1.2.4 • Public • Published

Public library catalogues Node.JS Library

A Node JS library for searching UK public library catalogues. This was designed to be used in other projects that need to search multiple library catalogues.


In the UK there are about 200 public library services, each with their own Library Management System, and associated Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) - aside from some that share systems.

Despite so many, there are relatively few types of library systems, and fewer suppliers. This project aims to define the interactions with each type of web catalogue in order to automate common processes. Such as searching for a book.

This will provide data aggregation opportunities such as being able to query the whole UK for the availability of a particular book. Or it could provide functionality to manage a user's account across all their library accounts, such as automating book renewals.

Library service Data

A list of UK public library authorities is included in the data.json file. This has the library authority name and the type of library service, along with specific data required to search that service e.g. the web URL.

It includes the GSS code for each authority. This allows it to be combined with other datasets that may be published elsewhere.

For example:

Name Code Type URL
Aberdeen City S12000033 spydus


The project uses Node Package Manager (NPM) for package management. On downloading a copy of the project the required dependencies should be installed. Assuming Node is already installed, to build:

npm install


Run these using Jest. For each library service, five ISBNs are defined in tests.json. The tests require only one ISBN lookup to be successful (since books can drop out of circulation and we don't want automated tests to fail frequently for non-functional reasons).


The project implements the following methods

Method Description
Services Returns stored data about library services (authorities).
Libraries Returns branch/location information, taken from the online catalogue.
Availability Returns availability of a particular book.


Returns selected contents of the data.json file for each service. This can be useful if a developer wished to create an interface that listed the library authorities in a filter.

Method Description
.services(serviceFilter) Returns a list of library authorities. The service filter filters by name or code and is optional.


Returns a list of the library service points in each library service. This may include mobile libraries, and different locations within individual buildings.

Method Description
.libraries(serviceFilter) Returns a list of libraries for each service. The service filter filters by name or code and is optional.


Returns data showing the number of available/unavailable copies of the relevant title in each library service point, for each library service.

Method Description
.availability(isbn, serviceFilter) Retrieves availability of a particular title by passing in ISBN. The service filter filters by name or code and is optional.


Original code licensed with MIT Licence.




npm i catalogues-library

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  • librarieshacked