18 May 2012

Old school social filtering: Harvard's Awesome Box

Harvard's Awesome Box is a really nice example of merging a more traditional side of the library with new technologies, and might offer an innovative solution for any libraries that are not having much luck encouraging readers to recommend or review titles with apps like Library Thing or OPAC plug-ins.

A simple box marked 'Awesome' is placed on the counter, just like a traditional returns box, where users can return books that they recommend. the titles are then scanned so other readers can see the most recently 'awesomed' books. It's a way that ensures that even those who aren't tuned in to the world of social media / networking can still connect socially with what others are reading and find useful. By placing the Awesome box in the library itself, users interact with the library in a way that could help to build relationships and a sense of community, particularly in public libraries or school libraries. However, perhaps the awesome box may need to be rebranded a little for the Irish market.

More details on the technical aspects of the project are available in the Harvard Library Lab's Grant Proposal form.


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