Tuesday, October 28, 2008

virtual book shelves

Library Thing, Good Reads, Visual Bookshelf.... I've had accounts with all three. I really appreciated Daniela's comparison of Visual Bookshelf vs. Library Thing as it pretty accurately described my experiences as well. I currently only update my visual bookshelf, and even that not as frequently as I should (at least this post got me to update it again). I have more friends using it than any other tool. GoodReads keeps sending me updates of what my one friend who uses it is doing, so I frequently feel guilty about not participating, but I just can't take the time to maintain my bookshelf in more than two places (the first being my physical bookshelf of course).

One issue I have is I start a lot of books, but some I have to return to the library before I get a chance to finish them, others I own but keep getting interrupted by other books that I need to read before I have to return them, and these books end up stranded in my "currently reading" list. If I don't intend to finish them I'll take them off, but its a good place to remind me what I want to return to. If only there were somewhere else to put them. I also wish Visual Bookshelf had a tagging component. However, its still very easy to use, and I especially like how I can easily keep track of books I come across that I want to read - if only that list wasn't so dauntingly large! Recently, Visual Bookshelf launched a site external to Facebook that also provides a cool portal into this app. Here's my home page on that site.

I really like how Danbury has integrated Library Thing into their site. I'm impressed they were able to do this on top of Innovative's OPAC. I only wish it was a tighter integration. At first I didn't see LT anywhere, it was only when I got down to an individual title that LT's contributions became apparent. I only wish that after navigating the tab cloud and finding another title the link to the title was a little more intelligent, and that the pop-up window would stick around so I could go back if I wanted to. I actually found the browisng behavior to get quite odd when I clicked on links from LT - if I followed a link and then tried to go back I went back two steps, not the one step I wanted. I wish Innovative would do something more like this in combination with their attempt at integrating social web technology with their new ratings system (viewable on the Minuteman OPAC). I'm also a fan of the aqua browser (here's a link to its application by Queen's Library in New York). I like the neural network of related search terms.... if only a tag cloud could be intpreted this way....

Here's a link to a spooky book you may want to read this weekend, courtesy of Library Thing (Visual Bookshelf is only rarely how I find books, its more how I keep track of my own, I like the recommendations, but more so I like seeing what friends are reading and being able to remember what I've read).

To entice you (because I wouldn't have picked it up just by the cover) I pasted the poublisher description and the LT tag cloud at the end of this post. Hope you have a great halloween!

Wow - I love searching through Library Thing - I may have to go back to using it again!

TAKEN, by Edward Bloor: BY 2035 THE RICH have gotten richer, the poor have gotten poorer, and kidnapping has become a major growth industry in the United States. The children of privilege live in secure, gated communities and are escorted to and from school by armed guards.

But the security around Charity Meyers has broken down. On New Year's morning, she wakes and finds herself alone, strapped to a stretcher, in an ambulance that's not moving. She is amazingly calm - kids in her neighborhood have been well trained in kidnapping protocol. If this were a normal kidnapping, Charity would be fine. But as the hours of her imprisonment tick by, Charity realizes there is nothing normal about what's going on here. No training could prepare her for what her kidnappers really want . . . and worse, for who they turn out to be.

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