Innovative Users Explore Patron “Wrapped” Summaries and Appless Checkouts in 2024 IUG Hackathon


Innovative, part of Clarivate™, celebrated the IUG 2024 Hackathon by awarding ”Best of Show” to Scott Murray of the Saskatchewan Information and Library Services Consortium (SILS) for his hackathon project, “Spotify ‘Wrapped’ but for your patrons” – an end-of-year summary for library patrons showing their checkouts that year, most popular genres and categories, and most unique items. This summary would be similar to the annual ‘Wrapped’ report that Spotfiy creates for listeners and the GoodReads “My Year in Books” page. 

The IUG Hackathon, sponsored by Innovative, was part of the pre-conference activities at the IUG 2024 annual conference. A total of 11 participants worked across four projects to use Sierra and Polaris APIs for homegrown development projects. A panel of three judges, Yariv Kursh, General Manager of Innovative, Wes Osborn, IUG 2024 Chair, and Jeff Campbell, IUG 2024 Co-chair, reviewed each project for design, functionality, and ease of use. 

“I was honored to serve as a judge and I was inspired by the creative thinking demonstrated by each team,” said Kursh. “The fact that participants were able to create tools to serve the real needs of their libraries in such a short amount of time was an incredible accomplishment.” 

Each team presented their project and progress updates to the crowd and the panel of judges on Monday night, the day after the Hackathon. The winner received an official trophy and many oohs and ahs from the crowd. In addition, Innovative donated $2,500 to the Innovative Users Group scholarship fund to expand access to next year’s IUG annual conference and Hackathon. 

Honorable mention was given to the Hackathon project “Appless Checkouts – It’s a big deal,” which focused on making the most out of a library’s investment in RFID tags to empower patrons to handle self-checkout without the need to download any specific app. Patrons would be able to check out materials using the web browser on their mobile device. After logging in with their library card information, they would either use the camera to read item barcodes, or patrons with Android phones could scan the barcode from an RFID tag. After a successful checkout, the due date for the items would display in the browser.  

The other hackathon projects also received great feedback from the judges and the crowd: 

The “Detect Changes to Sierra Code Tables” team created a report to run regularly and detect any changes to the Sierra code tables and then automatically notify users if any new codes have been added or changed. This could work for location codes, material types, item types, statistic groups, patron types, and loan rules. 

The “IMDB ‘Lunk’” project – with an accidental turned intentional misspelling of ‘link’ – sought to add a link out to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) in the online catalog for DVDs. Making creative use of easy-to-access resources, the project team worked with the Open Movie Database (OMDB) APIs, which include IMDB codes. The team shared a working demo and ideas for their next version of the integration. 

The hackathon project summary presentations are available on the Innovative Users Group member website: . 

Innovative has over 40 years of experience providing advanced technology solutions and services that empower libraries and enrich their users worldwide. With more than 2,400 library systems installed in 9,500 libraries around the world, Innovative is dedicated to serving libraries of all types across their unique needs. To learn more about Innovative solutions for your library, visit