Friday, November 23, 2007

Library Thing Comes to the Library

If you've been looking at our online catalog recently, you may have noticed that there are some new items displayed with the title information. The GMILCS libraries have recently added a product called Library Thing for Libraries, which is a library version of Library Thing (more about that below) that adds some enhancements to our catalog.

One of those enhancements is a "tag cloud" that looks like this:
Afghanistan betrayal contemporary fiction drama friendship historical fiction islam Kabul kites literary fiction literature middle east redemption Taliban war
This happens to be the tag cloud for The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, a very popular novel for the past year. The tag cloud is a collection of keywords related to this title, like traditional Library of Congress subject headings, but more general or specific. The size of the type face indicates the the number of times that readers have suggested that tag (more about that later, too.) You can click on any tag and get a list of related books owned by the GMILCS libraries, and clicking on any of these titles will take you to the GMILCS catalog to see which libraries own it.

The other enhancement you'll see is a list of Similar Books. Clicking on any of these titles will, again, take you to the GMILCS catalog to see the owning libraries. Please note that, at this time, it is not possible to reserve titles through the GMILCS catalog, although we expect to see this capability in a few months. For the time being, you will need to return to our own catalog to place an online reservation for our titles. You can request copies of things other libraries own through the Reference Desk as an interlibrary loan. You are welcomed to call us for assistance.

These enhancements will help you answer the question "What do I read next?" when you've enjoyed a book and would like to read more like it. The content for this catalog feature comes from Library Thing, a social software site where you can create an online catalog of your own books and share your reading interests with others. The tags that members give their books are what you see when you look up a title in our catalog. Wow, isn't this technology amazing!

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