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Books for DC (aka booksfordc) is an initiative, which aims to make the DC Public Library's resources more accessible and useful by bringing them to the platforms DC residents already use. Drop me a line @evonfriedland if you're interested.

Promotional materials (banners, flyer) in the promo folder to spread the word!


Browser plug-ins

A browser extension that displays library holdings and availability when looking books, ebooks, or audiobooks on Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes & Noble.

Download for ch Chrome or ff Firefox.


Catalog bot

Due to issues with the DCPL's OPAC technology, RSS feeds for its catalog do not syndicate properly. The script in is run hourly on ScraperWiki to generate a Twitter feed of new additions to the DCPL book catalog. Follow with @booksfordc. You can also subscribe to a daily or weekly email digest of new resources using these IFTTT recipes.

Search bot [deprecated]

Twitter users can also use the @booksfordc account to quickly query the library catalog.

To look up a book, send a tweet in the form:

@booksfordc search: book_title book_author

For ebooks, do:

@booksfordc ebook search: book_title book_author

And for an audiobook search, do:

@booksfordc audio search: book_title book_author

The bot will then respond directly to your account saying whether it found a match (or multiple possible matches) and with the search/resource URL. Usually this will only take a minute or two.

In actuality, the bot will accept any mention structured:

@booksfordc resource_type search_init search_terms

Where resource_type is:

  • b, bk, or book for physical books
  • e, ebk, e-bk, ebook, or e-book for electronic books
  • a, abk, a-bk, audio, audiobook, or audio-book for audiobooks

Where search_init is one of:

  • f,f:,s, s:, search, search:, find, or find:

And where search_terms includes either the book title and/or author or the book's ISBN.

An author and title combination search will yield the best results. If you only use one of those, you're more likely to end up with multiple possible matches. If you use the ISBN, you run the risk of an erroneous 'Not found' response, since the DCPL might have a different edition (with different ISBN). If you do use ISBN, it should be ISBN-13 and not ISBN-10. The latter will not work.

License and Contributing

This project's code is offered under a GPLv2 license. As stated in CONTRIBUTING:

By contributing to this repo, you agree to license your work under the same license.


Digital tools for DC Public Library-goers







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