Assignment: Using LibraryThing in Your School Library (Web 2.0 Tool Review)

September 30, 2007 at 3:43 pm Leave a comment

“LibraryThing is an online service to help people catalog their books easily. You can access your catalog from anywhere—even on your mobile phone. Because everyone catalogs together, LibraryThing also connects people with the same books, comes up with suggestions for what to read next, and so forth.” (LibraryThing, 2007)

 

LibraryThing Homepage

Learning how to use LibraryThing is very easy. All you do is create an account by entering your information into the green box at LibraryThing.com and you’re ready to go! If you want a tour of how to use the site, there is one ready for you to take at any time. LibraryThing gets all it’s data from Amazon.com, so when you’re entering books all you have to do is enter the title, author, or ISBN to find the books you’re looking to add to your LibraryThing library!

Some school libraries are already using LibraryThing to enhance their students’ learning experiences. Piedmont High School, in California, has created it’s own LibraryThing page so that it’s students, teachers, faculty and parents can connect with each other about literature both inside and outside the library. Hunter College High School, in New York, tells it’s students about using LibraryThing in their school blog. St. Margarets School in Berwick, Victoria uses LibraryThing to host their bookclub titled Fantales Club del Libro.

LibraryThing also has ‘Groups’ that members can join. These groups usually have a specific audience in mind. For instance; a perfect group for all of us school librarians to join would be the group titled Teachers. This group is for teachers of all sorts (elementary, middle, high school, college, etc.) to come together and share information about books and strategies they use with their students.

LibraryThing can be used for professional reasons (as in the Teachers Group example) or can be used with our students. In his article School Library 2.0, SLJ’s Christopher Harris recognizes that, “in the hands of school librarians, LibraryThing can be a powerful tool, providing an OPAC interface that actively engages students”. As school librarians, we could create Groups for our own school libraries and have students create their own libraries and be able to communicate with other students, teachers or parents, from their school, about the books they’ve read. Instead of challenging this Web 2.0 tool (as some parents have challenged MySpace), I think parents would welcome a new way to connect with their children and their children’s school. LibraryThing is a great way to foster strong school and community ties.

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Entry filed under: Blogroll, Dominican University, Web 2.0. Tags: , , , , .

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