I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information including RA for All's EDI Statement.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

RA Party Game?

Whenever I go out to give a RA lecture/training I always end with the following fun web site, called Gnooks. As decribed on the site, "Gnooks is a self-adapting community system based on the gnod engine. Discover new writers you will like, travel the map of literature and discuss your favorite books and authors."

Basically, it is a computer generated list of readalikes. Although I would not trust this site to provide the perfect suggestion for your next good read, the aqua browser display employed by their "map of literature," is attention grabbing.

When you type in "Nora Roberts," you get this. Each of the authors you see floating near Ms. Roberts' name can also be clicked on. That author is then made the center of his or her own map. The visual representation of how authors works may be near another's is very useful to patrons; however, since these maps are completely computer generated, I do not like to trust them as my only resource when assisting a reader.

There are librarians trying to do these reading maps in a slightly different format and with their expertise behind the readalike suggestions. Take a look at these two samples by Neal Wyatt. This is professional RA on the web in a truly interactive format. It is dynamic and exciting for the patrons and well as being fun for the librarian to create.

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