Panlibus Blog

Red light for RedLightGreen

I was sad to read the report of the demise of the innovative RedLightGreen, from the OCLC absorbed RLG, which has been providing a book location and citation service since 2003.

An early and obvious casualty of the OCLC RLG ‘combining’ back in July.  The announcement confirms Paul Miller’s prophecy:

What, for example, does this mean for the freely accessible and oft-praised RedLightGreen? Will it disappear from the public web, locked forever inside the subscription-powered monolith that is WorldCat?

As the announcement indicates it could not compete with the features [or soon to be available in 2007 features] of WorldCat.org.

So time, and OCLC move on.  I shall miss it.  Not only because RedLightGreen was the first non-Talis consumer of the Talis Platform (using the Bibliographic Deep Linking API to link users directly in to Library OPACs) but  also as a trail-blazer in providing simple but effective web technology to do what users wanted.  To quote RedLightGreen’s own words:

What was once available to major university libraries and research institutions only can now be accessed by all who come to the Web.

In 2003 that was quite an innovative approach, providing a service to be accessed by all.  In many ways it still would be, if it wasn’t closing down.

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