Cites & Bytes @ Bailey

a library newsletter, a compendium of interesting tidbits, a communication tool....from Bailey Library @ Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. (Site Feed)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

So Nice to Share...

Social networking, as I'm sure you are aware, is all about sharing. Sites like Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, and MySpace are most popular, but some relative newcomers like Shelfari (recently pointed out by Library Director Phil Tramdack) are also making an impact. Library Thing has been described as Facebook for books, as it not only allows users to catalog/tag their own books but also connects those with similar reading interests. OCLC recently reported that 57% of social network site users have shared photos or video, 39% have shared books and reviews, and 14% have self-published. Online book clubs are growing by leaps and bounds... and we are not just talking Oprah, but Barnes and Noble, numerous blogs, public libraries, and reader's circles. I think this quote succintly captures this interesting era in internet use... "The internet's readers are becoming its authors. "

In terms of recommending and sharing books, our social networks (on- and off- line) have always been our first resort. My point, and I do have one here, is the introduction of reading/sharing in library catalogs. OCLC's WorldCat recently opened up its WorldCat Lists feature... and more than 10,000 lists were created in the first 8 weeks. Check out "Sarah's List of Janet Evanovich Read-Alikes" or one I threw together as an experiment, "Genealogy Online." Imagine the possibilities... like amazon's Listmania, which I find very useful, the library catalog could contain a myriad of recommendations. Professor Wagstaff's List of Resources, 10 Essential Works of Post-Modern Criticism, Tiffany's Best Bets for Persuasive Speeches, My Favorite Spring Break Reading, etc. For those interested in the more technical side, Disruptive Library Jester has done a great job of categorizing Schemes to Add Functionality to the OPAC. (Noted library commentator Roy Tennant might call this "lipstick on the pig," but think what a little gloss might do for the pig's self-esteem.)


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