Sunday, June 21, 2015

Online Book Communities

When investigating online book communities, I discovered many that I had never heard of before!  I took some time to look at a few of them today to see what would work best for me as well as my students.

The first one I visited was Goodreads.  I was familiar with Goodreads because that is a site that I often visit for book reviews or read-alike lists, but I have never created my own account and set up my bookshelves until today.

I discovered that Goodreads is very easy to set up and use. It has a basic visual for bookshelves. It allows you to set up shelves of books that you have read, want to read, and are currently reading.  You can also create your own specific shelves. This is a great place for book reviews, recommendations, and following friends.
I think most young adults might gravitate towards this book community because it is so popular and many people are familiar with this site.  Students could connect with their friends and get recommendations and follow what they are reading.

Here's an example of the options you have when adding a book to your shelf.

Here's what my profile looks like after creating my bookshelves.
Another book community is LibraryThing. This site was new to me and I had to study it a little bit to see how to set up my bookshelves. I didn't find it as visually appealing as the other sites I visited and it was not really as user friendly.  It does give you many more options to customize and set up your shelves and your profile. One thing I did like about this site was the read-alike lists that you can easily access as you add books to your shelves.

Here's an example of my profile after setting up my bookshelves.

Shelfari is another site that was new to me.  I set up an account and explored quickly.  This site was very quick and easy for me to set up because it is part of Amazon. I'm an Amazon Prime member, so this was great news for me! The bookshelves are very visually pleasing and very organized. Books were very easy to find, bookmark, and organize.

Here's a snapshot of my bookshelves in Shelfari. The tabs on the side allow you to choose the bookshelves you want to see. 

Next up was BookLikes.  Booklikes also allowed you to quickly create bookshelves. It was set up more like a blog so you can create posts about what you are reading and add a review, or what you want to read, etc.  When I was searching for books to add to my blog, I did have some trouble finding certain titles.  I wasn't able to find titles that are scheduled to be released that I wanted to add to my to read list.  This was kind of a problem for me! If you like blogging and seeing information in that format, then this might be the site you would like best.
Here's an example of my completed bookshelves.  As you can see, it looks similar to posting a status or a blog post here.

The last site I visited was Biblionasium. This site was very different from the others I researched.  It was mostly geared towards teachers, students, and parents.  It allows you to set up a class account as a teacher and create a class group.  You can add students names and create passwords for them to get into the site as well.  As a teacher, you can set reading levels for each student, make recommended reading lists, required reading lists, and view reports.  Students can view your reading list, book trailers, and book reviews, as well write their own book reviews to add to the site. Another fun option is to assign reading challenges to the students. You can also get parents involved by sending home the notes that are already created for you.  It gives them information on the site and how it will be used. This is a great tool for teachers to really get kids involved and keep track of their reading.  It is very user friendly and easy to use and set up. It's also visually pleasing in a kid friendly way.

This is an example of one of my bookshelves created for my students. You can see the tabs on the left that allow you to see your options of resources, groups, and challenges.


After reviewing all of these sites, I decided that I really liked Shelfari the best.  The advantage is that it is linked with Amazon and it is also so easy to use.  I really loved the visual of the bookshelves.  I think I will be using that site as my personal book community.

As a teacher and librarian, I would really love to try out Biblionasium. I was really impressed with all the options that allow you to interact with students and parents.  I really liked that there were already book trailers and resources there for you. I think students will get really excited to see what books and challenges you post for them, as well as writing a book review for their friends. I'm excited to try this out!

1 comment:

  1. The Amazon links really do make a difference in setting up the bookshelf. Your evaluation was really helpful. I hope you send colleagues to your blog so that they can get some reviews of the sites before they delve into them.