Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Book Marks

Critical review of library books
  [vote for,

I am required on occasion to visit the library for work purposes, and have to browse through numerous shelves of dry scientific tomes. Many of the books my eyes pass over are, frankly, not much good, written by crusty academics whose only aim was to get their name in print. It is not possible when in the library to read the books in depth, so I end up withdrawing lots of books which then gather dust on my shelves until they are due back. (And since the library is a 15 minute walk away I risk a hernia each time I clear my shelves.)

What I would like is a voting system introduced, so that when you return a book you are given the opportunity to rate its usefulness on a scale of one to ten (or perhaps croissant-fishbone). This could be done with the addition of a small box beside the date stamp where you could record your opinion if you so desire. Over time the most useful books would accumulate high scores, and these could be placed in their own section for quicker referencing.

While I want this for an academic library, it would also be interesting to apply it to public libraries (a slightly different bent on [billblue]'s idea - link). Perhaps it would change reading habits if the books of currently less popular authors scored highly (maybe Catherine Cookson scores 6.3 on average, while Gabriel Garcia Marquez scores 8.4).

suctionpad, Oct 10 2003

Library Best Sellers http://www.halfbake...ry_20Best_20Sellers
by [billblue] [suctionpad, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

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       I disagree with putting them in their own section, but maybe colored labels could be stuck on the spine. Green for highly recommended, yellow for neutral, and red for "most of the people who read this think it's a piece of pretentious crap".
phundug, Oct 10 2003

       Interesting idea! This could easily be implemented electronically on the library's web site/catalog, a la Amazon reviews.
mrthingy, Oct 10 2003

       thank you for the comments
suctionpad, Oct 10 2003

       nice! Electronically would be the best way to go. That way, you get more votes (from all around) and not just your specific library.   

       When you return it, you include a vote. To get around the data-entry problem, have a bar-code in the back that is 2 sided. The bar-code contains the books' ISBN ID and "Good" on one side, and "Bad" on the other. The library worker just scans whichever one you FACE FORWARD in the back cover.   

       I hardly browse shelves without FIRST doing a search in the card-catalog (on-line), and the voting results can be displayed there, reducing the need to color-code or otherwise physically mark the books.
sophocles, Oct 10 2003

       Gabriel Garcia Marquez scores 9. and the idea exists in most college libraries. and i never found much use for it. people rent books for different reasons. But if this voting system does not appear everywhere then you get my vote. +
nomadic_wonderer, Feb 02 2004


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