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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Annotated Bibliography Gets a New Look

Annotated bibliographies are a RAs bread and butter. I make many lists of books on a certain topic or with a shared theme, giving each book a pity 2-4 sentence description. Click here to see examples of our annotated lists at the BPL or click here to see things I have tagged annotated lists for examples.

As useful as these lists are to patrons, they are not very sexy. Well, I think, that may be about to change. A few days ago I saw this feature in The Daily Beast in which Nicholas Kristof writes about his favorite books.

I love this presentation for an annotated bibliography. You click on the cover and enter a gallery in which with each click of a cover, another cover is revealed, all with Kristof's comments on the right. In reality it is a simple annotated list of books, but in practice it is so much more engaging to the reader.

Obviously this presentation only works on the web; it does not translate on paper. Needless to say, I am intrigued by this new presentation of an old standby. You still need to have solid and well written annotations, but the gallery begs the reader to stand-up and pay attention to your list.

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