Using the LibraryLookup Project with ODIN

Earlier today, I was reminded of Jon Udell’s amazing LibraryLookup Project after he posted a new blog entry where he published some Python code for it. What it does is simple, yet very useful. If you’re browsing Amazon or some other page containing a book’s ISBN number, you can click a JavaScript bookmarklet which will automatically perform a search for it at your library and return the results in a new window.

I took a look at LibraryLookup in late 2004 after discovering it through one of Jon’s Infoworld columns, but at the time it didn’t appear to interact with North Dakota’s state library system, ODIN (the Online Dakota Information Network). Now, after updates to both ODIN’s website and the LibraryLookup bookmarklet generator, it works very well.

If you simply want the bookmarklet that will search across all ODIN libraries in the state, right-click on the bookmark bar in your browser and choose add page/add bookmark. In the pop-up window, give it the name ODIN Search (or something similar), and in the URL/location area, copy the following and paste it in the textbox:

javascript:setTimeout('x99.focus()',300);var%20re=/([\/-]|is[bs]n=)(\d{7,9}[\dX])/i;if(re.test(location.href)==true){var%20isbn=RegExp.$2;var%20x99=window.open('http://odinlibrary.org'+'/F/?func=find-a&find_code=ISBN&request='+isbn,'LibraryLookup','scrollbars=1,resizable=1,top=0,left=0,location=1,width=800,height=600');x99.focus();}

Once you’ve done that, just visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite online book site and click on that link when you’ve found a book you’d like to read. It pays to keep in mind Jon’s tips to get the best results possible.

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