Ever wonder what’s happening at your local Edmonton Public Library branch? Today, finding out becomes easier than ever! I’m excited to announce that ShareEdmonton now contains all EPL events, with new events being continuously added. The events will show up in all the usual spots, but there are a few sections of the website I wanted to highlight:
- A list and map of all EPL branches
- A list of all events taking place at EPL branches (which you can subscribe to using RSS or iCal)
- The Stanley A. Milner Library, as an example of an EPL branch page that shows you its location on a map, upcoming events (which you can subscribe to using RSS or iCal), recent related tweets, and recent @EPLdotCA tweets
The EPL has had event listings on its website for a long time now, and while they are quite detailed, they aren’t necessarily the easiest to find or browse. The ability to subscribe to events is also somewhat limited – you can choose the next 2 weeks of all EPL events via RSS, or events at your branch via email. Still, the EPL is ahead of most organizations in that they’ve been able to aggregate all events into a single place.
Shortly after ShareEdmonton launched, Peter Schoenberg, Director of eServices at EPL, got in touch with me to see if we could work together. I explained the idea behind ShareEdmonton, and he outlined some of the digital initiatives the EPL is undertaking. We identified a couple of actions. The first was for EPL to get started with Open Data, by releasing a data file of library locations. The second was for ShareEdmonton to import those locations and all the events taking place at them.
Importing events required a little bit of custom work on both ends – thanks to Peter and his team for working so efficiently and for their patience! Having the EPL events in ShareEdmonton helps us both. For the EPL, it helps users find out about their local libraries, and exposes EPL events to a different and potentially wider audience. It also makes it possible for users to subscribe to events in Outlook, Google Calendar, or any other calendar application supporting iCal. For ShareEdmonton, it’s another important step toward becoming Edmonton’s de facto calendar.