Professional Media Reviews | June 1, 2013

Jump-Start Your Career as a Digital Librarian: A LITA Guide. Neal-Schuman. 2012. 248p. ed. by Jane D. Monson. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781555708771. pap. $47. PRO MEDIA

This career guide—12 essays by 21 authors—presents both overviews and practical information. Editor Monson (digital initiatives librarian, Univ. of Northern Colorado, Greeley) provides an introduction. Two main sections follow. The first includes pieces on what a digital librarian is and on approaching this career straight out of library school or as a later professional shift. There is advice on picking relevant library school courses, as well as on networking, and how best to apply for jobs in this emerging specialty. The second section has pieces on the technical practice of digital librarianship, with discussions of website code, XML, digital imaging, metadata, content management, digital project management, and digital content preservation. Each piece has a webliography as well as bibliography. On the less positive side, this book suffers from the inevitable problem with technology titles: its content is already somewhat dated owing to the speed of change in practices and software. The dates of articles cited by the essay writers (2011 and earlier) could well decrease the ongoing value of the information. Each section of the book may have been better if fleshed out for an entire book. However, there is sufficient information and context here for a current basic understanding of the concepts.VERDICT Recommended with reservations for librarians seeking or thrust into a digital information position.—J. Sara Paulk, Wythe-Grayson Regional Lib., Independence, VA

Michel, Jason Paul. Web Service APIs and Libraries. ALA Editions. 2012. 125p. index. ISBN 9780838911822. pap. $55. PRO MEDIA

Application programming interfaces (APIs) are powerful tools that help programmers and developers take advantage of a wealth of external online data sources to build software and services. Michel (user experience librarian, Miami Univ. Libs., OH) explores the possibilities APIs offer libraries and how to integrate library-related content into library websites and catalogs. He discusses ten resources: Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo, Google Charts, OCLC, HathiTrust, Open Library, Library­Thing, Goodreads, and Google Books, highlighting engaging ways to use their content. Michel begins each chapter with potential services that the API discussed could enhance and offers examples of its use in libraries, a technical explanation of the API, and step-by-step instructions (including specific coding) on building the application. Unfortunately, the Amazon takeover of Goodreads may temper some of his creative ideas for the nearly 50 APIs Goodreads offers. He advocates using APIs to create content mashups on web pages, as well as to provide users with enhanced options in the library catalog. VERDICT An inspiring and usable primer for programmers and developers. Highly recommended for libraries with in-house technology teams and essential for geeks, programmers, and developers working in book-related industries. [Michel is one of LJ’s 2013 Movers & Shakers; see LJ 3/15/13 p. 65.—Ed.]—Candice Kail, Columbia Univ. Libs., New York