Find a New Book with These Library-Created Tools
Libraries are creating lots of interesting and exciting options for their patrons with the proliferation of mobile technology. Many librarians are interested in finding ways to help patrons find new books while they are on the go and generally encouraging people to read. These tools allow typical readers’ advisory activities to extend beyond the walls of the library. Two new tools in this area are excellent examples of these sorts of tools.
The YALSA Teen Book Finder, developed by the Young Adult Library Services Association of ALA with funding from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, helps readers select young adult books or media from those that have been honored by YALSA over the past three years. The app opens on Today’s Hot Picks, which is a list of three suggestions that rotates daily. From here, users can search by title, author, genre, year, award or booklist. Once users click on an item they will see a description and, once they have selected an item, add them to a list of favorites to be read later. Users can also share books found with the app on Facebook or Twitter with a single click. And, if they are interested in reading the book right away, the Find It feature shows a map of all libraries in the surrounding area that hold the book. I found the app very easy to use and I liked the way that it made it easy to find books at a local library with a single click. The app is currently available for iOS devices and an Android version is due later this year.
Another readers’ advisory option for those who are interested in other genres of books is Gimme from the Scottsdale Public Library. On this website, readers can pick a theme from a drop down menu that includes options like “Gimme a clue”, “Gimme some enlightenment”, “Gimme a laser gun” and “Gimme a laugh”, to name just a few. Once you pick your theme and click go, Gimme recommends a book, complete with a description and a review of the book by a Scottsdale Library staff person, which is pulled from the library’s Goodreads account. From the recommendation page, users can reserve the book at the Scottsdale Public Library with a single click or get another recommendation in the same genre by clicking “Gimme Another”. If you like the recommendation, you can also share it on Twitter or Facebook. Best of all, the app is fully responsive, so it resizes and reformats for any screen size or device, meaning users can easily use it on the go or at their desk. This app is a great way to get a quick suggestion for your next read and is a lot of fun to play around with. Both of these readers’ advisory tools show the exciting possibilities available to libraries that develop online tools.