August 2016


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NISO Announce <[log in to unmask]>
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NISO Announce <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 12:28:18 -0400
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*Interested participants, especially those with experience in library
vendor software and/or use of APIs and REST and mobile technologies, are
encouraged to contact NISO regarding working group formation.*

Baltimore, MD - August 25, 2016 - Voting Members of the National
Information Standards Organization (NISO) have approved a new project to
modernize library-vendor technical interoperability to improve the access
of digital library content and electronic books. Building upon a set of API
(Application Programming Interface) Requirements
<>developed by
Queens Library, a new NISO Working Group will create a foundational API set
that the library community can build on. This set will fulfill an array of
user and library needs, including quicker response times, flexible item
discovery and delivery options, improved resource availability, and more
seamless integration of electronic and physical resources.

Library patrons should expect an excellent user experience and requisite
level of convenience should be built into all customer-facing tools that
service library patrons. This project is being undertaken to bring patrons'
library experiences in line with the modern tools and
technologies-especially mobile technologies-they are accustomed to using in
other areas of their lives. Currently, libraries use varied technologies,
some of which rely on outdated and slow communication protocols, to provide
services to users. By establishing standards on RESTful Web services APIs
as well as standard mobile extensions, the library industry will leave many
archaic, difficult-to-use tool sets behind, and allow libraries more
flexibility in meeting local needs.

"11.2 million patrons visited the Queens Library in 2015," says Kelvin
Watson, Chief Operating Officer, Senior Vice President, Queens Library.
"It's imperative that we keep them coming back by providing fast, efficient
service that rivals what they experience in the commercial world. Queens
Library, which serves one of the five most diverse counties in the United
States, has a vested interest in undertaking this work to customize library
operations for specialized local needs. We are excited to have initiated
this project at NISO and we look forward to working with other participants
to actualize our draft framework."

Volunteer working group members will deliver a foundational framework, in
the form of a NISO Recommended Practice, that will communicate an
understanding of how libraries should provide and receive data. These
library-related communications and functions could include customized genre
or category views for browse, search, and discovery of collections; user
authentication; transmission of account information; management of
barcodes; check out and return of items, streaming of online material, and
other requirements as determined by stakeholders. Work will also include
the creation of several proof-of-concept services that use the proposed
approach to deliver services and a registry to enable supporting data
providers and system vendors to communicate their support of the framework.
The full work item approved by NISO Voting Members is available on the NISO

NISO's Associate Director of Programs, Nettie Lagace, comments, "NISO is
eager to begin this work to improve library-patron interactions. Advancing
vendor-library communication processes through consensus discussions and
agreement is a natural fit in our portfolio of work. NISO's mission is to
streamline the work of libraries and other information providers to get
content into the hands of consumers." Lagace continues, "We encourage
working group participation from libraries, library system providers,
providers and distributors of e-books, recorded books, and other forms of
digital content and media. We are looking forward to hearing from
interested volunteers who can dedicate their technical talents to this
important effort." Those who are interested in participating in the
E-Content API Framework working group should contact Lagace at
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About NISO
NISO, based in Baltimore, Maryland, fosters the development and maintenance
of standards that facilitate the creation, persistent management, and
effective interchange of information so that it can be trusted for use in
research and learning. To fulfill this mission, NISO engages libraries,
publishers, information aggregators, and other organizations that support
learning, research, and scholarship through the creation, organization,
management, and curation of knowledge. NISO works with intersecting
communities of interest and across the entire lifecycle of information
standards. NISO is a not-for-profit association accredited by the American
National Standards Institute (ANSI). For more information, visit the NISO
website <>.

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