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When Reading Turns Social

Sam Chada • Oct 2, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Books are not the only part of reading that has gone digital. Just as eBooks have grown in popularity, social communities around reading have been thriving in the online world, in apps and on devices. There is no denying that reading has been shifting more and more to eReaders and mobile devices, with at least one in five Americans reading an eBook in the last year, according to a 2012 report by Pew Research Center. The instant connectivity that eBooks and digital content provides allows readers to engage with others who may be interested in the same topics.

The latest social site that we’ve heard about is called Wattpad. Wattpad is a Toronto-based startup that is focused on free publishing and reading platforms which encourages users to share and collaborate on stories. With eighteen million readers and writers around the world spending a whopping 4.5-billion minutes a month publishing, collaborating and skimming text it is probably the most active e-literature social community on the web.

Libraries have also embraced the fact that readers want to connect with others in the online world. The basic premise of BiblioCommons (the Library’s online catalog) centers on using social networking to enhance the ways in which patrons gain access to library collections. It brings social features into the very fabric of the online catalog. The BiblioCommons interface provides and encourages users to discover and share materials based on rating, recommendation and tagging algorithms.

You can search BiblioCommons at any time. If you want to check your account, place a hold or use any of the other features, you have to register and create a username, a one-time process. Once you have, you can log in with your username instead of your library barcode number. BiblioCommons offers a variety of features. You can rate and review items, tag items, create and post lists of items, add items to My Shelves, and send and receive messages with other catalog users. Your username is how you will be identified. If you want, however, you can adjust your settings to keep your activities private.

For an introduction to BiblioCommons, click here for a quick tutorial or call us for a Book-a-Librarian appointment. 

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