RSS feeds from the FES-library. Individualized tables of contents - MyTOC
Jacques Paparo

IALHI's XXXVI Conference, Gent, 7-10 September 2005

RSS means Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication. It provides a mechanism to subscribe to "headlines" from a web site which is offering this format. To make use of this service, it is necessary to install a software called RSS Reader or Aggregator. They are mostly freeware. This automatically gathers RSS feeds from all of your selected online publications, and makes them available to you on your desktop.

The number of library-related RSS applications is increasing daily.

Most of them are situated in the area of the announcements (ex. BDIC - Paris) or as an alternative to electronic tables of contents for receipt of up-to-date TOC (Alerting services from the IALHI Serials Service - IISG)

Our library started the experience with this new technology by creating a service announcing new publications, events and library news.

The second step was to offer announcements about new databases in our database managing system (DBIS).

The positive experience with the RSS technology and the new philosophy of the information supply behind it were the reasons to think about further applications for our customers. We combined the idea of library supplied free up-to-date ToCs with the idea of the single journal personal RSS-subscription, following the model established by some professional information providers like Ingenta.

The solution was to use the ToCs we buy from our journal supplier which were used so far to inform the staff of the foundation via email about new articles with the possibility to order online at the library. The inconvenience of this service was the fact that everyone receives all the ToCs - some 260 titles! A classical example of information overload.

Thanks to the RSS Technology, each user is now able to select individually journals with regard to his work scope and to subscribe to the associated ToCs provided by the FES Library.

As a new issue of the selected journal is published, the RSS Reader will automatically download details via RSS and will alert the user that a new issue is available online. At the same time he is now able not only to save time by receiving only self selected journals, but also to create his own archives for the subscribed journals if required.

On the desktop you can select in which articles you're interested in and you can order them at the library.

It's unfortunately a Copyright restricted service but our know-how is free so don't hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for your attention

Jacques Paparo

©Friedrich Ebert Stiftung | Webmaster | technical support | net edition Bibliothek der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung | 21.09.2005