Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hands-on Play: Goodreads

Goodreads was by far the most popular social network for readers and had the largest database of titles. I am a beginner to use Goodreads, so I am excited to explore some library system groups in Goodreads.
Firstly, as a normal user of Goodreads, I do like using it because it gives me great recommendations. All I need to do is type in the book title or author or any keywords and books will come up. Bad reviews on the book are helpful to decide whether the book is what you want. Moreover, It helps me keep track of my books and what my friends are reading. Goodreads is such a good tool for discovering new books. That’s why more than 25 million people have discovered Goodreads. Because of its huge amount of users, Goodreads is a good platform for public library to reach out to their customers.
After exploring several public libraries, I found the layout of public library group pages is quite similar and easy to set up. Salt Lake County Library Service group page contains five parts: Currently Reading, Discussion Board, Members, Bookshelf and Profile. The most interesting part is Discussion Board with seven small sections: General for introduction and management of group page; Reader’s Choice; Reading Challenges; New Books at the Library; New Music at the Library; In the News; One County, One Book. Public libraries are able to put anything they want on the homepage.
Although I think Goodreads is very easy to use, the biggest challenge is promotion. Goodreads doesn’t have an internal paid promotion system for groups, like Facebook does, but ties visibility to usage. When a post is made to group page, it appears on the main groups page until something else supersedes it. So the best way to keep it visible is to post often.
Overall, I will consider Goodreads as a very easy tool to promote a public library and enhance communication between patrons and librarians.

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