Step Three: Linked Data Import/Export API

The final step in Phase One of the Linked Data conversion plan involves providing gateways for the publishing and ingest of Linked data bibliographic and holding graphs. This involves exposing the catalog using either external or pass-through APIs that reformat MARC records as Linked Data graphs on export and reformat Linked Data graphs as MARC records on ingest. All major ILS systems include APIs for reading and writing data to the catalog. Individual libraries should check with their ILS vendor to determine if these APIs include Linked Data capabilities. Many ILS do not currently have Linked Data APIs; and currently no ILS includes production-ready BIBFRAME gateways.

Libraries that currently use ILS that have Linked Data APIs will be able to immediately operate in a Linked Data world. Those who do not will need to implement pass-through APIs that read BBIBFRAME and convert it to a format acceptable to their ILS API before passing the request on to the API and vice versa. The creation of the pass-through APIs will require technical expertise to implement and maintain. This could stand as a barrier to entry for smaller libraries that lack internal development expertise. However, it is possible that, once developed, these APIs could be shared, reducing time and expertise needs across the library community. Additionally, as BIBFRAME becomes more stable (which it is already doing), we can expect vendors to roll-out BIBFRAME native APIs to their ILS. In these cases, the time and cost impact would most likely be minimal.

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