I was excited to share about the carmen library link application that is used in Ohio State Universities. I could talk for hours about this, so I decided to write a blog post with more information. If you were not there, to clarify, Carmen is Ohio State University’s Learning Management System (Desire2Learn).   This application allows librarians to create subject/resource guides to be delivered within Carmen and stores all content in a REST API.  I will be managing an Open Source release of this application sometime in the future (sooner depending on the demand!).

Presentation from LITA lightning talks session 2:  http://prezi.com/qw9l0jsy1bvv/

Example of Carmen Library Link “widgets” re-used as Subject Guides on our website: http://library.osu.edu/find/subjects/ (click on one of the subjects)

Carmen Library Link v2 Beta screenshots:

Carmen Library Link v2 Beta

Editor View (Creating items, widgets, pages)

Subject Guide Page view

Subject Guide Page view

Key points:

  • Allows anyone (non-technical) users to create items, widgets, pages very easily (drag and drop interface)
  • Modular Design and a decentralized design (API + any web services client)
  • API is separate from Editor (the editor can be thought of as a web services client to the API)
  • Can host/manage content locally
  • API is secure (more details available by request)

Carmen Library Link v2 is built with:

About the REST api:

  • Every single item/widget/page/resource/librarian/user/org/(etc) has its own URL!
  • Every URL can be used in a “create/read/update/delete” (CRUD) context using POST/GET/PUT/DELETE
  • All data is available in multiple formats: json, XML, html (just by adding extension to URL)
  • MVC infrastructure which allows for even more formats (mobile format, iGoogle gadget)

Possible Uses for this reusable content

  • Any item (item, widget, page, librarian profile, library information) can be embedded in any website
  • Pull into Content Management System
  • iGoogle / Netvibes / Other Portal
  • Mobile Subject Guides
  • Course Management / Learning Management System
  • Data is free and accessible in a granular level (via unique URL)

Example API response for an Item: GET /user/8/items/674.json

{
  "success": true,
  "data": {
    "id": "674",
    "librarian_id": "1",
    "type": "CarmenLink",
    "title": "net.TUTOR: Finding Articles",
    "description": "this is cool!",
    "url": "http://liblearn.osu.edu/tutor/articles/",
    "created_at": "2009-09-18 10:18:46",
    "updated_at": "2009-09-28 14:55:44",
    "created_by": null,
    "updated_by": "muir.29@osu.edu",
    "html": "
\nnet.TUTOR: Finding Articles this is cool! \n
", "librarian": { "id": "1", "email": "muir.29@osu.edu" }, "widgets": [ { "id": "376", "name": "my widget", "publiclabel": "my widget", "type": "findArticles", "librarian_id": "1", "created_at": "2009-09-18 10:18:40", "updated_at": "2009-09-18 10:18:40", "created_by": null, "updated_by": "muir.29@osu.edu" } ] } }

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