NoveList, a division of EBSCO Information Services, offers its Linked Library Service, leveraging linked data to enable multiple paths for making libraries and their collections more visible on the web. One path is EBSCO's partnership with Google to provide people with the option to borrow books from Knowledge panels in Google search.
The Linked Library Service is based on technologies and linked data infrastructure developed and deployed by Zepheira, a company it acquired in 2020. Prior to the acquisition, EBSCO had been one of Zepheira's earliest partners with its linked data initiative.
Library.Link as Core Linked Data Infrastructure
Zepheira developed the Library.Link network to provide infrastructure based on BIBFRAME to improve the visibility of libraries on the web and to leverage linked data to create new tools and resources to highlight their collections. The company launched its LibHub Initiative in 2014, which has since evolved into the Library.Link Network.
One of the early uses of the service involved exposing library collections through linked data to enable discovery in organic search results with Google and other major web search engines. Once Google launched the Borrow Action in its knowledge panels for books in the Fall of 2019, Zepheira adjusted its strategy to also take advantage of this more elegant approach.
As part of EBSCO, NoveList provides sales and support for the Linked Library Service, in partnership with Zepheira which is responsible for developing and maintaining the linked data infrastructure and delivering feeds to syndication partners. The Linked Library Service expands the NoveList suite of bibliographic enrichment products to also include additional services based on BIBFRAME and related linked data technologies. Eric Miller co-founded Zepheira in 2007 and continues to lead this business unit within EBSCO.
The Linked Library Service is based on the Library.Link network that brings together a variety of linked data resources. Libraries that subscribe to the service export their collection as represented in MARC records, which are then transformed into BIBFRAME and merged into the network. Once incorporated into Library.Link, the linked data can support several services, such as the delivery of feeds to Google in support of the Borrow action in the knowledge panel in search results. Google currently offers the borrow actions only in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Other uses include the creation of new resources and widgets that feature library content according to themes or popular lists.
Figure 1 illustrates the data flows related to the Linked Library Service and user pathways it enables:
- Libraries that subscribe to the service export their collection data in MARC format.
- These records are transformed into BIBFRAME and incorporated into the Library.Link network.
- Libraries have access to an administrative interface and dashboard to view their linked data structures as well as statistics on the use transactions facilitated through the service.
- Data from Library.Link flows into multiple destinations, including
- the Google Knowledge Graph to enable the borrow action in search results,
- Google Books,
- the Internet Archive to enable options in Open Library for borrowing items from nearby libraries and to enable controlled digital lending for libraries that participate in this service.
- The library's linked data can also be used to generate book rivers or other widgets that correspond to specified lists or topical selections, which can then integrated into the library's website, catalog, or any other resource.
- The Borrow action in the Google knowledge panel shown in search results connects users into the library's catalog, based on the syntax specified in the JSON feeds. The Borrow actions enabled by the Linked Library Service work with the online catalog of any ILS products.
The Linked Library Service is offered as a subscription service from Novelist. Most subscribers are public libraries, though other library types are also represented. SirsiDynix also offers the service, branded as BLUEcloud Visibility+. The company reports over 6,000 libraries in 10 countries participate in the Linked Library Service.
SirsiDynix BLUEcloud Visibility+
SirsiDynix , offers BLUEcloud Visibility+ in partnership with EBSCO NoveList and Zepheira. BLUEcloud Visibility+ is based on the NoveList Linked Data Service, with sales and support provided though SirsiDynix. The service is managed through the BLUEcloud Central administrative console. SirsiDynix released its initial version of BLUEcloud Visibility, in 2016.
SirsiDynix reported for the Library Systems Report that it has sold 86 subscriptions to BLUEcloud Visibility+, including 12 new subscribers in 2021.