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Creating and Sharing Content via Your Catalog Account

by Josh Commander on 2018-11-21T15:53:00-08:00 | Comments

While our new catalog provides better search functionality and a more efficient means of managing your library account than the old one, perhaps its most exciting feature is its ability to allow you to create and share content with other library users and staff in new and multifarious ways. In our previous tutorials on the catalog, we covered how to setup your new catalog account and profile, as well as how to search for items in the new catalog and navigate your “My Library Dashboard,” so if you are just now getting acquainted with the new catalog you might find those articles useful. If you already feel comfortable with those facets of the catalog and are ready to create and share content, we invite you to review the sections below.

I. Creating and Publishing Lists

First, a word on lists. The new catalog enables each library user to share lists of recommended items focused on a single topic, subject, genre, or another organizing principle with other library users and staff. Creating a list is a great way to express your individuality and share your knowledge of a given topic with the uninitiated or others who are just plain interested in what their fellow library users read. Once a list is published, other library users can view the list, “like” it, and share it with others. Below are instructions on how to go about creating and publishing lists, but if you desire additional information on the sort of lists you can publish and want general guidelines on doing so, feel free to explore the catalog’s FAQ page on Lists.

  1. Once you are logged into your account, click your username to open the drop-down menu and select Lists.
  2. Click Create a New List on the following page.
  3. Choose whether you want to create a Guides and Recommendations list (if your list centers around a general topic or theme) or an If You Liked… list (if your recommendations are based on their similarity to a single work).
  4. On the next page, select what type of list yours will be from the pull-down menu, compose a title for your list (by clicking the pencil icon), and write a catchy description of your list that links your recommendations together. An example is included in the screenshot below.

  1. Next, click + Add to List to enter the title of a recommended item and include it in your list. If the item in question is not owned by the library, you can add a web URL that describes the item instead (remember: if the library does not own an item you are interested in, you can suggest it for purchase from your My Library Dashboard).
  2. Once you have added the item to your list, you can then add an annotation describing the item and why you recommend it. Feel free to be creative or quirky with your annotations—give your readers a reason to follow your recommendation! For an example, see below.

  1. Once you are finished adding items to your list and writing their annotations, you can arrange them in the order you want by using the up-and-down arrows on each item’s right. You can also click the gear icon in the top right of the page to make your list a ranked list or arrange it according to publication date.
  2. When you are through editing your title, description, recommendations, annotations, and arrangement, click Finished Editing…, choose to whom you want the list visible, and select Publish.

Congratulations! You have now published your first list.

II. Publishing Review Material of Library Items

In addition to being able to publish lists of reading, listening, and viewing recommendations, Jackson County Library Services’ patrons can now use their new catalog to publish and share review content of library items in the form of ratings, comments, summaries, suggestions of age suitability, content notices, quotes, and even videos. To dabble in creating and publishing review content of library items using the new catalog, see below.

  1. First, make sure you are logged into your catalog account. Next, find the item you want to review by searching the catalog using the item’s title/author and then clicking on the item’s title or book cover to access its ‘Details’ page (for instructions on how to search the catalog, see the previous blog in this series).

  1. To provide a starred rating on your item, simply hover your cursor over the blank stars next to Rate this: and click accordingly.
  2. To add a comment on the item, click the speech bubble icon and then Add a Comment. Once you have composed it, click Post Comment. Once posted, your comment will appear under Community Activity, as below.

  1. To add an Age Suitability recommendation, click the Age link. To add a Summary, click the Summary link or pencil icon.
    1. Note on the Summary: Feel free to stretch the bounds usually imposed by summary guidelines in order to catch the reader’s attention (an example is pictured below). If your summary includes spoilers, kindly include a warning of such at the beginning of your summary (word to the wise: you don’t want to make a bookworm angry…)

  1. To warn other library users of particular language, violent, sexual, frightening, or other questionable content, click the More link under Community Activity and select Add Notices.
  2. To include your favorite quotes from the library item, or post a video about that item, click the provided Quotes and Video links next to Add Notices.

While the new catalog’s variety of features may seem intimidating at first glance, once you take the time to explore its various ins and outs a whole new vista of possibilities presents itself. Many of these possibilities were not an option with the old catalog, and these features allow us to connect with fellow library users and staff in meaningful ways—and to share our collective knowledge across physical and temporal boundaries like never before. A common misunderstanding about posting and sharing library content online is that it is done with the aim to replace in-person interaction, but this could not be further from the truth; indeed, we have provided the above options in order to supplement that interaction and enhance library user experience. We hope this tutorial has helped in some small way to demonstrate just that, and we look forward to seeing your lists, ratings, and reviews roll in!

To view the next tutorial in this series, click the following link: Sorting Your Borrowing History in Your Library Catalog Account

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