Open Library Rolls Out an “Improved Search Experience”
This past week I’ve been busy rolling out our improved search experience as the default across the site. Here are the previously impossible searches that are now possible!
Find borrowable or readable books in a specific language. Previously, the results wouldn’t guarantee that a borrowable or readable edition of the search result was in the specified language. Now you can! For example, for any fellow readers who are trying to learn German, you can now easily find Borrowable or Readable books in German ! Or… how about Spanish? Japanese? Polish? Take your pick!
Search results now prefer editions matching your language. If you have Open Library’s language set to French and you search for “harry potter”, you will see the French cover and title of Harry Potter first. Try it!
Combinations of edition query fields. Now, queries can filter on edition data as well as work data. All these queries used to be impossible on Open Library:
- Stephen King books available to read in French
- Children’s books available to read in Chinese
- LibriVox audiobooks in German
- Available Graywolf Press books from the 80s
Search results now show the edition that best matches your query. Now, if you search for “one hundred years of solitude”, because your query is in English (regardless of your display language), the English title One Hundred Years of Solitude will be displayed instead of the original Spanish title, Cien años de soledad. Try it! Previously, searching for “one hundred years of solitude” wouldn’t match the correct book at all!
And for any developers out there, these features are also available via the Search API. You just need to add `editions` to the `fields` parameter to get back a new editions subfield with matching edition data.
Direct to Open Library
Direct to Open Library Advanced Search Interface
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.