Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Woohoo! What a great job!

Woohoo! What a great job! Every once in a while, after successfully assisting three or four (or maybe even only one) student in a row, I just have to smile! Topics today included finding resources about airline regulation, tests and treatments for ailing heart muscles, teen stress, self mutilation, biographical info on great American women, and sources for poetry criticism. I helped a small self-contained class of high-needs students create citations for a paper they are writing and felt the wash of relief when our network came back up (after being down) just as a class walked in the library door.

Sometimes things just go right! I am reading again (for YA resources & services class) and loving it. I have thoroughly enjoyed books in the last couple weeks by Joan Bauer, Melodie Bowsher, K.L. Going, and my favorite of the week, Orson Scott Card. I became so caught reading about 11 year old video gamers in Ender's Game, a science fiction novel, that I couldn't put the book down. I have always loved YA fiction and the opportunity to immerse myself in some of the best that is out there is very satisfying.

Trying to build LibraryThing account with books I have read recently (to help my failing memory, remember). As many things as are right with this application, and there are many, there are also quite a few that are wrong! I am a new user and may be missing something but in early use, I am amazed at some of the things that are missing:

  • No tag prompts or suggestions -- when user begins typing a tag description, it would be beneficial if the program prompted or suggested "most popular / similar" tags. For example should the tag be Young Adult, YA, YA fiction, ya fiction, young adult fiction, teen fiction, etc. (This is essentially what Google does when typing into the search bar.)
  • No tag pool to select from -- when tagging a book, it would be beneficial if user did not have to type every tag. Available pool to "quick pick" from could be tags previously used by the user, tags previously used by other users to describe the book, or a combination of the two. (Blogger does this if you are familiar with this host site.)
  • Tags can not be reorganized -- would be nice if tags for each book could be reorganized alphabetically or even by priority or relevance. They seem to remain, forever, in the order they came to mind and were typed into system. (Blogger automatically alphabetises.)
  • Unable to create different shelves -- I may be wrong, but have not found way to create separate shelves with, for example YA lit, children's lit, and career focused materials.

Ahh well, not to ruin a great day with complaints. Hopefully someone out there will write to correct, and explain to me, how each of these issues I describe can be corrected. I am sure the sun will be shining and the temperatures warm when I head for home. OK that went over the edge. Trying to limit my sarcasm. It truly has been a great day!