The Sutton Open Library project has always had two distinct (and connected) things it is trying to achieve – opening up the library data and creating an experimental new book share service.

Lots of work has gone into getting to where we are right now, but it is great to have achieved two big milestones before Christmas:

  1. I have an invoice from the library database management company
  2. I registered my first book on the Sutton Bookshare service

The first milestone represents all of the discussions and negotiations between the council, Adrian (our local developer) and the company that manages the library data. It was, in the end, fairly straightforward – Adrian and the database company had a chat, requirements were agreed and a REST API is about to be made available. Few little things to sort out on the council side (network permissions, IT business case, me telling people what I have been up to!) and we are away.

If this all goes well I can arrange a hack day for the New Year and invite any interested developers to come to Sutton and play with some real time library data.

The real landmark was seeing the Sutton Bookshare development site. I logged in, entered an ISBN and instantly (the website is lightening fast) saw a cover, synopsis, author and category registered on my account – ready to share with the other users.

Sutton Bookshare home page

Sutton Bookshare

There is still a lot of development work to do and a comms campaign needs to be ready to promote it, but today I saw it work and I cannot wait to get it out there.