Linking to libraries

Lorcan 1 min read

Herbert left a comment a while ago on my message about linking to library catalogs. He suggested that the OpenURL was an appropriate way of making these links. We agree, and will be working with OpenURLs where possible. Our main aim is to get into the catalog, so we will also ‘deep-link’ where applicable. My colleague Jeff Young supplies the text below about how a wider initiative for OpenURL resolvers will impact our bookmarklet work.

OCLC is in the prototyping stage of creating a registry of OpenURL resolvers. On top of this registry, we will create an OpenURL gateway service that will accept an OpenURL request, identify the requestor, and redirect them to one or more OpenURL resolvers that are available to them.
Integral to this OpenURL registry will be an OPAC registry/gateway service to transform OpenURL requests into local OPAC deep-links. For example, an OpenURL request sent to the OpenURL registry’s gateway for an ISBN will include a deep-link into the local library’s OPAC for the item.
Once these registries/gateways are in production, the FRBR Bookmark service ( will be changed to use the OpenURL registry’s gateway service instead. When this happens, clicking on the bookmarklet will produce a list of OpenURL targets relevant to the user (in addition to the local OPAC deep-link currently being used).
Currently, the bookmarklets work by scraping an ISBN from an HTML page, but when the OpenURL gateway is incorporated, it can be made much more intelligent. For example, it could scrape an inline OpenURL reference from the page and send that richer set of data to the OpenURL registry gateway instead of just an ISBN.

More from
Two metadata directions

Two metadata directions

Metadata practice continues to evolve as research and cultural practices diversify. After a brief environmental view, I discuss two important metadata trends here: entification and pluralization.
Lorcan 16 min read

Follow along

Deep dives and quick takes. Libraries, society, culture, technology, ...

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.