Search Automation
January 26, 2012 6:23 AM   Subscribe

Librarianfilter: (How) Can I automate comparing the Fiction Core Collection with our catalog?

I've recently gotten a job at the public library that includes a certain amount of busywork. My currently-assigned task is going through the latest supplement to the Fiction Core Collection (a list of books a committee has determined all libraries should have), searching for each book in our catalog, and marking down whether we have it. I feel like there must be some way to automate this task, but have no idea where to start. My supervisor is not terribly technologically literate, so I doubt asking her would be helpful. (Plus, then she'd know that I'm trying to find ways to get around busywork.)

If it's relevant, our catalog uses iBistro, but we're also (obviously) integrated with OCLC/WorldCat.
posted by naturalog to Technology (4 answers total)
What format is that list in? Do you have any special access to the catalog that would allow you to run a search based on a csv or something?
posted by Blake at 6:30 AM on January 26, 2012

"Getting around busywork" is called "working efficiently" these days.

If your systems are of any modern ilk, there'll likely (hopefully) be a way that you could export a dataset to some sort of Excel, CSV, or Tab-delimited file(s). A quick googling of iBistro seems to indicate that you can export in some capacity.

Then, you can easily google a number of ways that you can compare the two sets of data in Excel.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 7:24 AM on January 26, 2012

Response by poster: It sounds like the thing to do at this point is to find out whether I can get a .csv or other file out of the digital database of the FCC, available on EBSCOHost. (I can access it, thanks to an affiliation with an academic library.) I'm currently working with a paper copy, so any method of digitizing/creating such a file directly from that would probably take about as much time as just running the search to begin with.

posted by naturalog at 8:16 AM on January 26, 2012

If getting a .csv is difficult you could try scanning the paper and OCR'ing the result. There's a free, online, OCR service (which I've never used so have no idea how good it is) here [] which might work for you.
posted by southof40 at 2:25 AM on January 27, 2012

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