Blair Conrad

Meet LibraryHippo

I enjoy reading and using my local libraries. My wife and I have four library cards between us - one each for the Waterloo Public Library, one for the Kitchener Public Library, and one for the Region of Waterloo Library. Using our cards, we were able to find all kinds of books to read and DVDs to watch, but organizing our borrowing was a little annoying, since:

  • we had to log into four different library accounts to get an overview of our current borrowings and holds,
  • each account had a long, hard-to-remember ID, and
  • the library would send e-mail when items were overdue, not in time to take them back.

I'd been using Library Elf to manage our cards, but they'd recently moved to a for-pay model, so I combined a sense of frugality with the desire to build something using a new technology and created LibraryHippo, a Google App Engine-powered web application that takes care of my library cards.

LibraryHippo logo

LibraryHippo:

  • manages multiple cards per family
  • shows a comprehensive overview of a family's current library status
  • sends e-mail every morning if
    • a family has items that are nearly due
    • there are items ready to be picked up, or
    • there's a problem checking an account

Feel free to check out the project, hosted on Google Code. A fair number of my future posts will talk about the adventures I've had implementing and improving LibraryHippo.