta-institutional data

This should be in our wheelhouse!

WorldCat Registry

authoritative single source for institutional metadata
  • Problematic non-commercial license
  • Mostly missing or out-of-date data

Why should you care?

  • Visibility and accuracy in common search engines
  • Ease of building lightweight applications
  • General linked open data use cases

Inspired by CWRC

Screenshot of the CWRC map of libraries and archives in Canada

"Leading an effort"

In which I reveal I am not as persuasive as digital humanoids

Education efforts

Scott, D. (2015). White Hat Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Structured Web Data for Libraries. Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 10(1). Retrieved from https://journal.lib.uoguelph.ca/index.php/perj/article/view/3328

Education by demonstration

Screenshot of the Library One-Pager template for library websites

Education by demonstration

Standard RDFa tactics

@@ -14,14 +14,14 @@
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="deps/ie.css">
        <script src="//html5shiv.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/html5.js"></script>
-</head><body><div class="page">
+</head><body vocab="http://schema.org/" typeof="Library"><div class="page">
                <a href="#">Log in/Sign up</a>
                <a href="#footer">Location/Hours</a>
-       <h1><a href="#">Niceville Library</a></h1>
+       <h1 property="name"><a href="#">Niceville Library</a></h1>
        <form id="search"><fieldset><legend>Search Catalog</legend>
                <label for="searchText"><a href="#">Catalog</a></label><input id="searchText" placeholder="Search books and more" type="search">
                <input type="submit" value="Search">

Reality check

  • How many of you use a static HTML library web site?
  • How many use a CMS like Drupal?
  • How many of you want a deep knowledge of RDFa and HTML to be the minimum bar for someone to change the opening hours on your website?

Drupal One-Pager

  • A theme with user-friendly widgets that hide any implementation details.
  • So easy, a University Librarian could use it!™

Location and contact info

Screenshot of standard Drupal form for entering telephone number, email, and address via the Addressfield widget

This really isn't hard!

  • Nobody needs to know except you and the world of linked open data


  • Cleaner data for personal agents (Hi Siri! OK, Google?)
  • Inclusion in OpenStreetMap, wikidata, and the LOD Cloud
  • A more dynamic CWRC map
  • Making dialled.ca a possibility


  • Partnering with CWRC
  • Reaching out to co-operatives like SOLS, OLS North
  • Connecting with the smartest minds in library technology
Access, assemble!ccess, assemble!