The Catalog Availability Service returns current item availability information for a given ISBN in the NCSU Libraries catalog. If the ISBN is unknown, or is not currently available for checkout or use, the service uses OCLC's xISBN service to look for a related catalog item that is currently available.

This service is designed to be consumed by global catalogs such as, as a catalog localization service to help NC State users locate available copies of library resources of interest. The model we propose here could be adopted and deployed at other institutions capable of implementing a similar lightweight web services interface to their library catalog.


  • REST Web API to retrieve item availability stored in NCSU Endeca catalog index (learn more)
  • XML format for describing catalog item availability status (see example)
  • AJAX code for consuming catalog availabilty web service (see prototype)


  • Web service requires only ISBN as input to retrieve availability information
  • If primary ISBN lookup returns no availability, we retry using related ISBNs using OCLC's xISBN service
  • Request returns total number of copies available/unavailable, library locations, and a catalog link for more information