Go John, Go!

Just spotted that Ann Arbor now have suggestions on their OPAC — yay!

The suggestions on our OPAC are very much driven by books recommended on the student reading lists, so it’s going to be fun comparing suggestions from a public library to see how similar they are.

Taxi Driver (DVD) (Ann Arbor / Huddersfield)
Our DVD collection is mostly art films, with a few mainstream/popular titles thrown in, so our top suggestions include “City of God”, “Y tu mama tambien”, and “The Godfather”.
The Ann Arbor suggestions are a much broader range — from “The Aristocrats” thru to “King Kong”, via “The Killers” (1946)

The Hobbit (Ann Arbor / Huddersfield)
This almost looks like a LibraryThing unsuggestion, but our only suggestion is for “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus”!
The Ann Arbor suggestions include lots more Tolkein, along with quite a few GA McKevett titles.

Ulysses (Ann Arbor / Huddersfield)
We’ve got an interesting selection of classics, poetry, and classical music (inc. Mozart, Nyman, and Bartok).
The Ann Arbor suggestions include at least three books on how to pay for college, along with books by Asimov and Stephen Baxter.

I’d love to see more libraries offering suggestions. Imagine if you were able to easily compare your borrowing trends with other libraries — how much common ground would there be, and how much to local demographics come into play?

2 thoughts on “Go John, Go!”

  1. Okay Dave..how long is it going to take you to give us a site where you enter a title and it pulls in the book recomendations from libraries which have them switched on..so you can compare and contrast like you have done manually for those 3 examples….

    Sorry…just poking you with a big stick really….I love the dimension this adds to the records.

    As for The Hobbit..doesn’t Men are From Mars say something about men retreating to their caves?

  2. I’m really not sure what you’re trying to (gollum) infer by that last question, my precious!

    One of the difficulties with aggregating suggestions is the lack of an exact match point — the ISBN we have for “Ulysses” don’t match the Ann Arbor one, so you’d need to make use of a service such as OCLC’s xISBN to find the ISBNs for all editions.

    There’s nothing to stop someone from using our Pewbot web service to fetch out suggestions:

    say hi to “pewbot”!
    Extended info from “pewbot”

    …I’ve just made a small tweak to Pewbot so that the output also includes the book title.

    One of the things that really intrigues me is those invisible links between items — would you have guessed that “Ulysses” fans in Huddersfield prefer Bartok to Brahms? I’m not even sure our Music & Humanities Subject Team would have known that!

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