Thursday, June 28, 2007

Book Quest: Library Thing

Just for fun, take a visit to Library Thing

This site is a fun place to catalog your own collection of books, find book recommendations and connect with others who share your taste in books.

You can catalog up to 200 of your own books on Library Thing for free, listing your books and adding both subject headings used in library catalogs and bookstores and adding your own tags. Tags can be words or phrases. You can use tags to give you hints about the subject, such as history or mystery. You can also use tags that are useful only to you, for example books that you've loaned to your sister might have a tag sister or sister-loan.

Library Thing catalogs both fiction and non-fiction books which makes it a useful site for readers who like either or both types of reading.

Patrons searching for books to read might enjoy these features on Library Thing:
  • The Book Suggestions feature, BookSuggester allows you to compare books selections from others who own the same books that you own and generates lists of books that you might like to try.
  • Groups have online discussions about books. Sample groups include Japanese culture, knitters, science, 1001 books to read before you die, Asian fiction and non-fiction, list five book parlor games.
  • Search allows you to search for works, authors, tags, groups, talk messages, users and user locations (only users who give permission to share their information).
  • Zeitgeist: Authors has lists of favorite authors, top-rated authors, controversial authors, authors who Library Thing and lots of pictures of authors.
  • Browse tags and tag clouds. Each title on Library Thing will have a tag or list of tags (the tag cloud). Each tag links to a list of books that also share the tag. This can be fun or useful if you like fiction or non-fictions genres, for example you can browse titles for chick lit, spy novels, fantasy, biographies, memoirs.
  • You can also browse related subjects that you generate with a tag search, for example, resistance leads to French resistance and a list of related subjects and books.
  • An amusing option, the UnSuggester, analyzes the Library Thing database to come up with books least likely to be in your library, if you own this book. These lists are generally humorous suggestions of books that you won't enjoy.

Library Thing was created by Tim Spauling, from Portland, Maine.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Debating Hip-Hop

Don Imus used the term “nappy headed ho’s” this past April and was fired for his ill-advised attempt at humor. The term is common usage in Hip-Hop music. Are profanity and misogynistic lyrics acceptable for rappers to use but not middle aged white men? What does Hip-Hop say to and about the black community?

For a full discussion of the issue we recommend you read the current topic in CQ Researcher, Debating Hip-Hop: Does gangsta rap harm black Americans? (available in the reference area of the library.)

CQ Researcher has been reporting on issues in the news for 80 years. Reports are available on a full range of political and social issues. Find it in CML Adult Reference 070.4 or ask for it at the Reference Desk.