Monday, October 08, 2007

What To Do With Those Publisher New Title RSS Feeds

Today on SLAW I have posted an update about RSS feeds for new titles by Canadian legal publishers. Five major Canadian legal publishers have now created RSS feeds for their new titles! Exciting news indeed.

In the post I discuss what this means, including:
  • anyone who has the responsibility of ordering books can now pull together all these feeds into one continuous feed, and watch for new book titles of interest from one place instead of several (such as websites, email messages about individual books, newsletters, direct mail marketing, catalogues, and publisher rep visits);
  • individuals can set up filters to sort out just those titles of interest;
  • titles filtered for specific topics could be reposted to intranet pages that cover those topic areas;
  • the law librarian associations could create some of these filtered feeds for their members, so not everyone has to reinvent the wheel;
  • Canada continues as the top country for legal publisher RSS feeds (I still have to verify this one);
  • the publishers, once they learn what an RSS feed and how to put them into place, will think of other interesting uses for this technology.
One thing I didn't describe is how I am using the new titles feed in my own work. Pressure has been on to be as efficient with administrative work as possible. I'm sure your library is much the same. I now have all the feeds in my aggregator (I am using Google Reader currently to read feeds). I am still working on the method, but my intention is to read all the feeds together as one feed on a regular basis, about once a week. As I see titles of interest, I then forward them using the email feature to my co-worker who will do the book ordering via email, whether forwarding the individual email or batching them into a weekly order. Another option for some of the publishers is to order through their websites if they have a shopping cart feature. Then it is a matter of inputting the order into our Orders database.

Our intention is to have the orders then appear in the catalogue for our user group so they can see what new books are coming in. It is all part of an effort to buy publications and get them on the shelf as soon as they are available.

Someone who is really keen might use a filter to sort the new title feeds by subject, and re-feed to a subject-oriented intranet page. A feature could be built to allow the target audience (lawyers, articling students) to easily request the library purchase a new title. I'm not sure off-hand how that would be done, but there must be a way to do it quite easily. (If you figure out how, please let us know!)

How will you use the new title feeds? If you have an interesting use, please let us know in the comments!

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