Friday, July 21, 2006

The Practicing Librarians' Book Reviews at Library Success

Some librarians want to be book reviewers. Many hands were raised in New Orleans at the program So You Want to Be a Book Reviewer. Many librarians already are reviewers. They write for Library Journal, Booklist, Choice, or other publication, or they post reviews on personal or library blogs. Some contribute their reviews to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Bookslut websites. A few have posted reviews on Open WorldCat. The opportunities for writing reviews are diverse and scattered. Wouldn't it be helpful to have a center for librarian-written reviews for selection and readers' advisory?

Check out The Practicing Librarians' Book Reviews on the Library Success wiki. Any librarian can now write about the great books they have read and communicate their enthusiasm across the library universe without having to be accepted by one of the journals. Becoming a contributor to the wiki is as easy as signing up and logging on.

If you have a blog or other website where you post reviews, all you have to do is create a link to your review on the wiki page for your category of books. You can click the edit tab for a page and see how others have entered their links or look at the tips page. If you don't have a blog, it is easy to get one, or you can write directly on the wiki. Create a new page from the wiki page for your book category and write on the new page. Look at the poetry page for examples of both linked reviews and reviews posted on the wiki.

One of the advantages of posting reviews on the democratic wiki is that you do not have to adhere to the restrictions from editors of the review journals. You can write more than 175 words. You can be more personal. Still, it is good to consider your readers and concentrate on providing helpful information. Look at Elements for Basic reviews from RUSA. Also, if you long to review for the journals, you can use The Practicing Librarians' Book Reviews as a place to practice.

At this point a few reviews from various library blogs have seeded the wiki. You can find them by looking at the main review page and clicking on the blue-colored links. The red-colored links are pages that need some reviews. Have any reviews to turn the main page bluer?

There are lots of books to review. You can even get advanced reading copies by contacting publishers identified at the program What You'll Read Next: The Buzz of Books; look toward the end of the report.

So, join us a democratic, librarian-driven effort. Let's show what can be done with a wiki. Let's share our knowledge and love of books. Write and read some reviews.


maggie moran said...

Is there anyway to expand the catagories?

I'm sure someone worked hard on this and I hate to be whiney, but Southerners like Civil War History, Classics and Southern Fiction.

Sorry to be a Southern brat. ;-) maggie

maggie moran said...

This has been an extremely helpful post, I'm new to wikis!

ricklibrarian said...

I added three genre pages. It is easy to add more. Title can be added to more than one category if it helps.