On 1/26/04 2:08 PM, Kenneth R. Irwin <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> That's a good idea Ben; why don't you do that? I know of no such thing, and I
> don't think I've even heard speculation about it, but I dig the idea.
> Quoth Ben Ostrowsky <[log in to unmask]>:
>> Is anyone aware of software that has been developed for allowing people to
>> make comments about a book?  I imagine it would have user accounts and
>> anonymous participation, moderation/administration against trolls, etc.  And
>> if it's designed anywhere near properly, it would be pretty easy to add as
>> part of a web-based catalog.  (I use Dynix's HIP, but my dream software would
>> be vendor-neutral.)

I've given the implementation of such service some thought. Here's how I
might do it:

  1. Determine key for particular book, say field 001 of MARC.

  2. Add this sort of text display of a book in a catalog such as

     <a href='/?id=DCN0003'>Read/write reviews of this item</a>

  3. The script reads the ID number and uses it as a foreign key
     to a separate relational database from the catalog.

  4. The resulting HTML output displays reviews and gives the
     user the opportunity to create their own reviews.

  5. Features may include logging in or the ability of librarians
     to edit reviews, as Ben mentions above.

When I mentioned this to peers a few months ago I was told that our users
aren't qualified to write reviews.

I plan to implement reviewing features in our redesigned website using
MyLibrary. We hope to go a bit further and implement a sort of "people like
you also used" service.

Eric Lease Morgan
Head, Digital Access and Information Architecture Department
University Libraries of Notre Dame

(574) 631-8604