Monster Mashathon

From my laboratory in the castle east
To the master bedroom where the vampires feast
The ghouls all came from their humble abodes
To get a jolt from my electrodes
They did the mash
They did the monster mash” – The Monster Mash, Bobby “Boris” Pickett

We just wrapped up two days of heavy-duty geek-ery in Amsterdam, at the WorldCat Mashathon. Library developers from Germany, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the U.S. participated in learning about and using OCLC Grid Services.

The event was co-sponsored and hosted by the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, which is an RLG Partner institution. Titia van der Werf-Davelaar of the IISH ably kicked off the event with an inspirational talk and Afelonne Doek provided excellent organizational assistance throughout, including arranging for amazing spreads of edibles for breaks and lunch. IISH technical staff set up each participant with storage space on a server as well as several essential applications such as MySQL, PostgreSQL and Apache. Several IISH technical staff also participated in the event.

Day One began with introductions of a variety of OCLC application program interfaces (APIs) available for mashing up with library catalogs and other mashable sources. In the afternoon Bruce Washburn provided a tutorial and demonstration of Yahoo Pipes and others gathered in three rooms to work together or individually. Activities ranged from talking about opportunities and potential projects to writing code. At the end of the first day we gathered back together to see what people had done and get feedback on how things were going so far. A couple people reported on their work, and someone had already integrated WorldCat data into their catalog in the short time they had to work.

The next day Ralph LeVan talked about putting the Virtual International Authority File up as linked data. We then broke up again to work individually and in groups, and Ralph continued in professor mode by giving a tutorial on Web Services and SRU/CQL to a roomful of participants.

So much happened that I cannot record it all here, but there were a number of projects that both mashed up WorldCat data with other data sources (including such sources as Wikipedia and In other cases, WorldCat was linked up to services such as MetaLib from Exlibris and the AdLib cataloging system. Suffice it to say that a lot of mashing was going on.

You can also see pictures, and read “tweets” from the event.

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