What to Read Next

Have you ever started a book and realized you have already read it? I have. It became apparent that I would need a way to track what I have read. I started out with a notebook and pen, moved up to a fancy notebook specifically used for tracking books, and now I do all my tracking digitally.

When I see a book that sounds interesting, my first stop is to check the library’s catalog to see if the system owns the book. The library’s catalog has a “lists” feature that allows you to save catalog records to a list so you can easily find the title again instead of re-searching for the item. This is great if you are flipping through the new issue of BookPage (which can be found for free at your local branch) or just got the new NextReads Newsletter in your inbox.

You can also keep track of the items you have read, listened to, or watched. Before returning an item to the library you can view your checkout page and add the items to a list.
Select an action
When you are viewing the record for an item in the catalog you will see a drop down box on the right of the screen that says “Select an Action.” When you click on this, you get a drop down menu with the option “Add to My Lists.” This will add the book to your lists. At the top of the screen you will see “My Lists.” When you click this, it will take you to a page where you can view, edit and create lists.

This feature is great for smaller lists—if the lists get too big your browser may freeze and become unresponsive. There is a lot of data that the browser is attempting to load and if you have too many items on the lists it just cannot process all that information.

I have a few alternative suggestions for those of you who are avid readers or have found yourself making long lists on our catalog.

My go-to source for tracking all the books I read and listen to is Goodreads. This website and app allow you to keep track of books that you have read and want to read. Like many social media websites, how you use the website is up to you and they give you many options. You can create bookshelves to better organize your books or you can use the default shelves of Read, Currently Reading, and Want to Read. You can rate and review books or you can just keep track of what you have read. You can connect with friends (or MCLS) and compare books, your ratings, and get ideas for more books to read. Or you can choose not to interact with anyone.
James Dean
Dean book
To add books to your list you can search by title or by ISBN. I do this with books from the library. When you pull up a record in our catalog, most items have an ISBN listed which you can copy and search for in Goodreads. Then you can either mark the book as something you want to read or have read.

The downside of Goodreads is that it does not connect to the library catalog. One way to keep larger lists and still have a link right back to the catalog is using Pinterest. This is an idea taken from many libraries that have Pinterest accounts (including MCLS). You create boards for the different categories for your books. You may want to start simply with Books to Read or Books Read in 2017.

The easiest way to add books from the catalog is to add the Pinterest button to your browser. This way when you see a book on the library catalog you can add it to the board of your choice and it will link back to the catalog.
How to save a link
If you do not want to add a button to your browser or you are on a public PC in the library, you can also add books to boards by copying the URL. On the lower right hand corner of the website you will see a button with a plus sign (you can also click the plus sign in a red circle when you are viewing one of your boards). When you click the button, you get the option to save from the web or to upload. Select “The web” and paste the URL that leads back to the book record on the library catalog. Then you will be prompted to pick an image and a board just like in the browser button option.
Save from:
Save from a website

Happy Book Tracking!

—Amelia R.


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