Results tagged “lists” from WorldCat Blog

Remind your favorite Dad and high school and college graduates that WorldCat lists are a great way to remember what you've already read, keep track of what you want to read next, or even hint at what you'd like to receive as a gift! Plus, looking at lists is a great way to identify new possibilities for worthy materials. A few cool lists we've noticed recently:

Memoirs by lisaoberg (selection of memoirs to complement Dreams of My Father by Barack Obama)
Dorm Days: Boarding School and College Life by nashvillepubliclibrary
Reading List 01 - High School by minglam
College teaching by larson78207

bookmark_spread.jpgWhat are your reading plans for the summer? Before you head out for vacation or on holiday, remember that your library and WorldCat can help. You can do things like:

• Make a list of the books you'd like to read this summer (Here are Nancy Pearl's picks from last summer!)
• Write reviews of and rate the titles you've recently read
• Read other people's reviews of the books you're interested in
• Share your recent reads on WorldCat's Facebook Page

If you have high school age kids, remember that WorldCat gives them an easy way to track their summer reading lists and make notes about what they've read. They'll wow their teacher in the fall! Many school and public libraries put out summer reading lists on WorldCat. Here's an example of such a list...find your school's list on then share it with all of us!

Celebrate Bike to Work week


bike_month_dates170x170.gifI found out yesterday that OCLC, the library cooperative that stewards WorldCat, has made two bikes available for staff who would like to bike to work. This is to help celebrate national Bike to Work week in the U.S. The cool part is, you check out the bikes through the library! Any other libraries out there offering bikes for check out?

But seriously, there are some committed bikers who've made some good lists on WorldCat. And of course in many parts of the world --notably Holland--bikes are the primary form of transportation. Benefit from the collected wisdom:

My pet peeves are bikers who
A. Ride on the sidewalk (kids excepted, but for adults this is ridiculous)
B. Ride against traffic (for both kids and adults, this is DANGEROUS)
C. Don't signal (even more important on a bike than in a car!)

So there you have it--my soapbox for safe biking. Enjoy the week and celebrate by donning that helmet and getting out there!

bostonmarathon2010.jpgIf anyone else is like me, I always get inspired in the springtime (okay, it's springtime here in the northern hemisphere...) to lace up the running shoes and pound the pavement. Especially on days like the Boston Marathon--which is today.

But being eager to go for that first spring jog and completing 26.2 miles are two different propositions altogether. So most of us turn to an expert for some advice when contemplating some serious training. Lots of people I know who weren't runners *before,* joined a marathon training group and found the whole process fairly smooth. (I won't say easy, but smooth.) Others went out and "just did it" after reading a book. I'd say I plan a combination approach, when I'm ready to take on the challenge. Whatever your style, these lists from WorldCat users are sure to help:

"Things to Check Out (marathon training)" from mhill16
"Marathon books" from Michelle Williams
"Running" by jlh830
"Distance running" by nilgesc
"running" by tgorden

Of course, materials abound on the Boston Marathon itself in WorldCat. Celebrate the runners in your life, and go for a jog this afternoon. Perhaps down to your local library!

This quick but uber-helpful walkthrough comes to us from the LibraryTechTalk blog, a team blog from the Albert S. Cook Library at Towson University. David, one of the Emerging Technologies Librarians on staff, put together a few simple steps that outline how to create a WorldCat list and then how to get that list onto your WorldCat list widget.

So go check it out and get busy making your lists and widgetizing them!

Using WorldCat lists for Facebook fun


I don't use Facebook a ton. Being a GenXer, I tend to live on email and Twitter. I do enjoy it when I have time, and have re-connected to a bunch of old high school friends and folks who have moved away over the years.

I have noticed, though, that there seem to be a lot of games, polls and memes making the rounds of FB. I haven't played any of the dedicated FB games (like Mafia Wars). I am a gamer, but I tend towards Xbox with my 10-year old. Similarly, I haven't taken advantage of any of the "Which Greek God Are You Most Like?" type polls. Unless I understand the criteria, I'm not interested. I mean, come on... if you're going to tell me I'm more like Circe than Mercury, I need to know why.

I have, however, taken part in a couple of "memes" that friends have passed along. These usually take the form of a questionnaire delivered in a note, which the initiator tags with your name. You are encouraged to answer the question and pass it on to 10, 15, etc. of your friends.

The most recent couple of these I've been invited to reply to involved listing of favorite "Top 10" or "Top 15" things. What I did when responding was to create my replies as WorldCat lists to make them easier to share. You can see my WC lists for "Top 15 movies" and "Top 15 books."

For the "movies" list, I also made sure to add the editions of the movies that had cool "cover" art (although I guess it's "box" art for VHSs or DVDs), and then pointed folks to the "Covers Only" view of that list via the WC List link, as part of my FB reply.

A couple friends commented that they thought it was a much more interesting and helpful way to do a list like this. It was certainly more fun for me. I can even see, from the WC List page for each list, how many other WorldCat users have viewed my lists.

Sharing lists of "favorites" is fun. And WorldCat can add a bit of library flavor to the mix.

COinS Help You Build Citations

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Dear readers, I came very close to abusing your trust by writing a pun into the title of this post. Thankfully I paid attention in my journalism 101 class, because the use of COinS is nothing to pun about. I'll tell you why.

Microformats 101
(Actually an 050 class is a more apt analogy for my explanation. If you really want to learn about COinS go to And if you want to learn more about microformats visit or check out this book.)

COinS stands for ContextObject in Span. A "span" in this sense is part of the HTML code that makes up a Web page. COinS uses span in a rather unusual way to provide additional information about books, articles, documents and more. Sort of like a hidden description of something.

And in this case COinS is hiding a lot of information, including:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Publisher info

and a much more. But why does that matter when you can clearly see that information on the Web page? It matters because this hidden information makes it possible for one software tool, like Zotero, to take advantage of things that another software tool, like a Web browser, has to offer. It matters in other ways too, but let's focus on the most common use. and COinS

Using a citation tool like Zotero (there are others but I'm trying to keep this short), you can get citations from any Web page that uses COinS.

Looking at a page in, like the Microformats book above, you'll find that Zotero can pull a citation out of the page. And if you search WorldCat, you can pull a citation from the list of results. If you add that book to a WorldCat list and add a bunch more books to the list, you can pull citations for all of the items on the list. Admittedly, you can only cite ten items at a time whether you are on a search result page or a list page. You have to page forward to get the next ten items.

If you have a big list, you can use the Citation View on that list to get more than ten items. We saw a Zotero user complain about the ten item limit on Twitter so we added COinS to the Citation View of lists. Just click the Citations View tab and you can see all of the items on your list in the chosen citation format. Now open up Zotero, click the folder in the address bar, and you can import the whole list up to 250 items. Easy peasy.

If you're using WorldCat lists for citations, please let us know how you are using them and the other tools you use beside Zotero.

Watch this list

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If you've looked at a WorldCat list in the last couple days, you've seen a new button: Watch This List or the Watch Selected button shown below:


Or if you've visited your profile since Sunday, you've seen,'ve seen a lot of changes, including a section for the lists you're watching.


What does it mean to watch a list? You get a shortcut to the list from your profile! The list owner gets a warm feeling knowing that you've enjoyed their list enough to link your profile to it. And everyone else gets to know who all likes a list and most likely what library items they like.

Yet another way to connect to people who love their libraries to other people who love their libraries. Let us know what you think of List watching.

Batman & the Library

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With all the hype on the new Batman Dark Knight movie release, I took a look at what type of Batman and superhero items the library has to offer- needless to say, there are plenty to choose from!

The WorldCat detailed record page lets you know when other WorldCat users have an item on one of their public lists - if you follow the link here, you can get to other interesting comics and library items these users have saved.

Now, I haven’t seen the new movie (…yet) – but from the creepy images I have seen on TV, in all the articles and blogs posts such as this one – maybe some of the library’s more 'kid friendly' options, like this, would be a better bet for the little ones.


Batman & the Library

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With all the hype on the new Batman Dark Knight movie release, I took a look at what type of Batman and superhero items the library has to offer- needless to say, there are plenty to choose from!

The WorldCat detailed record page lets you know when other WorldCat users have an item on one of their public lists - if you follow the link here, you can get to other interesting comics and library items these users have saved.

Now, I haven’t seen the new movie (…yet) – but from the creepy images I have seen on TV, in all the articles and blogs posts such as this one – maybe some of the library’s more 'kid friendly' options, like this, would be a better bet for the little ones.


You shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but cover art sure helps us identify the book we're looking for.

Of coarse course that doesn't help us know whether we'll like the book once we find it. Usually we turn to someone else to help us figure that out. Someone like the publisher who puts nice summaries on the jacket flaps or a reviewer in a newspaper. But this is 2008 and I'm writing to a Web audience that is probably using an RSS feed to get this post. Which means you're probably a savvy bunch so all this talk of jacket flaps and newspapers is silly.

The fact is that readers on the World Wide Web often turn to to determine whether to buy this book or that book.

But what if you're headed to your local library? How do you find something to read? You can look at the staff picks once you get there. Or before you go you can search the more than 150 lists of books to read on Because, hey! If this person wants to read this book, then maybe you will too. But how do you, the Web-savvy reader, know for sure?

You look at the reviews of other users!

And now you can read the Amazon review of this book and that book and many other books! And after you read the book you can rate it and review it here for other library users.

To read the Amazon reviews of a book on, just find the book, scroll down a bit and click the Reviews tab. Then click back to the Libraries tab to see which library near you has the book. Find your library, click, log in and you're off!

And what about that scary movie you borrowed on Friday night? You can rate it and review it too. And soon you'll be able to see the Amazon reviews for it and other movies as well as music and games.

What more could you want!? No. Really. Tell us: What more do you want?

List Problems?

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It's true. is having a few issues with lists disappearing. The now-you-see-it-now-you-don't trick that lists have been playing on us lately should be resolved in a couple of days. We've isolated the problem and have prepared a couple of fixes.

Don't worry if you're experiencing this problem. We are not losing your lists, we're just having trouble displaying them. As soon as this is resolved all of your lists will be available and should function normally.

If you haven't seen this issue, what happens is that your list of lists will disappear. For instance my list of list should be here:

If you go to that page you may (or may not) see my list of 20 or so lists. The lists themselves are still there even if you can't see them. For instance my list of "Radio Shows from WorldCat's Long Tail" is always accessible even if my list of list is not showing up.

This problem appears in the drop-down menu from the search result page and the item page which can make it difficult to add items to your lists.

New lists will likely appear if you happen to create one; however creating a new list could cause your old lists to run through the disappearing act.

Again, rest assured that we'll get your lists back in order as quickly as possible, and even improve a few things along the way. (Have you checked out our new reviews and ratings yet? Here's an example from my profile. Give them a whirl and let us know what you think.)

I don't know if you blog. But maybe you know someone who does. Other than me, that is. Or somebody who manages Web pages of some kind. Or somebody who likes to send links in email.

Part of the fun of blogging for me is sharing stuff that I like with people I know. And on the Web, "sharing" means "sending you a link." And if you've gone to the trouble of creating a list in WorldCat, it's almost freakishly easy to turn that list into a set of click-able links for your blog, Web site or email.

  1. Get an account and create a list in WorldCat.
  2. Go to the "Citations View" tab of the list.
  3. Pick the citation style you like (I prefer MLA for this kind of list)
  4. Choose to "Export selected references as:" HTML
  5. And click on "Export."
At that point, you need to tell your browser where you want the HTML file to go to. Usually, I just direct it to be opened in another tab/window of the browser itself. But you can send it to a text editor or word processing program, too.

Now... Take that new HTML page of text+hyperlinks, select everything, and paste it into your blog engine, Web page or email. Depending on what software you're using, it might go in just as a copy/paste, or you may have to play with your tags a bit. It worked for me that easily in Gmail and in WordPress. Let me know how it goes elsewhere.

Planning your Spring Break?

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After a long weekend of shoveling snow here, I’m reminded of what a warm welcome spring breaks used to be.

Well, for those of you lucky enough to enjoy a spring break now, you might want to take a peek at what’s available in WorldCat to help you make the most of your time off. Try a search for travel information on and see what strikes your fancy. Or a quick search on lists that users have created about travel reveals a nice compilation of materials that may spark some ideas. (This list on Tuscany Travel by jstemmer is certainly making me yearn to travel abroad).

And if you’re planning to stay a little closer to home this spring break, we all know no road trip is complete without an eclectic mix of music. Here’s a list created by apbuckeye of “Cds I just have to have in my car when I’m traveling!”

Not your taste? No problem. Come create your own list and let the sharing begin!

RSS Everywhere

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Back in the day I thought Amazon’s Wish List feature was a killer app, but I reconsidered after trying to get relatives to find my list and return to it months later when my birthday came around. I didn't like having my list tucked away in some corner of the Web. Why not scatter my reading, viewing and listening habits to the four corners of the Web? (No one bought gifts from my list anyway.)

And We'll Have RSS Wherever We Go

RSS Readers are great for getting content updates, but the real value of RSS comes in displaying your own content on other pages like your blog or a personal portal page like PageFlakes, NetVibes or iGoogle:


I'm waiting for my library to pull their lists into their Web page with an RSS-to-HTML converter. If you see anyone doing that, please leave a comment or trackback if you blog it.

The World is in WorldCat

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Like many book enthusiasts (or information junkies), once I learn a new tool, I like to play with it. That's what I've been doing with the list function on Not really looking for anything, just trying to get a feel for the current zeitgeist of the features. One of the first things I noticed was the (seemingly, to me) high incidence of non-English lists. Now, WorldCat (the database) has all kinds of non-English materials, but since I don't often go searching, myself, for stuff I can't read, the volume wasn't ever apparent. While searching for lists, it is.

I found -- again, just by accident -- a list of "Haggard Chinese Books" that is, according to its creator, "not a complete list of every title in the library," but still... one would think that 227 items (as of my last visit) is a good start. The list's creator, dongxiao, also has lists of Haggard Chinese DVD's, Haggard Chinese CD's, and Haggard Chinese children's collection. Since every list in has a separate RSS feed, it would be very easy for a Haggard user interested in new Chinese materials available at the library to keep updated on dongxiao's additions, or for a blogger to post them on a Web page. We can see from his list that he's been adding items since June of 2007, and as recently as January 18, 2008.

Getting library materials out into "the world" is one of the big ideas behind For a user (or librarian) anywhere (in this case, I believe, based on a quick Google search, Plano, Texas) to be able to easily create a list of materials based on any criteria, and share it in a way that allows it to be monitored by interested searchers... that's world-y.