Wouldn’t it be cool if….

November 1, 2006 at 4:02 pm 2 comments

Much talk on some of the library lists and blogs I read about personalized recommendation services, and about the tension between patrons who want to preserve their borrowing history and libraries who need to protect patron confidentiality.

So wouldn’t it be cool to put the tools in the hands of patrons to manage their own borrowing history? LibraryThing provides recommendations based on the books you include in your library, and allows you to add books to your library by importing files with embedded ISBNs. So adding ISBNs to the “My account” information in the catalogue would be a simple way to enable that. It’s probably do-able, but it would clutter up the display for everyone else, and the point of it wouldn’t be clear to most users.

It would be even cooler if the library catalogue allowed you to export your current “My Account” information. Especially if you could use that export capability to populate LibraryThing and Zotero or Refworks or whatever other citation manager you use.

It would be even cooler if — at the time of chargeout — the system would automatically e-mail you a “receipt” with enough information about your items to allow import.

It might be even cooler if clicking on a link to an electronic resource in the catalogue could be treated as a chargeout, and would generate a similar e-mail receipt. But on the other hand, that might just freak people out.


Entry filed under: Libraries, Web.

Web services in Libraries Department of “Thanks for pointing that out!”

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Paul R. Pival  |  November 2, 2006 at 8:48 am

    I haven’t had the time to try Zotero yet, but since it claims to be able to slice bread, shouldn’t it already be able to grab info from the catalogue, including the info in My Account? If not, perhaps some time spent working on a plugin for Zotero would be the focus, though certainly for a small audience…

    re: the receipt, Library Elf knows what I’ve checked out from CPL – perhaps some collaboration with that tool would do the trick?

  • 2. davidtheblog  |  November 2, 2006 at 10:14 am

    Zotero is pretty good at grabbing citation information from our catalogue, though for some reason it misses Corporate Authors, and does not include URLs to fulltext (bummer). Probably some tweaking of labels on our end or label-recognition on their end would fix that.

    However, what about the book you found on the shelf BESIDE the one you looked up in the catalogue? A circulation “receipt” would let you import that into your citation manager also.

    Library Elf. Have to go back and look at that again.

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