Many of us have a degree called a Master of Library Science. We call ourselves "librarians" and never call ourselves "scientists." Maybe we should think more about science, especially running experiments, making observations, and reporting our findings. In the interest of our science, we would report our failures as well as our successes.
I am sounding a little grand. The reality is I have been playing around with something that is not working the way I want it to work. Here is what I have done.
I have tried to make a search engine using the custom search engine tool from Google Co-op. My idea was to create a search engine to search across library and librarians' websites to find book reviews written by librarians for their libraries or on their blogs. In an attempt to be clever, I have called it Librarian's Book Revoogle.
The search engine does work, but not as well as I would like. It is of use to me to locate some of my own book reviews and some of the reviews by other librarians that I read, but it is not a tool I think many of you will use. Here are the shortcomings.
1. There is too little content. I have not found many libraries posting book reviews on their websites. Along the same lines, I have found very few librarians regularly posting book reviews to their blogs. At this moment, the search engine searches the following:
Nancy Pearl's Picks Archive
Nancy Pearl's Current Picks on the King County Library website
King County's Archive of Nancy Pearl's Fiction Picks
King County's Archive of Nancy Pearl's Nonfiction Picks
Reader's Club from the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County
MADreads from the Madison Public Library
Memphis Reads from the Memphis Public Library
Nonfiction Reader's Anonymous
BookGirl (who I think is a librarian)
ricklibrarian (no link as you are already here)
Many of the other library websites that I have visited seem to post book news and reading lists, not actual reviews. I did not want to dilute the database with just one or two line statements.
I found very few librarians primarily writing reviews. In fact, my blog actually fails this test, as I seem to be writing about libraries more than writing reviews lately.
If you know of other reviews I could include, please comment on this page.
2. The results are cluttered by false hits. When I search for one of my own reviews I often get eight or more links. One is to the actual review. The rest are to the blog postings that have a link to the review in the "Recent Posts" sidebar.
It was an interesting experiment and I learned much about the websites I tested for inclusion. Perhaps that is the nature of experimentation - you learn something other than what you intended.
I wonder if a search engine for read-a-like lists would be useful. There is always something else to try.