Goodreads Librarians Group discussion

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Goodreads and Libraries: A Call for Feedback

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message 1: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Brown | 102 comments Mod
Goodreads is considering how best to integrate its content -- its shelves, reviews and ratings -- with library catalogs. We know that many users of the site are also library patrons, and we feel that high-quality reviews from Goodreads would add a lot to the average library's online catalog.

We'd love to get some feedback from the librarians on the site as to which programs they've used, and which ones they think would work well with Goodreads. We're specifically interested in hearing your opinions of NoveList, Chilifresh, LibraryThing for Libraries, or any other add-ons that add value. Have any of you worked with those products before? If so, how much did you like them? Would Goodreads content make them better or do you not see a fit?

Also, what are your favorite OPACs? Symphony, Horizon, OpenLibrary, or others?


message 2: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (booksavvy) | 30 comments As a librarian in Children's Services, we use NoveList at my library quite often when providing reader's advisory. But to be honest, I often use Goodreads in the same capacity: I log on to see what users who have the book a patron liked on their shelves also liked. I also like to browse the shelves/tags to see what users are categorizing titles as (YA and Juvenile fiction in particular, since there is sometimes debate as to where it should be placed in a library).

While we don't use Goodreads in an official capacity, I have found it to be a great tool when providing help to patrons and also to keep track of the NUMEROUS titles that I read before they go on the shelf in my children's department. It's a great tool for librarians to use to keep track of the books we've liked and would recommend.

We use Millennium Circulation and it's WebPac, as well as Encore from Innovative Interfaces in our library branches.

Hopefully, this will get the ball rolling on more replies! I look forward to hearing what fellow librarians and patrons think!


message 3: by Catherine (new)

Catherine (CatherineEilers) | 45 comments We're an academic subject library using Millennium. We also sort of dabble with WorldCat Local (meaning, we have it, but we don't really use it except to link to the new additions list).

We've talked about the possibility of adding reviews to the catalog, but we're not sure it would help patrons. We mostly have non-fiction, which is sold in much smaller numbers, and lots of what we have is out of print. Therefore, the review coverage is likely to be very thin, and where it's present it would still lack the large numbers that crowdsourcing requires for reliability.

When I'm looking for reviews, I usually turn to subscription databases that index them. I want a lengthy, thorough, academic review. Even for just the descriptive cataloging, sources like WorldCat.org and GoodReads are too squishy in their distinctions to be much use to us--we need to be able to figure out questions such as, was the second edition of this book published and then re-published with corrections, or was there just one version of the second edition, which was corrected from the first edition? There are some GoodReads practices, like merging a book with no ISBN with one that does have one, that put my heart in a vice when I think about them with my pro cataloger hat on. A big problem, from our standpoint, with reviews from sources like WorldCat.org and Amazon is that they lump together reviews from multiple editions and versions.

The only real add-on we are using is cover images from LibraryThing, which, because we have a consortial catalog, is more something we went along with rather than something we deliberately chose. It's not a problem, but the vast majority of our holdings have no image available, so we're not really sure it's a help, either.

These aren't complaints about add-ons or about any of these sites, but an observation that because they are sourced from people reading for fun, they don't tend to work as well in academic libraries, especially very focused ones like ours. It would be interesting if someone could figure out a way to do a similar sort of thing more academically.

As a personal user of GoodReads, I use it mostly to keep track of my to-read list, which is for both personal and professional reading. One feature I'd love to see is expanded functionality of the Who Recommended This Book field. I think it's intended function is to link to other readers, but I most often use it to remind myself of the newspaper or blog review I read of it. Being able to link to those would be really, really helpful (or even just note them, if they are not freely available online). I'd love to see this kind of information in a catalog record.


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim | 4 comments Catherine, the San Francisco Chron still has a sunday book review section, do you mean adding a note to the books saying (frinstance) Goodnight Moon, reviewed SF Chron Jan 1 1943? i think that would be great, just having a list of professional reviews as well as something like the goodreads or amazon reviews would be helpful


message 5: by Catherine (last edited Jul 30, 2010 06:40AM) (new)

Catherine (CatherineEilers) | 45 comments Jim wrote: "Catherine, the San Francisco Chron still has a sunday book review section, do you mean adding a note to the books saying (frinstance) Goodnight Moon, reviewed SF Chron Jan 1 1943?

Yes, that's just the sort of thing I'm thinking of.

In libraries, information on which services indexed a particular periodical used to be included in the catalog record, but that practice was stopped because it was impossible to maintain and other sources provided it better.

I think GoodReads would have a similar problem if it ever tried to be systematic about it (there are entire databases that simply track reviews and citations, and even they are not comprehensive), but still, I do like to have notes about why I added something to my reading list, and the reason is rarely that it was directly recommended to me by a person. I read a review, or the book was cited in another source, or it was mentioned on a listserv, or it was for a book club, or some other reason. It might be nice to be able to enter some of that info in a format that would make it more useful to others.


message 6: by MissJessie (new)

MissJessie | 847 comments I use the Private Notes section on the personal Review page to indicate where I bought the book if it important to me, or who recommended it, including sources such as New York Times or whatever. Even a one liner about why it interested me.


message 7: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (seeford) | 578 comments Patrick, I'm not a librarian, but find the concept fascinating - I'd love to see GR reviews when I'm looking at a book in my library system, so I hope this works out.

Just wanted to suggest that you cross-post this query in the Feedback group, as many folks may be librarians IRL, but not have signed up to be librarians here on GR.

I'd like to link to this post in some of my groups to hopefully drive more librarian commenters here as well, but if they aren't GR librarians they can't comment...but everyone can join the Feedback group (wheedle, wheedle) = )


message 8: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (last edited Jul 30, 2010 01:00PM) (new)

rivka | 26114 comments Mod
Carolyn wrote: "but if they aren't GR librarians they can't comment"

Not true! The Librarians Group is open to ALL members of Goodreads, and we have many group members who post regularly but are not GR librarians.


message 9: by Dori (new)

Dori (adorible) | 198 comments Carolyn wrote: "I'd like to link to this post in some of my groups to hopefully drive more librarian commenters here as well, but if they aren't GR librarians they can't comment"

Actually, anyone can join the Librarian's Group as well.


message 10: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (seeford) | 578 comments Sorry, my mistake - I thought that you had to be a member of a group to post in it, and that you needed to be a GR librarian to post in the Librarian's group.

Mea culpa!


message 11: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 26114 comments Mod
Carolyn wrote: "I thought that you had to be a member of a group to post in it"

This part is true. But we definitely encourage all GR members who want librarian assistance to post here. :)


message 12: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 575 comments There is no way to choose which edition of a book gets featured - it's strictly by popularity. In addition, older versions of books aren't deleted, even if the books are out of print.

Here's information about joining the GRs author program: http://www.goodreads.com/author/program


message 13: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 575 comments We keep out of print books in our database because many individuals like to "shelve" the version of a book they actually read or currently own, whether or not it's still in print. Sometimes people are attached to a certain cover image. Sometimes there is an introduction, or illustrations, that make one version of a book "unique" compared to another version.

Basically, we're attempting to catalog all books, more like a library than a bookstore.

As for putting books on your profile, you have to be a Goodreads author to do that. You can follow the link I gave you, or contact GRs directly ( support @ goodreads.com ), or wait for Rivka to check this thread. Only staff members can make that particular change.


message 14: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 26114 comments Mod
Actually, we generally ask authors to click the link on the author page and follow the directions there. Works better with the increased logging we added.


message 15: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 575 comments rivka wrote: "Actually, we generally ask authors to click the link on the author page and follow the directions there. Works better with the increased logging we added."

Good to know. Thanks, Rivka.


message 16: by Trenice (new)

Trenice I am so sorry to post my question here, but I would like to know how long does it take to add my "kindle version" ISBN# B003Y3BPX6 to my profile?
Thank you for your assistance.
Trenice Carter


message 17: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 26114 comments Mod
Trenice, it's generally best to start a new topic rather than posting on an unrelated one. All nine shelvings (including the single rating) of that book are on the other edition. So that makes it the more popular one, which means it's the one that shows up on your profile. The Kindle version is visible under "other editions" on the book's page.


message 18: by Trenice (last edited Aug 22, 2010 08:41AM) (new)

Trenice rivka wrote: "Trenice, it's generally best to start a new topic rather than posting on an unrelated one. All nine shelvings (including the single rating) of that book are on the other edition. So that makes it t..."

Thank you for responding, Rivka. I apologize for posting here, but I didn't know where to do it because all the other threads did not addresss my concern. I was not aware that you were supposed to create a new thread.
Have a great day :)

Trenice Carter


message 19: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 2369 comments Trenice wrote: "I was not aware that you were supposed to create a new thread."

Trenice,

Yes, if you're at the group page you'll see

topics: all | new | unread

You just click on new and key in your message post into the box. You'll also see a drop down menu with all the folder available and you should select the folder that best fits your message post.

You'll find your way around. It sometimes takes a bit of time.


message 20: by Mike (last edited Sep 24, 2010 01:50PM) (new)

Mike Puma (Puma52) | 4 comments I apologize for posting my question here; I suspect there's a better spot, but I'm unable to find it. Hopefully, you'll forgive my intrusion in this topic and answer my question or redirect me. Thanks in adavance.

I see that one must apply to become a Goodreads librarian; what I don't find is some indication of to whom one applies. I've been a library cataloger for years (as well as holding numerous positions with book distribution companies) so I'm very familiar with bibliographic information and the need for correct bibliographic information. Two things that have been leaping out at me recently are incorrect pagination (after searching by ISBN) and multiple versions of authors' names (esp. when those names include diacritical marks). I'd like to help with those and other issues where I can. Please advise.


message 21: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 575 comments You can get to the "apply" page from here:

http://www.goodreads.com/help#what_is...

Note that most Goodreads librarians aren't actual librarians. We're just volunteers helping to keep the database accurate.

The librarian manual is here:

http://www.goodreads.com/help/librarian


message 22: by Mike (new)

Mike Puma (Puma52) | 4 comments Thanks, Rebecca. I'm not a librarian either, although I have library experience. Instead, I'm just impressed with this site and willing to do what I can to make it even better.


message 23: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 26114 comments Mod
This thread's original purpose has passed. I'm locking it.


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