For children's books (which, I failed to mention, are specifically the pile of books I'm working on), there are a handful of established measures (such as the measures included in the Scholastic Books Wizard I link to).
Scholastic reports the following for "Where the Wild Things Are":
Guided reading level: J
Grade Level Equiv: N/A
DRA Level: 16
Some or all of those sorts of existing measures that our Education students are taught to understand are the kinds of things I want to include. So I don't need to get as wild as Eric's suggestions, but I imagine that whatever catalog niches might support his suggestions would potentially support mine too.
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Eric Lease Morgan
Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2017 1:57 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] reading-level info in library catalogs
I’ve been advocating such an enhancement to the bibliographic record for a long time.
Reading levels can be computing with any number of algorithms, but they require full text access to the materials. These algorithms take into account things such as length of text, length of sentences, length of paragraphs, size of vocabulary, and frequency of unique words. Thus, longer items with larger vocabularies and more unique words are deemed more difficult to read. If we — the library profession — were to include in the bibliographic record reading levels as well as size of text based on number of words (not number of pages), then the reader could search do queries such as, “Find me a short book about Plato that is easy to read.”
One one really wanted to, then a librarian could:
1. identify an item in the catalog
2. identify a digital version of the item
3. compute one or more reading levels against the digital item
4. save the result(s) in the bibliographic record
5. index the result
6. go to Step #1 until done (or tired)