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This past weekend I was updating my Goodreads and as I went to add this title to "Currently Reading," I noticed something I had never seen before. Look closely at the "GET A COPY" section and the 4 buttons under there..
The last button is "Libraries." This link goes to the WorldCat record for the titles and it searches based on your current location.
I LOVE THIS! But for more reasons than the obvious one- Goodreads recognizing officially that many people get their books from libraries rather than buying everything. The addition of this button also shows that Goodreads has been paying attention to the fact that more and more libraries are using Goodreads. This is important.
Every time I visit a library I talk to the staff about getting on Goodreads. Why? Well, that is where your patrons already are talking about books.It is their preferred place. It's not your website or even Facebook page. So, we need to be there, assisting them where they already are.
It's dumb to just get mad at patrons for not coming to us first. Get over it; they never do. So let's go to them.
The message is getting out that Goodreads is not only a great resource for us, but it is the perfect place for us to connect with patrons, keep track of what we are reading, and collectively keep track of what our entire staff and even patrons (if they want to connect with us) are reading.
By adding the "Libraries" button, Goodreads has acknowledged that their users are big library users (we knew this already). This is great news though. The flip side is that Goodreads users can now see very easily whether or not their local library has their favorite books.
This addition is a moment to celebrate, but it is also a reminder that our collections need to be responsive to what our patrons want to read, not what we think they should read.
So the next couple of times you are on Goodreads, click on the "Libraries" button. Mention it to your patrons. See if they are using it. This button might lead to more conversation between us and our patrons about what they like to read and why-- an interaction I know we are all struggling to increase.
The ease of clicking the button and the patrons seeing that a book is not available anywhere near them, may make them more comfortable talking to us about it. We can't order what they want if they don't tell us. But also, since the patrons are already used to having book conversations and interactions through the Goodreads site, this may be a great conversation starter-- an excuse for them to bring their interests to our attention in person.
It says "Libraries" on Goodreads- so patrons will now be more aware of connecting the two places. It's like Goodreads told them to come talk to us. Seriously, someone told me this.
Time will tell, but keep this new addition to the Goodreads interaction between the users and the books in mind. I have a feeling it will be a win-win for us.