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message 1: by Bricoleur (David) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:03PM) (new)

Bricoleur  (David) Soul (Bricoleur) | 53 comments When shelving a book I prefer to use an underscore (e.g. "quality_control") rather than run two words together.

When I use the "edit> add to shelf drop down," the entry will show up as two words in the drop-down box (i.e. "quality control") but everywhere else (my bookshelves, popular bookshelves on book pages, etc.) the term will show up with the _ in place.

Is it possible to make the drop down behavior universal ... I think that showing spaces in shelf name in this manner could eventually lead to more uniform naming across the spectrum of users (eg. "science fiction" would gradually ease out scifi, sciencefiction, science-fiction et al.)

message 2: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:04PM) (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
Hi David,

Thanks for pointing that out! You are right we should probably be more consistent, so we removed the search-replace for "_" to " " on the shelf names in the dropdown.

There is no way to make behavior truly universal, so we intend to someday allow librarians to combine shelves much as they do for book editions. This way it wouldn't matter whether someone wrote 'scifi' or 'science_fiction' or 'sciencefiction'.

message 3: by Bricoleur (David) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:04PM) (new)

Bricoleur  (David) Soul (Bricoleur) | 53 comments !!!!
I think that is exactly the wrong way to go! [I wouldn't have asked if I thought it would result in removing the 'better' existing functionality ;) ]

You should be encouraging spaces not discouraging them in my opinion. Many of the volumes in my library are nonfiction and I like to use the library of congress subject headings for shelving purposes. In many cases these are two or three word sets and become increasingly hard to read as the combined sequence of letters grows... The "_" helps but showing it as a " " everywhere would be a much better solution. (It would also help if "," "(" and ")" were allowed in shelf names for this usage)

If you are unwilling to proceed in the direction of my first suggestion, will you please consider allowing embedded spaces when shelf names are input inside quotes (e.g. "quality control" would show as quality control )?

wrt to combining shelf names, I am a little concerned lest it be applied over-zealously... the example with scifi/science fiction is an easy case and probably will be an excellent solution; but some other ones that are more subtle could "lose something in translation" (again I'm most concerned in the case of non-fiction than I am in the case of fiction.

message 4: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:05PM) (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
I understand where you are coming from. However what we changed was not allowing spaces, it was just how we displayed them. Our shelf names are all alphanumeric, which means they only contain A-Za-z0-9-_ and no spaces, punctuation, etc. There are a variety of reasons to do this, the main one being it makes for nice web urls ( This is also a fairly common practice for tags, as far as I know. If many people feel as you do however, we will revisit it - so thanks for feedback!

Also, we'll definitely take your concern into account when we get around to building shelf combining.

message 5: by rivka, librarian moderator (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:05PM) (new)

rivka | 12269 comments Mod
I vote for allowing spaces. Hey, the titles can be over 8 characters, so I figure they should allow spaces too.

message 6: by Bree (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:05PM) (new)

Bree (coffeebeanbookshelf) | 124 comments I would like spaces as well...

Tagging depends on the site...I've seen some (like Kaboodle) that tags are separated by comma (ie I could tag like: quality control, science fiction, whatever ...and it the tags would actually be what's between the commas). Other sites though, it's the individual words.

I find the spaces nicer, personally. But I don't have any real gripe about having to shelve with a - between words, I just think that spaces would be nicer.

Would there be a way to allow us to use spaces on our shelves, but when it translates to a url, it inserts "-" for spaces? Similar to how a blog would do it?

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