Getting Started

What is The Library.Link Network?

The Library.Link Network helps people borrow library books near them. We partner with Google, the Internet Archive, and others to help increase the visibility of libraries on the Web. Participants bring people to their catalogs from Google’s Knowledge Graph and the new Google Books. Librarians also create custom lists of books to share anywhere on the Web.

The Library.Link Network is a platform that provides collaborative linked data publishing services. While the Library.Link Network was introduced in 2016, the technology, infrastructure, and partnerships with some libraries and providers have been in place since 2014 helping pave the way. The Library.Link Network now has:

  • +5 billion links between resources

  • 1495+ library systems representing over 3000 locations

  • Libraries in 38 states with 3 Statewide implementations

  • Global participation with libraries in 8 countries live, and more coming on board every week.

What is a resource?

When talking about linked data, a resource is a link.

What is a local graph?

All of the interconnected links created from your MARC data make up a local graph of data. In your graph database there is no hierarchy. A graph consists of resources related to other resources. No resource has any particular importance over another.

What is a link domain?

Your link domain is the dedicated namespace that you use to publish data. We strongly recommend that libraries create a subdomain for this dedicated purpose. This approach inherently ties the links created from your MARC to your library's existing brand on the Web. Here is an example of Dallas Public Library's link domain: http://link.dallaslibrary.org/

Your link domain allows the Web to see the data as coming from you, the library, and not a third party. Here are examples of resources published by Sacramento Public Library:

Your Library.Link Network service provider will give you instructions for setting up a CNAME record for your link domain during the setup process. As a temporary default we can create a link domain for you, using the pattern [libraryname].library.link. For example: http://orchardlake.library.link/. You can switch to your own link domain anytime in the future. We set up redirects so there is no loss in data integrity when you make the switch.

What is Google's Knowledge Graph?

The Knowledge Graph is a knowledge base used by Google and its services to enhance its search engine's results with information gathered from a variety of sources. - Wikipedia

Google displays information from the Knowledge Graph to users through Knowledge Panels. For example, here's a Knowledge Panel for the book Trust Exercise by Susan Choi.

Knowledge Panel for Trust Exercise, a book by Susan Choi

The Library.Link Network connects your library data to Knowledge Panels in the Borrow section. For example, here's the Borrow section for Trust Exercise:

Borrow Section of a Knowledge Panel for Trust Exercise