Sunday, October 28, 2007

Library Thing (LT) is a social library catalog. You post your books and link to other community members who have similar interests. I have been using Library Thing for my personal reading for some time (these are of course NOT...ummm... romance novels...and if they are they are certainly not the kind that involve pirates, highlanders, etc.) and including them on another blog I host (also NOT about romance novels ~.o). I recently thought, how could I use this at my Library?

Library Thing for Libraries
is where I would first point you. This seems like a terrific development that I will be keeping an eye on. Library Thing for Libraries integrates LT into the catalog and will soon feature ratings and comments - a MUST HAVE ASAP for library catalogs in my opinion. Library catalogs are lagging way behind current web 2.0 technology (with some great exceptions). Since I am part of a huge union catalog I have passed this on the people "in the know" for our catalog (SirsiDynix). I still wanted to find a way to include Library Thing in some way on our webpage NOW.

I am including the Library Thing widget on our page with 8 new entries in our LT catalog. This is an extra step for our catalogers, but not too cumbersome because the search is very easy via amazon or Library of Congres via title, author, ISBN, LC card number, etc. We have found some books that we order (being a highly technical science library) that are not able to be added to our LT catalog but our purpose was not be exhaustive so we don't mind! This is how our widget looks embeded on the page:

This adds a nice visual element to our page and is a fun way to inform patrons of new items. Contrary to popular (?) belief, books are far from dead. Our books have waiting lists. We have spruced up this widget with roll-overs of Amazon.com information using SnapShots which I'll talk about in my next post.


BOTTOM LINE


Pros: visual element; promotes new books
Cons: I would like to be able to change the 'my library' in the widget to "Recent books at [NAME OF LIBRARY] " or any other customization. This might be possible, anyone heard of ways to customize this further? Other arguments ("but we are pointing them to amazon instead of our catalog") do not bother me due to my personal library philosophy (coming soon).

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posted by Paige Lucas-Stannard at 12:18 PM | 0 comments
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