LibraryThing for Academic Libraries. Reading about others doing the kind of ‘social networking‘ for books that Facebook does for people makes you wonder about all kinds of ramifications. For one, do the books that get tagged by users become permanently associated with that user? What if it is a controversial book (pick anything, depending on a place in the world)? Do the books chosen necessarily reflect the users’ interests anyway–or are we judging them according to their teenage kids’ tastes? What if you don’t like a recent politicians’ biography–do you ‘bomb’ it with negative tags?
This is all theoretical ‘catastrophizing’ that may or may not have real-world relevance. Nonetheless, these are things worth fleshing out before imbedding commercial software into what is supposed to be a ‘neutral’ catalog.
Having said this, we will certainly be keeping our eye on the experiment at the Claremont Colleges. This is an exciting time to be a librarian!