Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The Virtual Bookshelf

As I mentioned in a previous post we have been working in my library on a way of compensating for some of the discovery that has been lost in our transition to an online, virtual, electronic library. In particular the display of new books and the ability to browse the shelves are disappearing in the modern academic library. The books are NOT just physical items and the books that are paper are NOT on the shelves (hopefully) but have been borrowed and are sitting on someone else's bookcase/desk. Our Virtual Bookshelf can provide display and browse in a way that is as good and in some ways better than traditional display and browsing (for instance the books are ALWAYS on the shelf in a virtual bookshelf, not on loan or misplaced).

The Virtual Bookshelf has a number of manifestations.

The library homepage has a mini-carousel that moves, can be scrolled and clicks through to the item record in the catalogue. This brightens up the home page and encourages discovery.

The New Books display has a large carousel format of all new books that can be scrolled and links through to the item record. It also has a bookshelf view.

There are new items as curated faculty/school lists with PDF, bookcase or RSS views.

And there is a shelf browse available as a tab for each local item in the catalogue.

These manifestations of the Virtual Bookshelf work on all platforms, including mobile and tablet devices.  The shelf browse inevitably includes older titles that don't have cover images but dummy covers are produced. The software is robust, visually appealing and quick, very quick. FTW.


  1. Very nice, love that you can have multiple manifestations.

  2. hi!

    looks great! u know a program i can use to create vitual shelves for my library?