How to customize the library catalog with your tags, reviews, and virtual class collections

For those who want to be able to make the library catalog work better for themselves, we provide a growing group of tools that allows USF community members to log in and keep track of their own library use. One way you can help all our library users and add value to the catalog is by customizing it with community tags, comments and book reviews. To help people find an item in the catalog, you can tag it with terms that don’t already appear in the catalog record, and add your personal recommendations to books you’ve read or films you’ve watched.

If you use the catalog you may have noticed “Add a Tag” and “Add a Review” buttons when you look up a book or film. You might even have seen some tags and reviews. One group of library users, students in Professor David Silver’s Green Media class, has started tagging books they want to be able to find later, making a virtual collection of library books for their class. Anyone can search the catalog for the tag “green media” and see how it works.

To enter your own tags and reviews, start with a keyword search on the library home page. Click the Search button.

Figure 1. Library Home PageFigure 1 Library home page

The search results will look similar to Figure 2. In the center are the titles owned by the library that match your search. On the left will be facets to narrow your search. On the right will be sources outside of the library, along with a tag cloud that can also narrow your search.
Figure 2. Search results
Figure 2 Search results

If you click on one of the titles held by the library, you’ll see a catalog record that looks something like Figure 3. The keywords you searched will be highlighted. Here is a record for a book with the tag .

Figure 3. Community tagsFigure 3 Community tags: someone has entered the tag “green media”

Here you can enter your own tag or book review as shown in Figure 4. Note that the catalog record may also contain “extras” including links to professional reviews and other information.

Figure 4. Catalog record

Figure 4 Part of a catalog record

When you submit a tag or click , if you are not already logged in you’ll see a screen that asks for your name and USF ID number. The login screen has a link for looking up your USF ID. Once you are logged in you can put in your tags or review.

You can put anything you want in the tags (though we have the ability to remove offensive tags or reviews.) New tags will be searchable within a minute or two using a keyword search. They will also appear and be searchable in the tag cloud. You can log in and add more tags or delete your tags any time.

The reviews may take up to a day to appear in the catalog record. At this time reviews are not searchable, and only one review per login is allowed. If you want to delete your review, please let us know.

If you have any suggestions or questions about use of these features or the catalog, please post them here or ask a librarian.

One thought on “How to customize the library catalog with your tags, reviews, and virtual class collections”

  1. Thank you for this information. I’m not sure if I will ever get the chance to use it – but it looks like a very fun (meaning helpful and exciting) tool to use!

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