The ever resourceful Librarian in Black breaks a huge story about hennepin county library’s bookspace which is an online community based around books. I’m going to copy her list of things readers can do at bookspace:
* create their own account for Book Space
* sign up for e-mail alerts on new books
* get daily book excerpts via e-mail
* listen to audio eBooks
* create book lists
* browse subjects and genres to find good books
* get e-mail and RSS feed updates on new books
* post comments about what they’re reading
* find book events and book clubs
* sign up for Book Space eNews
This site approaches a hypothetical/magical/mystical/unrealized library website I often describe in my presentations about social software in libraries. I don’t want to detract from just how neat the site is, but I see one glaring missing feature: user profiles. It is a bit difficult to have a community without meaningful interaction, and it is difficult to have meaningful interaction without people. Here’s a screenshot of what happens when you click through someone’s username:
It is great to see all of the booklists the user has created, but I was hoping to see a user’s “homepage” in the community. You know, a space for a picture, a place for conversations, all of that stuff.
One other thing I noticed is that the site isn’t limited to HCPL patrons. I’m sure this was a deliberate choice, and it was the right one. It isn’t my site, but I’m still going to encourage you to get an account and see how more of our sites should be featured.