Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Netflix for Online Catalogs?

We read Publisher's Weekly at work, which reviews books several months before their release. In addition to looking for books to add to my library's collection, I also keep a very lengthy list of books to read. If it's a book by a popular author, or something that has gotten a lot of press, I check to see if the public library has it in their catalog as "On Order". If they do, I put it on hold.

Inevitably, 6 books come in at once. And I don't have time to read them all. So I have to return them and reorder them. Ad nauseum.

I really wish there was a more sophisticated mechanism for limiting the number of books waiting for me at one time. Like a Netflix for books. But free through the public library and more advanced, because it would need an override option for books you want to get as soon as they come in. Like the latest book by your favorite author. Or the slew of Halloween music CDs and Halloween decoration books I just ordered from the public library (I'm sure they love me right now).

Anyone know of anything like this in the works? How about you, Innovative Interfaces? Or you, all you open source catalogs out there? I'd love to see this option, but have no idea how difficult it is to implement from a technical perspective.


Andrew said...

BookSwim does what you want, but for a price.

I think you might be able to cobble together something in III that might get at what you want, but it will require you to buy additional modules.

The My List function requires WebPAC Pro and "enables patrons to keep track of books they are interested in but have not yet checked out or cannot check out at the present time." Millennium Materials Booking is used to "reserve library materials for patrons for their future use". The challenge comes in with your desire to set up a priority list for authors, genres, subjects.

This is all hypothetical since we don't have My Lists or Materials Booking.

Kate said...

Thanks for the comment, Andrew! I had heard about BookSwim, but am not so interested in paying for what is free through a library. :)

Sounds like III might have some things that could work. I'd love to see it in action.

Sarah said...

We do have the "List" function with our new OpenSource KOHA catalog. I keep a list of books that I hear about and want to read sometime in this list an it is always available when I need something to read. It would be nice to see it work automatically. Hmmmmmm......

Kate said...

A list function would be a good start. I keep a hand-written list, which I could easily transfer into a catalog.