Tuesday, March 4, 2008

#14: LibraryThing

Minnesota Mystery Authors

What fun! I added a bunch of books to my LibraryThing - all mysteries, since that's the area I maintain at my library, and I like to read them, too. I wasn't surprised that my selections were pretty popular, since they're books that are popular in our public library. The suggestions were fun to check out, and if I didn't work in a library, I'm sure I would have found some new authors. The UnSuggester was kind of fun, but I couldn't think of a practical use for it.

I spent some time with tagging and chose to add a "Minnesota Mystery Authors" tag to one book from each author. With that tag, I could choose to display just those books, which is what appears above. I can see using this on our website to highlight new acquisitions, or as a nice visual for a sign in the stacks. We provide suggested reading lists on our website, and maybe using LibraryThing could add some zip to the way those books display.

I have a lot of brothers and sisters who don't live here in town, and we all read the same kinds of books. LibraryThing would be a nice way to share book information with them. I can see book clubs finding this really useful, too - within their own club and in a broader sense, too.

One thing I've noticed with this Library 2.0 stuff is, if the application website isn't functioning, things don't display well on your own website either. For example, I lost a couple of things from PictureTrail on my blog, when PictureTrail wasn't working well. They reappeared the next day, without me changing anything, so I think it was something on the PictureTrail site. The same thing happened today, when Library Thing was really busy for awhile and the books on my blog weren't displaying. That really pointed out to me how much everything in Library 2.0 is so inter-dependent. It's great when things are working, but there's a potential for wide-ranging problems, when they're not.

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