Java and Libraries

Digital and Otherwise

Paul Jones
UNC's MetaLab
University of North Carolina

D-Lib Magazine, March 1997

ISSN 1082-9873


The Java programming language has some special implications for library technologies including but not limited to: software distribution, off-line searching and data manipulation, maintenance reduction, sophisticated database interaction and user interface design. Java-related technologies, such as Castanet, offer a convenient way for libraries to push information to information seekers, anticipating their needs based on their own professed interest areas. This paper will very briefly introduce Java and then show how the distributed object-oriented language might be used to address current and developing library applications. This paper does not address the question of whether libraries should emulate the partnership of Barnes & Noble and Starbucks, but that omission should not be construed as a vote again such partnerships. 

What is Java?

Clients--more than CGI, more than WWW

Servers--more flexible servers, more interoperability

Databases--better interfaces, better access

Off-line too!

Pushing with Java and with Castanet

What's the downside?

A conclusion

Further readings

JavaSoft home page - Home to all official Sun Java announcements and documentation 

JavaWorld Magazine - Strictly Java and all on-line with good technical articles and examples 

Java-related newsgroups

  • - promoters and detractors of Java
  • - new products, new sites, conferences announced here
  • - questions, answers and discussions about the Application Programming Interface
  • - general programming discussion
  • -discussion about security and Java here
  • - discussions agetting set up with the Java Developers' Kit, JDBC, etc
  • - more technical
  • - everything else to do with Java
  • Cafe Au Lait - Continuously updated Java FAQ (not by SUN) 

    Java Tutorial - Very useful online version of the popular book (the book is a good buy too). 

    Just Java by Peter van der Linden - recommended to me by an employee who told me later that "this is a good book for not-so-serious programmers like you managers"; it is a good book despite his quip. 

    Java in a Nutshell - from the ever popular O'Reilly Nutshell series. A good reference but be ready to read and write code. 

    Java Programming for the Internet - Applet-oriented programming (I know the authors but I receommend the book anyway). 

    Copyright © 1997 Paul Jones

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