Results tagged “books” from WorldCat Blog

This post graciously comes to us from Gary Perlman, a Consulting Research Scientist at OCLC who works on WorldCat searching, improving user interfaces and analyzing the overall user experience for WorldCat.org, among other sites.

It's 2010, and thousands of books have already been published: fiction for kids, fiction for adults, biography, nonfiction for kids, nonfiction for adults, as well as new music, and DVDs.

The links above are for generic types not on particular subjects. Tens of thousands of WorldCat catalogers have added subject headings to millions of records, primarily using the Library of Congress Subject Headings. These are the hotlinked subject headings you see under "More Like This" and "Related Subjects". They are chosen from a controlled vocabulary by cataloging experts and ensure that items with the same focus use the same terminology.

Unlike the general keyword index, which matches terms anywhere in records, the subject headings index is much more precise, while at the same time, less forgiving.

Subject headings provide precise hotlinks to similar items, but it's best to use the subject hotlinks in records because guessing and using the wrong terms instead of the controlled vocabularly used by catalogers can give you poor results. Once you have some subject headings that you like, you can save them for future use to show you high-quality results in that subject area. You can also limit them to specific languages, ranges of publication years, and by format, content, and audience. Each of the following is limited to English non-fiction books published in 2010. On January 1, 2010, some links matched no books, but new items are added every day.

* Economic Development: adult, juvenile.
* Genealogy: adult, juvenile.
* Global Warming: adult, juvenile.
* Globalization: adult, juvenile.
* Nutrition: adult, juvenile.
* Presidents: adult, juvenile.
* Social Networks: adult, juvenile.
* Sports Doping: adult, juvenile.
* United Nations: adult, juvenile.

Of course, subject headings can be used to find fiction. Instead of saving a search with a particular year, you can save a search with a sorting option to show the most recent publications first, such as with these juvenile offerings: Wizards, Witches, Vikings, or Dragons.

Final Tip: You can remove the language, year, format and other limits in the "Refine Your Search" section on the left side of the results. Just click on "All Languages", "All Years", etc.

As most of the rest of the United States gets ready for some serious holiday shopping (or perhaps, unshopping as the case may be this year) at the end of this month, the bloggers among us--at least, the amateur ones--will be readying themselves to start a program of full disclosure because of a change on Dec. 1 with new FTC rules for testimonials.

Full what? Full disclosure meaning that a blogger or a person on a social network needs to make it clear if s/he is being compensated for the review of a product. It could be that a company or publishing house sent him a free product sample, which is fine. When he reviews the sample in his blog, he needs to make it clear how he got the sample. Or if someone who works for a company goes in and bashes a competitor's site, then she needs to disclose their employer. More about this change over on Wired and PC World blogs. Also, Publishers Weekly reassures us that the rules are not aimed at individual bloggers as much as the advertisers.

You may be wondering where WorldCat fits in with all of these new rules. Well for one thing, anything the WorldCat bloggers receive is immediately eaten with gusto. And we give high praise for baked goods. What? You're saying you've never seen anything about baked goods on this blog? Well readers, if someone ever sends us holiday cookies (hint hint), we will review them and say nice things about you. AND disclose that they were a gift.

But seriously, if you're an bookselling site affiliate and are concerned that doing a review (and receiving your 10 cents) might get you in hot water with the FTC, then you can start linking to WorldCat citations and doing reviews in WorldCat instead. Not only does it give your readers all the available formats and editions, but it also lets them find the material in a library near them. (In addition to having several purchase options, too.)

So get those links and reviews ready for WorldCat!

One of America's most well-known librarians, Nancy Pearl, had a segment on today's NPR Morning Edition. (Listen to the audio and get excepts.) She was giving a list of mysteries you might have overlooked earlier this summer. So in case you need one more beach read--one more long, lazy summer weekend in the hammock before school starts again--we've captured her list as a WorldCat list. (Nancy Pearl's Mysteries on NPR). Here they are:

What is your favorite mystery? Or mystery series?

Choose your own adventure

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A couple weeks ago I attended a LibraryCamp at the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, IN. Before you ask: No. We did not sleep at the library.

A bunch of librarians and library types and a wannabe or two (like me) got together to talk about how we use libraries and how libraries can do better at meeting your needs. It was much more fun than you might expect. At least for us wannebe's. ACPL did a great job and drew a lot of interesting people.

Anyway, I sort of facilitated a session on gaming in the library. I say "sort of" because I'm not a great facilitator, and I'm not a big gamer. Most of the people showed up at the session to play Guitar Hero or Rock Band so we didn't talk about gaming all that much. But I did talk to a few librarians who are responsible for their library's young adult and/or children's collections.

The conversation reminded all of us of the Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) series, which in turn reminds me of the old text-based adventure computer games I played back in 1984 and 85. (Type "N" to go north. Don't type "F" for forward because you'll fall through the porch. Type "R" to run from the werewolf when you do fall through the porch. That sort of thing.)

This all came back to me the other day when my son, who is in third grade, came home with two CYOA books. He's very excited about reading these books. This from the boy who begs me to play Myst with him. (I still haven't finished the original Myst. I told you, I'm not a big gamer.)

Our library has a lot of computer games that kids can check out, and the library has a few machines for the kids to play CD-ROM games like The Magic School Bus. But right now the CYOA book series is the most exciting thing to my son. Why?

I think Captain Planet summed it up for the Mellennial Generation: "The power is yours!" Just like in gaming! Whether it is the old Castle Quest or Spore, you can make choices and discover the outcomes.

So just how different is gaming from the CYOA series? You have fewer choices, but all narrative structures have boundaries. The medium is different, but not much different from games of yore. The book is 'single player,' or is it? You are still making choices and discovering outcomes when you read a CYOA book. I think that is what excited my son. It's a different narrative experience, but you still get a sense of influence as the events unfold.

Often times we struggle to keep our kids interested in reading and to limit their screen time. As Janet Murray suggests in Hamlet on the Holodeck, we should look back to older forms of storytelling and consider how those formats influence the next.

Maybe I'll introduce my sons to my old Hypercard stacks.

BTW: Using the new tagging feature on WorldCat.org, I added "Choose Your Own Adventure" to a few of the CYOA books available in our local library. Tag some yourself so we can gather all of these.

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