FULTON — An interactive library catalog is letting mid-Missouri library patrons create and share original content.
The new interactive catalog for Daniel Boone Regional Library, which serves Boone and Callaway Counties, gives users access to more book information, allows them to write reviews and make reading lists.
Daniel Boone Regional Library's technical services manager, Pat Kopp wrote on the Web site's comments, "I'm pretty sure I've died and gone to library catalog heaven."
"I think once people start using the searches and the lists, it's just going to be an addictive thing," Kopp told The Fulton Sun. "I think it's going to take people places they didn't think they were headed, and they'll have fun getting there."
The most important part of the new catalog is the expanded search feature, she said.
"It does searches very well. When you look something up, most likely it will turn up and be at the top of the list," Kopp said. "In the old catalog you had to have an author or title. This catalog helps you zero in on exactly what you're looking for whether you know what it is or not."
Patrons can now search for new titles by content, genre, topic and format. There is also a link that allows users to see what books are shelved near each other and a list of books with similar titles.
There also are lists of recently viewed books, new titles, best-sellers and award-winners.
Library patrons can interact with the catalog by posting comments and reviews about books they've read, rating books and tagging certain titles for other readers. There is also the ability to link to Facebook or Twitter, e-mail links to friends, send messages to other readers, create lists and even mark titles for later.
"Our users get to share what they've learned and thought about the items they've checked out. It's very much like what you'd see on Amazon," Kopp said. "You can create lists (which can be public or private) like your favorite cook books or the best vampire books ever ... so people can get ideas for what they might try."
She said the list feature has a number of implications for library services and could be useful for teachers or book clubs.
Callaway County Public Library reference librarian Kate Graf called the new catalog features seductive, and predicted library patrons are going to enjoy it as much as she does.
"It kind of sucks you in — all of a sudden you're following all these links," she said. "I think users ... are just going to fall in love with it.