I have written a number of articles in recent weeks about all the web sites that are adding RSS data feeds. In fact, the newsletter you are reading right now has been available as an RSS feed for almost eight months. Now the Seattle Public Library is switching to a new computer catalog system that includes RSS. Such data feeds are appearing everywhere, both in genealogy and non-genealogy sites.
For an explanation of RSS technology, read my earlier RSS Feeds Explained article.
This week's announcement says that the Seattle Public Library will replace its more than 20-year-old computer catalog with a new system called "Horizon" that will be implemented Wednesday, Feb. 23. With the new Horizon system, patrons will notice a number of improvements, including:
- Improved search and page loading times, especially for people with slow Internet connections.
- A better interface for Library users with visual disabilities.
- RSS (Really Simple Syndication). Just as Web sites now offer RSS as a means to provide updated information without having to "visit" the site, the Horizon RSS feature allows search feeds (new titles from your favorite author) or a listing of "items out" to be incorporated into new readers (My Yahoo! Or Bloglines).
- Icons that clearly display the type of material (book, DVD, book on CD, etc.) so you can quickly locate what you want.
You can read the full announcement at http://www.spl.org/default.asp?pageID=about_news_detail&cid=1105478295992