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Screen Scraping in Alaska

April 9, 2010

I’ve been digging around in the archives of the Code4Lib Journal, which has some interesting articles about EAD and digital cataloging. In this class, I especially enjoyed creating tables and information-loaded charts; this article from December 2008, “Rasmuson Library DVD Browser: Fun with Screen Scraping and Drupal,” ( shows how the University of Fairbanks-Alaska developed a patron-friendly database with content types and information “scraped” from the library’s catalog. I’m not going to pretend I understand SQL and Drupal, but I can just about follow the methods of the script and understand how it works!

I looked at the library’s site to see how they were faring with the taxonomies. A lot of pages are full of “No image available” boxes that are largely useless, but other pages look far more appealing to users:

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