Walter Lewis wrote:

> If not, what would be required?
>    a) a local system so that local users can write reviews that are
> somehow linked to from the local catalogue?
>    b) a general system, that can be linked to *from* all our local
> catalogues, that invites users to contribute reviews?
>    c) an OAI modeled system that can harvest reviews from a)
>    d) an RSS modeled system that can publish local reviews for
> aggregation into a system like b)
>    e) an OpenURL styled system that can identify reviews in electronic
> journals (to which we may or may not have access)?
>    f) a standardized interface for querying the shared review engine
> that might respond to different access points?
>    g) a better idea yet?
After reading Walters note, I think a "general system" would be a great
solution that could serve all libraries.  I agree with Amazon's
statement that "web-services", which can syndicate large data reserves
via XML, are the wave of the future.  This would be a good project for
ALA or similar organization, or possibly a group of libraries who could
pool their funds.  This "general" approach would generate content and
make the system useful much more quickly than a single library

However, academic and non-academic libraries have different goals, and I
wonder if they overlap enough to make the same reviews useful to both.
 For example, the reviews of books in the back of scholarly journals are
obviously very different from the reviews on Amazon.  On that note, an
Amazon-like review system, created for and by libraries, should not just
be a carbon copy of Amazon's system (don't want to reinvent the wheel!).

How would the library system be different and more useful for our
patrons?  I like the idea of being able to filter reviews by "user-type"
so you could find the most relevant reviews.  Also, "cross-selling" is a
great feature for people who want to see what others with similar
interests are reading.  However,  from an academic and research
standpoint, it would also be interesting to:

1. Link to books which reference the selected book in their bibliographies.
2. Link to books that are listed in the selected book's bibliography.

(this would require much additional work and is almost a different
project... but we're brainstorming here on the "killer library app", right?)

-Shaun Ellis
RUL Web Developer