Anonymous Monk has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I have been tasked with organizing and managing a small church library. To that end I have installed openbiblio, a PHP based library management and tracking program. My question is twofold:

1. The program accepts batch upload only of MARC format data. I have a list of ISBNs. I am looking for a preexisting solution that will get retrieve MARC format data when supplied with ISBN's. I feel sure this must have already been done in Perl at some point and the MARC/PL project seems to indicate that as well. I have searched CPAN in the MARC namespace, but didn't find anything that seemed likely. As a far second best I'd be interested in any preexisting solution that will retrieve a fair amount of publication info including title,author,publisher and subject at a minimum.

2. I am much more familiar with Perl than PHP. Does anyone know of an alternative to openbiblio based on Perl rather than PHP?


Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Automated MARC data retrieval
by secret (Beadle) on Dec 14, 2005 at 08:09 UTC

    If i remember corectly KOHA is a library management tool with MARC files support and a impressive list of features, and written in Perl !

    Project homepage is at and there's a website at


    Update: Regarding kulls post (just above mine ;) i can confirm koha is Perl only since that's how i heard about it in the first place .

Re: Automated MARC data retrieval
by PodMaster (Abbot) on Dec 14, 2005 at 08:03 UTC
Re: Automated MARC data retrieval
by kulls (Hermit) on Dec 14, 2005 at 08:05 UTC
    I found it in Net, koha somewhat similar to openbiblio and it's written in perl i guess.
Re: Automated MARC data retrieval
by jhourcle (Prior) on Dec 14, 2005 at 12:19 UTC

    You can find a large list of open-source library related programs at

    (surprisingly for a bunch of library folks, they're organized alphabetically, rather than by purpose, or language, or any other sorts of faceting)

Re: Automated MARC data retrieval
by emilper (Novice) on Dec 14, 2005 at 12:20 UTC
    finding MARC data: Net::Z3950 might help

    databases you might search with NET::Z3950
    get a list from here

    finding book data: Net::Amazon might help

    I do recoment Koha ( : last time I checked it was written in Perl, used HTML::Template, could import MARC records, and, most important, it was used in real life ... the only drawback was that it was overkill for the research library I worked for ...