Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ann Arbor District Library catalog

The AADL has a great catalog, which we are reviewing as part of this week's exercise in the eBranch course. Among the many interactive features, it has reviews by patrons,tags and comments as well as many ways to browse the catalog. The tags feature is very well done- it first presents a page of the top 500 tags, then, in a sidebar, lists the top 10 tags, the 10 most recent tags, 10 random tags and 10 reviews. Each one is a link to the tagged items which then link back to the catalog. According to our instructor, AADL has modified an Innovative Interfaces catalog to include these features. It would be great to hear how they did it.

Also interesting is that the top 10 tags were dominated by manga related terms: fantasy, anime, manga, shonen jump, shonen, time travel, ghosts, half-demon, demons. It would appear that the most avid taggers are the anime fans- suggestive of the demographic likely to use this type of interactive feature.

A fun little feature is a card catalog image to which you can add comments instantly. I added the note, "This is neat", not really expecting it to post, but it did. In looking at the source code, it appears to be some kind of php script interacting with a form, but I couldn't quite figure it out. It's a neat trick though could be hard to deal with the graffiti.

Another interesting feature of the catalog is the options that are listed along with the bibliographic information on the book. The options are: Request this book, Card Catalog Image, Look inside this book @ Google books, Table of Contents, Summary/Annotations (these last two apparently through Syndetic Solutions).

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