LibraryThing: Popular Paperbacks Meet Social Cataloguing

Since late January, I’ve served on YALSA’s Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults committee, which means, among other things, that I’ve spent an awful lot of time this year looking for books about ghosts, vampires, zombies, dead classmates, dead relatives, and road trips.

To come up with relevant titles to consider, I’ve used my own knowledge of YA books and gotten suggestions from teens.I’ve also been using reference tools, traditional and non-, to discover new titles or jog my memory.

My favorite reference source so far has been LibraryThing.LibraryThing is a social cataloguing tool that lets users create a virtual library of books, review and rate the books, and describe them with tags.It’s a great way to keep track of your own reading (I maintain a personal reading list on the site), but it’s also a surprisingly effective discovery tool.Go to the search page and enter two keywords in the “tag” box…say “YA” and “vampires.”The search can be slow, but the result is a long list of relevant titles, each of which you can click on for editorial descriptions and user reviews.

LibraryThing also hosts the good-for-a-laugh UnSuggester.Like Cirque Du Freak?You probably won’t like The Brothers Karamazov.

Quick reminder:PPYA welcomes field nominations, and May 15 is your last chance to nominate a title for one of the four 2009 lists.(Nominations reopen after ALA’s Annual conference.)If you know a book that belongs on one of these lists, please send in your nomination today!

Megan Honig
Member, Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults

About PPYA

The Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults committee is a YALSA committee that creates themed lists of POPULAR materials for teens for use by libraries for Collection Development, Reader's Advisory, etc. Each year we develop up to five (usually four) lists focused on timely topics or specific genres. The titles selected for the list must be available in paperback, in print, and may not have been on a PPYA list in the past five years. This selection committee is a lot of reading, a lot of work -- and a TON of fun!
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One Comment

  1. I’ve used LibraryThing in the past, but you have to pay a one-time fee when you hit a certain limit. GoodReads is another site that lets you catalog your books, create shelves for them (like tags) and join forums, etc. No fee, no limit. http://www.goodreads.com

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