Open Library Gets Even More Open

With my primary interest lying in youth services, I often look at School Library Journal for recent articles, and news pertaining to young adult library services. This article talks about the new features in Open Library, an Internet Archive project founded in 2006 in order to “present one web page for every book ever published.” Open Library’s original purpose was to expand the amount of open-access digital books, as well as open the digital library to opportunities for crowd-sourced, wiki-based content correction.

The new features of Open Library, which are talked about in the SLJ article include the new ability to perform full-text searches from the library’s 4 million-plus texts. This has major beneficial implications for anyone using the platform for academic, or research purposes. I tested it out by searching the term “camellia” in the search box (screenshot below), using the “text” search limiter. The results indeed included not just books that included the word “Camellia” in their title, but also books that have characters named “Camellia,” and botanical books that include the camellia flower within their pages.

Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 2.59.44 PM

Other notable new features include the ability to easily embed Open Library book pages directly into blogs, or personal websites. This allows the user to directly reference, review, or promote titles to their readers in a completely accessible, open way. For readers who are print, or screen disabled, Open Library is also working to expand it’s number of available digital “talking books,” which are published in the DAISY (Digital Accessible Information SYstem) format.

This article certainly applies to a broader audience than just students, although it has major implications for anyone in a learning environment. Resources such as Open Library will only become more relevant, as curriculums expect increased digital literacy skills, and digital tool usage from all ages. However, the general concept also fits directly under the knowledge organization umbrella, in terms of advances in linked data & open access to information.

Link to Article:

Manuela Aronofsky

Fall 2018, INFO 653-02


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Posted in Books, Library, Linked Open Data, Open Access, Open Data

by Hugh McLeod

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Pratt Institute School of Information
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