Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thing 13


So it turns out that I actually have a LibraryThing account -- I joined when a fellow SLIS student talked me into it during class one day, but it doesn't appear that I've used it since. Like so many sites that sound fun and useful at first glance (or after hearing someone talk about them), I signed up and then promptly forgot about it. This is unfortunate, as the site has so much to offer! I do think it's a very useful site for libraries, librarians and readers in general.

For personal use, if someone is a voracious reader (sadly, I am not as of late with the stress and time-consuming nature of grad school), then using LibraryThing for personal use would be great. It's a neat way to see what others are reading and to find others who are reading/have read the same books, to find book reviews, or to find similar books or users with similar tastes. How many times have you just stumbled upon something cool like a news story, a new website, a great recipe or a nifty consumer product because you've seen it linked or mentioned on someone else's webpage, blog, etc.? Why should books be any different? If I click on one of my bookshelf books (The Shadow of the Wind, for instance), I can see other users who have that book on their shelves. And then I can click on one of those users and view their info & bookshelf and perhaps find another great book to read! Is it obvious that I really do love the idea of LibraryThing and all that it has to offer? Because I really do! :)

The LibraryThing widget is an awesome tool for a library's blog! I love the idea of being able to "display" books on a virtual shelf where readers can see the covers. It would be a fantastic way to highlight the library's new books or monthly or special book displays via the blog or just to show books that have recently been read or reviewed. There are so many great ways to use the widget, and I think libraries should really take advantage of this useful tool. The libraries that are incorporating teen reviews into their LibraryThing pages is another great way to get readers and library patrons involved with library and materials marketing. Also cool is the LibraryThing Local, which is a great way to refer patrons to literary events going on locally. What a truly great resource for libraries to provide to their patrons -- and all at no charge to the library (provided they are happy with a free, limited LT account)!

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