Friday, March 14, 2008

Web-based Bookshelves

We've been teaching an in-house training class on web-based bookshelves, also known as online social networks for bibliophiles. Below is the information provided on our class handout.


Web-based Bookshelves:
How to track, rate and share your books online
“But it takes only one—one book that reaches inside you and shifts things
around, expands your sense of who you are, and opens up that little conduit of
magic. Once you find it, once you’ve felt that tidal pull, that danger, you’ll
be a reader for the rest of your life.” – Anthony Doerr
“It’s a social need. We want books everybody is reading (and nobody finishes) so
we can talk about them.” – Ursula K. Le Guin

What is a web-based bookshelf?

  • Bibliographic database for cataloging and organizing book collections
  • Housed on the internet (not downloaded to your PC/Mac)
  • Web 2.0 – features social networking, portability, and sharing
  • Integrates with other internet sites and applications – links to libraries, Amazon, blogs, RSS feeds, etc.

How do web bookshelves fit into Library 2.0?

  • L2 is about adapting Web 2.0 principles to evolve the library environment
  • 23 Things from the Learning 2.0 project (Helene Bowers, Public Services Technology Director for the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County) – - LibraryThing is #11.

Key features (*standard to most applications)

  • Your library*
  • Searchable database*
  • Ratings*
  • Reviews/Comments*
  • Tagging*
  • Communication from/to the community (newsletters, email, RSS)
  • Recommendations
  • Groups
  • Swapping/Loaning
  • Original Cataloging
  • Series (FRBR concepts)

Setting Up an Account

  • User Names
  • Terms Of Agreement (TOAs)
  • Profiles
  • Settings
  • Build your collection and have FUN!!
  • Ideas for personal use
  • Catalog your stuff
  • Wish Lists
  • Track reading
  • Track lending
  • Share with family & friends
  • Catalog for family

Ideas for professional use

  • Staff favorites
  • Branch book groups
  • Reader’s advisory
  • What are you reading?
  • CDO wish list
  • Bibliographies
  • Bookmarks
  • Storytime Reading Lists
  • Widgets for blogs, etc.
  • Scope out reading trends and unique titles
  • Get input from the community
  • LibraryThing for Libraries
  • Let your imagination run wild!!!

Issues and considerations

  • Cost
  • Commercialization
  • Privacy / Security
  • Read the TOA
  • Anonymity
  • Accessible through DPL filters?
  • Levels of public sharing
  • Minimum social requirement
  • Transferability (import/export, reporting)
  • Reliability and reputation

Variations on a theme (just a sampling)

Social bookmarking – del.icio.us
Professional social networking –
DPL book review links –
Book swapping/sharing –
Virtual book clubs –
Library book tracking –
eBook downloads –
Book blogs –
Open Library – new open community catalog competitor to OCLC

Reading about Reading


Let us know what you think, or if there is anything we should add.

Also, here's some other press about web-based bookshelves:
NPR article overview

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