Friday, September 21, 2012

Wish Lists for Reading

Yesterday, our consortium of libraries rolled out a new look for our shared library catalog, and it is a great improvement. Along with the sprucing up, SWAN added some new features. My favorite is My Wish Lists. Since I was reading book reviews when I learned of the upgrade coming online, I started a list that I call Histories and Biographies to Read. I filled it with books that will come out in the next couple of months. The list looks like this when printed:

What I like is that there is a handy link for each title to place a request. I could have gone ahead and requested the books yesterday, but several of them might suddenly arrived at the same time. I already have a stack of books and I am working on some projects, so I will save borrowing the books for later when the brand-new-books demand for them has faded. I might then request them and get them right away. I might even see copies on the shelf at my library and not have to use the request service. They should be just as good in six months or a year or even five as they are the day they are published.

I manage my audiobook downloads in a similar way. Media on Demand, which is my library's Overdrive download service, has a single wish list into which I add titles to download later. With six to ten titles in the wish list, there is a good chance one will be available when I desire another audiobook on my iPod. I can see from the wish list which titles are ready for checkout. Just a couple of clicks and it is mine (for two weeks).

How do you keep track of the books you want to read? I think more people are keeping lists and making requests now. I hardly ever see people browsing the stacks, and the reserve shelves behind the checkout desk are always full. I'd enjoy knowing what you are seeing.

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