Your Website is your API - How to integrate your Library into the Web of Data using RDFa



Title: Your Website is your API - How to integrate your Library into the Web of Data using RDFa

Audience: Librarians and technicians interested in Linked Open Data and the related technologies, Webmasters
Short description: Libraries and related institutions have begun to migrate legacy data such as bibliographic records, authority data and holdings information from traditional subject-specific data formats to a general standard that is inherently web-compatible and interdisciplinary: RDF (Resource Description Framework). This step allows library data to be truly integrated into the World Wide Web and to be linked to other data. But it is not only "classic" catalogue-data that is important to information seekers. Moreover, information about the institutions themselves, their collections, opening hours, holdings, contact options and lending possibilities is of interest.

Most libraries nowadays have a website, which they use to present such information in a human-readable way. This bootcamp focusses on how to enhance these websites using RDFa, which basically means adding semantic attributes to the underlying HTML, effectively turning the website into a machine-readable interface - an API. This API can then be used by aggregators to provide new services, e.g. by search engines to enhance their search results.

The bootcamp deals with conceptual questions, including a discussion of possible vocabularies that can be used to describe libraries and their services, as well as with technical details on how to enrich library websites with RDFa. In the practical part of the workshop we will create descriptions in HTML+RDFa for some institutions the attendees work in. In the end we would like to discuss the question on how to spread these practices in the international library community.

Bootcamp outcomes:

  • The attendees have learned about the basic concepts of RDFa.
  • The attendees have learned how to implement RDFa on their websites.
  • The attendees have internalized the acquired knowledge by applying it to their own institution's website.
  • Perspectives for broadening RDFa implementation in the international library community have been discussed.



Name E-Mail Institution Country
Mr. Adrian Pohl hbz Germany
Mr. Felix Ostrowski hbz Germany
Mr. Ad Aerts Sichting Netherlands
Ms. Trinidad Almansa Ortiz Biblioteca de Andalucía Spain
Mr. Alain Borel Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne - Bibliotheque Switzerland
Ms. Rosemie Callewaert Bibnet Belgium
Ms. Karen Coombs OCLC USA
Mr. Viktor Harej University of Ljubljana Slovenia
Mr. Till Kinstler Verbundzentrale des GBV Germany
Mr. Lukas Koster Library of the University of Amsterdam The Netherlands
Mr. Vlastimil Krejčíř Masaryk University, Institute of Computer Science Czech Republic
Ms. Lucie Martincová Instituto Cervantes Czech Republic
Mr. Tanja Merčun University of Ljubljana Slovenia
Mr. Jindřich Mynarz National Technical Library Czech Republic
Ms. Kristin Olofsson Libris/National Library of Sweden Sweden
Mr. Benoit Pauwels Université libre de Bruxelles Belgium
Ms. Marjo Perälä Rovaniemi City Library Finland
Mr. Jiří Rataj University of Economics, Prague Czech Republic
Mr. Omar Reygaert Ghent University Library Belgium
Mr. Ramon Ros CBUC Spain
Mr. Thomas Rosemann Kunsthaus Zürich, Bibliothek Switzerland
Ms. Francisca Segura Instituto Cervantes Czech Republic
Mr. Johan Stapel The Netherlands
Mr. Erik Stattin Karolinska Institutet University Library Sweden
Ms. Jane Stevenson The University of Manchester England
Mr. Adrian Stevenson UKOLN, University of Bath UK
Mr. Ctibor Škuta National technical library Czech Republic
Ms. Marie Widigson Chalmers Library Sweden
Mr. Petr Žabička Moravian Library Czech Republic

Workshop Outline

Approximate Time Agenda
10:00 Round of introductions
10:15 Background: A Linked Data based index of library institutions (slides)
10:30 Example: A brief introduction to RDFa based on the NTK website (slides)
11:00 Coffee
11:15 Tools of the trade: W3C-RDFa-Distiller, W3C-RDF-Validation-Service
11:30 Teamwork: Describing some of the participants institutions
12:30 Lunch
13:30 Teamwork Review
14:00 Example: Modelling further information provided by the NTK website
14:15 Teamwork: Enhancements of the descriptions
15:45 Coffee
16:00 Further vocabularies and a general model for institutional description (Organization Ontology, DCCAP etc.)
16:20 hbz-work: Online RDFa generator, RDF-harvester,
16:40 Discussion: Problems and Perspectives

Q & A

Q: I want to describe an organization which doesn't have an HTTP-URI (like a yet? What should I do?
A: One can take eg. the URL of the organization's website or other information page and construct a hash URI based on it. Example: or


Slides & other material

Name Größe Ersteller Erstellungsdatum Kommentar  
ZIP Archive 7 kB Adrian Pohl 24.05.2011, 11:35    
ZIP Archive 8 kB Adrian Pohl 24.05.2011, 11:05    
PDF File lobid.pdf 887 kB Adrian Pohl 24.05.2011, 09:49  
PDF File outline.pdf 59 kB Adrian Pohl 24.05.2011, 09:50  
PDF File rdfa_intro.pdf 251 kB Adrian Pohl 24.05.2011, 09:50  


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