I wanted to read more books this year to meet my year's reading challenge. I preferred reading physical books but I didn't want to spend a lot of money on the hobby. Hence, I thought it would be nice if there was a way to borrow books from people in the local community, and maybe interact to share our experiences of reading them.
What it does
Our aim is to build an android app that brings together readers who want to share their books with the local community. Lenders can advertise the books they are willing to lend on the app, and the borrowers can see the ad and get the book from the lender. The app will also have gamification features to increase user engagement with the app and the community.
In this way, it avoids some of the issues of a traditional library. Lenders can still own their books and get to keep their book collection in the long term. Since lenders and borrowers will meeting physically, the app is helping foster friendly relationships in the local community.
How we built it
The app is built on Android Studio with Java as the primary programming language. We are using the Google Books API to get information about the books. We are using Firebase to create and manage our users. We are also storing data about the user and book relationships in the Firebase database.
Challenges we ran into
A major challenge we ran into was scope creep. We initially wanted to include a bunch of more features and wanted to make the app have a bunch better interface. In doing so, we lost sight of our minimum viable product and ended with barely any time to work on the core functionality of the project for the demo.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The hackathon gave us an opportunity to work on a project we are passionate about. Through the process of working in the hackathon, we thought of various ways we can increase the uses cases for the core idea. The ideas we developed here will help us develop the app in the future.
What we learned
Scope management is highly important for the projects especially in the case of the hackathons, where time and resources are limited. It is highly important the scope to clearly defined at the beginning of the project to avoid the team members from being distracted from the core deliverables.
What's next for Open Library
The Open Library was an idea all the team members were highly passionate about. We hope to continue working on the project in our free time after the hackathon is over. Using this hackathon as a learning experience, we should be able to better define the scope of the app and build effectively within a reasonable amount of time.