Infomancy n. 1.The field of magic related to the conjuring of information from the chaos of the universe. 2.The collection of terms, queries, and actions related to the retrieval of information from arcane sources.

Fun with RSS

October 18th, 2006 by infomancy

I had the great pleasure of facilitating a workshop on RSS on Monday night at the Rochester Regional Library Council. First, let me say thank you to Jenny Levine at The Shifted Librarian for publishing a blog post about RSS feeds from library catalogs that showed up in my Google Reader view mere minutes after we discussed RSS feeds from library catalogs. This was especially cool as it showed up mere seconds after I extolled the virtues of RSS as a way to stay on top of new ideas in the library profession. So thank you, Jenny, for helping prove a great point!

In other RSS fun, I arrived early for the workshop and spent about half an hour hacking away at delivering MARC records via RSS. A totally inelegant solution (and it violates rather a lot of rules for the RSS specification), but it was interesting to see that I could indeed send a MARC record within an enclosure. A proof of concept can be found in the feed at

6 Responses to “Fun with RSS”

  1. Stephen Francoeur Says:

    The choice of books cracked me up! Mo Willems is one of my favorite authors (oh, my 4 year-old son likes him too)

  2. Jenny Levine Says:

    You’re welcome! :-)

  3. robochic Says:

    Just wanted to let you know this was a very useful presentation. I am one of the many who have clicked on an RSS icon and became confused as to what I am supposed to do with the XML that comes up. Your instructions on your site are clear and much needed. I’ll be able to put RSS to work for me now that I understand it. Thanks!

  4. Richard Wallis Says:

    Great idea Christopher.

    Couple of thoughts though. Why did you use .mrk as the enclosure format? Would not an XML format like MarcXML be more RSS friendly?

    In fact by using RSS2.0′s capability for extention by using namespaces, you could include the Marc record, encode in XML, within the item thus removing the need for for an enclosure and the consequent need for you to host that file for some indeterminate period whilst it is useful to the consumers of the feed.

  5. LarryN the LibraryN Says:

    The link for Shifted Librarian is not spelled correctly, and gives an error when you click on it.

  6. Christopher Harris Says:

    LarryN, all set now. I just can’t seem to type the word shift. Which is not good seeing as my site with all my presentations is