Thursday, January 13, 2011

Finding New Books -- In Your PJs and Slippers

My mom (retired librarian and all-around great person) just told me about this cool thing (thanks, Ma!) and since the coolest people I know read this blog, I thought I’d pass it along.

It’s called wowbrary. It’s a service libraries can use to let patrons know about the newest books, movies, and music coming into their library system via weekly email updates. (Patrons can also sign up for RSS feeds or check Facebook posts.)

It’s kinda like if you went down to your public library and browsed the new arrivals shelf—only with wowbrary you can see the new books that someone else currently has checked out (and thus wouldn’t be on that shelf if you were standing in front of it) and you can browse in your pjs and slippers.

I looked at the sample email newsletter for my mom’s library system in Fairfax County, Virginia. The new titles were listed by category: adult nonfiction (broken down into subcategories like biography, history, and business); recreation (cooking, sports, travel, and more); personal growth (parenting, health, religion—it’s all there); fiction; large print; non-English; and even books for young people (children’s books, graphic novels, and teen. Fellow INK-ers Kathleen Krull and Jim Murphy will be pleased to know that the Fairfax County libraries are carrying your new books, Charles Darwin and How George Washington Saved the American Revolution.)

Next to each listing is a little button to see “more info” about the book, and another button to “borrow” the book—which takes you directly to your library’s website so you can place a hold. Is that easy, or what?

According to the website, wowbrary is “a project of Interactive Sciences, Inc., a California nonprofit 501(c)(3) public-benefit corporation that uses technology to help with social needs.”

To sign up for this free service, you just type in your email address (which according to the wowbrary website is never sold or shown to any other entity—no spam) and that’s it. They don’t know your library card number and don’t keep track of what you check out.

A cool service for cool cats like us.

4 comments:

Loreen Leedy said...

That is awesome, what a great idea!

Rosalyn Schanzer said...

Cool. I live in Fairfax County (and they have my books too), so I signed up...thanks.

Barbara Kerley said...

Hi Loreen -- Yep, I thought so, too. My library in Portland is not hooked up to this service -- yet. But I'm hoping they will get it going, soon.

Roz, I wonder if you ever went to the reference desk and got helped by my mom!

Playing by the book said...

I'd love a service like this (I'm in the UK) - the new books shelve is always one of my favourite shelves to linger over at the library but of course you never know what isn't there so this would solve that problem.