Session 8 – Annotating “My Shelves,” Part II

Tags and ratings create structured metadata that help organize your Shelves– but there are many other ways to start enriching the library’s records.   Different users tend to migrate to different kinds of annotations.  Some enjoy responding through prose comments, others by adding notices, and others by referencing great quotations from the title in question.

8.1 Adding Content to My Shelves Titles

  • Go to My Shelves>Completed
  • Select an item, and click the Add Details button next to it to see all the types of content you can add.

Comments allow you to share your thoughts on a title and to engage with other library users. A sentence or two will do, but more expansive comments are certainly welcome. Plus, these are frequently more useful and engaging!

Notices are not ratings or censorship. They are simply meant to alert users who may wish to avoid certain types of content, to the presence of coarse language, explicit sexual content, or violence in a given book, movie or lyrics. The personal notes users add provide context that enables the reader of these advisories to judge for him or herself whether the content is appropriate for his or her own purposes. Take a look at the notices provided for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, for example.

Age Suitability allows you to suggest a suitable age range for the title.

Quotations provide helpful context for others who are considering borrowing the title. They’re also a useful way to keep track of particularly funny or insightful writing that you might want to refer to in the future.

Similar Titles allows you to add items that aren’t by the same author or creator, but still bear a close enough relationship to one another that they’re worth linking in this way.

Task:  Add different types of content to some titles in My Shelves.

Note: You will notice that the Add Details button is not available on the My Shelves>For Later page.  Instead, the Place Hold button is available.

8.2 Adding Related Video Links

The advent of YouTube and other video sharing Web sites has made video an integral part of the contemporary Web browsing experience. BiblioCommons makes it simple for staff and users alike to enrich the bibliographic records of items with related videos they find (or upload) to the Web: clips from music videos for albums in the collection, author interviews, movie trailers, and so on.

Here’s a link to an item record with a great example of a use for this feature:

The Money Pit Mystery, By Eric Walters

Note: To view the video, look for the appropriate tab at the bottom of the item’s bibliographic record, in the Community Activity section.

Task: Add a video link to a bibliographic record.

  • Go to My Shelves>Completed.
  • Pick a favorite item.
  • In another window or tab go to YouTube and search for a video related to your item. How about an author interview, or a reading? Or, if your item is a movie, what about a trailer?
  • Look for the embed feature on YouTube – this is just a little text box next to a button with a picture of a gear on it. Copy the embed code (CTRL + C).
  • Return to the window with My Shelves, on BiblioCommons. For the title selected, click the Add Details link, and select Video. In the pop-up, paste (CTRL + V) the embed code you just copied into the appropriate text box.
  • Add a title or description if you’d like. Save!

8.3 Managing Privacy

Some users enjoy having My Shelves as a personal reference tool, but don’t like the idea of others knowing what they’ve read or commented upon. For these users, BiblioCommons has two options:  users can make an entire shelf private or conceal select items.  The default is to have all items on all 3 shelves (Completed, In Progress, For Later) shared with the library community.

Task: Hide an item and your comments on it by using the privacy option.

  • Go to My Shelves>Completed.
  • Pick an item to which you have already added a comment.
  • Click the Add Details button and look for the privacy check box. Check it.
  • Now search for that record in the catalogue. Note that your comment no longer appears on the page! If you added any other information to the item record, it will be hidden as well.

Note: If you have made an item private, when you view the item’s bibliographic record, you won’t see any of the information you’ve personally added to the record. But, if you go back to My Shelves>Completed and hover over the item’s title, you will see all that data in the pop-up box, safe and sound. Privacy doesn’t have to be a permanent state. You can un-check the Keep This Item Private box at any time to once again make your information accessible to other users.

Task:  Find where you can manage the privacy of your 3 Shelves

Hint:  Look under Privacy.

Users who don’t want to share the items on their shelves can check any of the 3 shelf privacy boxes.  Any items added to their shelves from that point forward will be private.  It will not change the privacy status of items retroactively.

8.4 Understanding Community Credits

BiblioCommons users earn Community Credits whenever they contribute to the system. In fact, just by completing the previous two sections, you’ve probably racked up quite a few for yourself.

Task: View your current Community Credits standing

  • Go to your account’s Community Credits page and take a look at the number of credits you’ve accumulated so far, and the reasons they were awarded to you.

Hint: You’ll find the Community Credits under My Library > My Account.

Community Credits background information