Archive for the ‘bookstores’ Category

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

New: Add Events API

The Add Events API adds events to the LibraryThing Local events system using a simple “RESTful” API.

You can also find this on WikiThing: Add Events API

Come Talk about the API here.

The Request

Each Add Events request consists of a single http request, with all parameters specified in the URL. There is no ganging of requests.

There is no separate API to update events. If the system finds an event for the same venue at the same time and added by you, it replaces it with the new one.

Here is a sample request with the parameters broken out onto separate lines.

You can try out this request [,0380815591&time=2012-12-1+11:00&venue=2427&userid=timspalding&developerkey=%5Bomitted%5D&addevent=1 by hitting this URL]. Don’t worry, it won’t add a new event.

Basic parameters

title. The title of the event.

time. The date and time of the event, preferably in the format YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM (eg., 2012-12-01 14:00).

Ideally the HH:MM should be in 24-hour (or “military”) format, although you can also append “AM” or “PM.” All times should be local time; not include timezone data, or it will throw off the time calculation as it attempts to square it with LibraryThing’s timezone.

description. The description of the event. Works and authors should NOT be touchstones in the description.

isbns (optional). A comma-separated list of ISBNs relevant to the entry. LibraryThing uses these to retrieve all potential work titles and author names implicated in the description, and creates touchstones as appropriate.

ISBNs are not only for works, but also for authors. For example, if an author is delivering a talk but not reading from any specific work, referencing one of their ISBNs will still ensure that their name in the description gets turned into a touchstone.

eventurl (optional). URL of the event at the venue’s website.

mediaurl (optional). Archived media of the event (for past events only).

Basic parameters

There are two ways of finding the venue. You must use one or the other.

venue. If you know the LibraryThing venue id, use the venue= parameter.

The LibraryThing venue id is located in venue URLs. For example, [] has the venue id 924.

venuesearchtype, venuesearchdata and venuesearchexact. Using these two parameters you instruct LibraryThing to search for a venue. If exactly one venue is found, it will go ahead and choose it, and add the event. At present there are four venuesearchtype options.

*phone. Searches the venue’s phone number. All non-numbers are ignored (ie., 207-555-1212 is the same as 207.555.1212, etc.).

*twitter. Searches the venue’s Twitter handle, if they have one.

*email. Searches for the email.

*name. Searches the venue name.

venuesearchdata is the search string.

venuesearchexact is whether to do a match on partial searches (ie., “Strand” matching “Strand Bookstore,” “Strand Book Annex,” “The Strand Bookshop,” etc.).

Your information

userid. Your LibraryThing userid (ie., timspalding).

developerkey. Developer key. This can be found at . If you are not a registered developer, you can sign up and get your developer key in less than a minute.

Making it happen

addevent. To make it add the event, rather than just test the system and see an XML response, set addevent=1. Constructing http requests without addevent is a good way to test out the system.

The Response

Requests to the Add Events API return an XML response, recapitulating the event, reporting on errors or warning and listing the status of “added,” “replaced” or “not added.” The <touchstones> are lets you see whether your ISBNs were successfully turned into touchstones.

		<title>Spring Author Series</title>
		<venue>LibraryThing H.Q.</venue>
		<date>2012-12-01 11:00 AM</date>
			A reading from [Every Visible Thing] by [[Lisa Carey]].
				<text>[Every Visible Thing]</text>
				<text>[[Lisa Carey]]</text>

Labels: apis, bookstores, event

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

New group: “Books in 2025—The Future of the Book World”

I’ve started a new discussion group LibraryThing Group, Books in 2025.

The group aims to centralize and restart a site-wide conversation about the future of books and reading. It’s a conversation that’s been going on for years here and there on Talk, especially Book talk and the librarians group, in comments to my Thingology posts about ebooks and my Twitter stream. It needs it’s own group. It will also be refreshing to hear more from LibraryThing members–not technologists or industry people. After all, who better to discuss the future of books than the people who love them most?

Anything about the future of books is welcome, but the focus will be on how ebooks and social reading are and will change things, with 15 years as a proposed timeframe:

  • How will ebooks change reading? Has it changed your reading?
  • How fast will ebooks rise, and how high will they go? Is the paper book dead?
  • Where is social reading going? What’s core and what’s fad?
  • Will sites like LibraryThing continue to exist, or will ereaders leverage their advantages to make book discussion a platform-dependent activity?
  • Will libraries contract or prosper in an ebook world? What can they do to make sure things turn out right?
  • How will ebooks change the world for publishers?
  • Will writers see increased opportunities–or be decimated by piracy? How will ebooks change literature?
  • Are physical bookstores doomed?
  • What about the rest of the book world–small and informal libraries, agents, rare books, small presses, book reviewers, etc.?
  • Amazon, B&N, Apple… How many will win, and how will they evolve?

Anyone can post, and start a topic. But we’re going to keep this a LibraryThing project. We’ll be starting some topics ourselves, and bringing in authors and other book people to discuss what they know, and where they think things are going.

So, come check out the group “Books in 2025,” and participate in a first topic, “Welcome to this group / Books in 2025?

Group image by Javier Candeira, released under CC-Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (see on Flickr).

Labels: books, bookstores, ebooks, libraries

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Ann Arbor’s Shaman Drum closing

Ann Arbor’s legendary Shaman Drum Bookshop (website, LibraryThing Local) just announced they are closing after 29 years—and I’m devastated. They were my refuge in graduate school, and one of my favorite indies.

Links: Ann Arbor Chronicle, LA Times, Galleycat, Shaman Drum Announcement

Labels: bookstores, indiebound