There’s no question that as a librarian in training that I adore Goodreads.
If you do not know what Goodreads is, its a site where users can pick books out and write reviews on them and make friends who have similar interests in books as you. It keeps all the books you read organized and easy to return to. There are great discussions about books on there and I get most of my book recommendations from Goodreads.
I just found out recently that you can get your library on Goodreads. Using the steps from this site: http://www.oclc.org/go/goodreads you can make your library a group on there and Goodreads members can be members of that library group. It’s a great way for libraries to gain recognition and have local reader interact with one another. The library can form its own group on Goodreads and have online book clubs and be able to promote their library as well. There can even be next level interaction where Goodreads users can ask the group questions about the library and the librarian at that library can answer them. This is a great way to establish community within a library system.
I believe Goodreads is underrated in terms of social media for libraries. Here is a site that is specifically made for reading and has ways to make your own library a group on that site and yet I don’t hear libraries using Goodreads. It may not be as popular as Facebook or Twitter but it has the right audience for it. You may get one in five people on Facebook who are readers but on Goodreads everyone on that site are readers. It really establishes a niche community and it benefits the library that way if the library promotes itself on it.
Goodreads is also a good way of finding out what is popular within the book communities. Before I consider reading a book, I look at Goodreads and see how it scored with other users and what kind of reviews it got. My manager asks me on what Young Adult books to order and I know straight away what is popular is what is not. You see users get excited over new releases and it can anticipate how many copies to order for the system. For example I know Sarah J Maas is an extremely popular young adult author on Goodreads and I suggested we order her books for the library and lo and behold those books have been checked out so many times that are starting to fall apart! If I wasn’t on Goodreads I would be out of touch to what the patrons want. It shows how the library can work for the user not the other way around.
I believe librarians should have a Goodreads account to promote their library and keeping in touch with the latest popular books. Right now there are over 20 million members on Goodreads and the numbers keep on growing. I encourage everyone who is reading this to become a member of Goodreads-you won’t regret it.