Friday, August 5, 2011

BiblioCommons Lists: Fun and Effective Resources.

This summer I have been perusing the lists in BiblioCommons quite a bit. Usually I am looking for Twitter material, poking at others lists to see if all the items are available in our system. However, beyond this use, BiblioCommons lists are a great way to build your library’s connection to the community and promote new, favourite, or themed materials.

Since going live with our websites and BiblioCommons, a number of Chinook Arch member libraries have been creating lists of new items and then linking to these lists from their library homepages. Arrowwood, Cardston, Coaldale, Granum, Milo, Picture Butte, Pincher Creek, and Stavely all partake in this. I have also seen Lethbridge link to lists from their scrolling banner. If you have chance, check out some of this different ways these libraries have chosen to display their collections.

Lists can also be useful for patrons searching for new fiction and non-fiction titles. Edmonton Public Library does a great job of crafting helpful, unique lists which you can always turn to. A few of my favourites are EPL Picks - Nonfiction - Need a Summer Project? and EPL Picks - Adult Fiction - Mystery - Cats and Dogs, but there are loads more. Within our system, LPL_Teens does a fabulous job of creating comprehensive lists of items, all of which are available to your patrons.

I would like to end this post with a few last words on list searching and selection. When looking for lists, you can either look for the lists themselves by selecting “Lists” from the drop-down search menu or search for the user who creates the lists by selecting “User” from the drop-down menu. To select “User” you need to go into BiblioCommons, as this category is not yet available on your library’s website. Also, when looking for exceptional lists keep an eye out for the staff icon: Although there are many bibliophiles who do not work in the library, I find that staff are often amazing makers.

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