Now maybe I’m just having a bit of a whinge (okay, I’m having a lot of a whinge), but a certain ILS that I have used was very keen on becoming a next-generation-style ILS. They were open to any ideas from us (the ILS-using customers) about how they could integrate the ILS into other areas of our library, aka Web 2.0. Why is it then that they won’t allow me to integrate into Facebook?

I suppose my biggest gripe is probably with Facebook actually. I designed a small applet that would plug into Facebook and search our catalogue. Easy. It uses a custom-made form that sends the request on to our online catalogue. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t really like me using my form and adds a bunch of gobble-de-gook into the form to kill it. This extra data is very important (from Facebook’s perspective) in that it allows me to keep track of who is using my applet and, maybe, store their data so that I can market to them. Of course this extra data is in no way compatable with my ILS’ catalogue.

I sent off an email explaining my plight “Dear ILS, Please let this work. People won’t click on a link that says ‘search the library’ but they might fiddle with a box that allows you to search the library. Hugs and kisses, C”. Unfortunately they said “nup, can’t be done, besides, people who want to search the library will click a button, just make it a link”. I think the help people missed the point, I want LESS steps, not more. If I wanted more steps I’d put in a wizard.

Step one: Click “Search the library”
Step two: Choose what kind of item you want and click “Continue”
Step three: Select which library you want your item to be located at and click “Continue”
Step four: Choose the language you want your item in and click “Continue”
Step five: Choose what colour you would like your covers to be and click “Continue”
Step six: Type in what you would like your item to be about and click “Search” or choose from our predefined searches in the “Predefined Search Wizard” which has an easy 65 steps.

Maybe I’m too picky…and a minimalist. Less is more (more or less).

Facebook and my ILS

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