Session 6 – Beyond Circulation – Tools for Managing your Personal Shelves

Increasingly, users of the Web expect Web services, such as library OPAC services, to accommodate a full range of associated activities. In other words, they don’t want to be limited to the specific transactional functions that a particular Web site may be responsible for. Instead, they want these services to be linkable to broader workflows, encompassing a wider range of their activities. Your bank’s Web site, for example, likely allows you to integrate seamlessly with Quicken or other financial planning tools.

For library users, this means not only better tools for managing books currently on loan, but also for storing and remembering titles that they may wish to borrow “someday” (or even buy), tracking what they are reading, watching and listening to now, as well as keeping track of what they’ve borrowed in the past—or even read or watched by some other means. BiblioCommons has implemented some simple systems for enabling users to do these things: My Shelves – Completed, In Progress,For Later.

Completed is a place for users to keep a record of all the titles that they’ve read, watched or listened to in the past.

In Progress is a place for users to keep track of what they are reading, watching and listening to right now.

For Later is a place for users to keep track of titles they intend to read, watch, or listen to at some point in the future (but may not wish to place a hold on at the moment).

6.1 Jumpstarting the My Shelves Building Process

Task: Start building your shelves.

The easiest way to get started filling your Shelves, is to start with a list of titles that you are likely to be familiar with in some way. Go to the Awards section of the site, under Explore.

  • Select Academy Awards
  • Choose a specific award (of the three available categories)
  • For each title that you have seen before, Add to My Shelves>Completed

Note: You don’t have to have liked a film or book to add it to your Shelves. You’ll have a chance to rate them later!

  • For each title that you haven’t watched but have now been reminded that you might like to in the future, Mark for Later.

Go Further:  Expand your Shelves.

  • Return to Awards page; choose a different award this time. How about one for books?
  • Again, save titles that you’re familiar with
  • Mark for Later those that you might be interested in at some point in the future!
  • If there are any titles you are reading currently, mark them as In Progress

6.2 Sustaining Mode – Add to My Shelves As You Go

Users can add additional titles in the flow of their normal activities in the OPAC.

Task: Add to your My Shelves from search results and borrowing history.

From Search Results:

  • Search for a favorite author or subject using smart search.
  • From the search results, Add to My Shelves.
  • Try adding a few titles to each Shelf: Completed, In Progress, For Later

From My Borrowing:

  • Go to Checked Out and add an item to My Shelves from there (if you currently have items checked out).

Note: Items can be added to your Completed Shelf either by clicking on Add to My Shelves>Completed or by simply annotating an item in any way (which we’ll focus on in the next session). Anytime you add a rating, a tag, or a comment, the item automatically gets added to My Shelves>Completed.

6.3Add to My Shelves From Outside the Catalogue

While some users may wish to use My Shelves only as a record of library borrowing, many enjoy keeping a more complete record of books they’ve read, movies they’ve watched, and music they’ve listened to. As a result, BiblioCommons enables users to add items to their Shelves (or lists) by searching the Amazon catalogue for items that they do not find in their local catalogue.

Task: Add a title to My Shelves from outside the catalogue

  • Go to My Shelves>Completed
  • Click the Add New Title button
  • Search for a title that you suspect doesn’t already exist in your library’s collection
  • Scroll down through initial results, if any, and then click the Expand Your Results by Searching Amazon search button
  • Add the selected title, and close the search widget pop-up

You should now have a title on your Shelves that your own library does not own. Now, try clicking through on the link for that title on your Shelves.

Note: The record created by this process will not be an ordinary bibliographic record. When you view it, you’ll notice a message clearly explaining that the library does not own a copy of the item. There will also be a button for a user to click if he or she would like to suggest the item for purchase by the library.

Items from outside the catalogue are not searchable. They are only visible to users within the context of My Shelves—theirs and those of other users.

Go Further: Add an item from outside the catalogue to your For Later Shelf

For Later has the same type of functionality. It, too, supports records from outside the library’s collection.

  • Go to your For Later list.
  • Click Add New Title.
  • Search for a title that doesn’t already exist in the library’s collection. (Any title will do.)
  • Click the Expand Your Results by Searching Amazon search button.
  • Add the selected title, and close the search widget pop-up