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Search like a pro – All about lists on Bibliocommons

04/08/2020

Did you know you can search our catalogue by more than author’s names or book titles? One way to discover new items is to try searching by lists. Lists are user-generated – that is, created by anyone who uses the platform. This means you can find lists made by staff at the Ottawa Public Library, and by fellow card holders in Ottawa, but you can also find lists from libraries elsewhere in Canada, the United States, and pretty much anywhere else they use Bibliocommons in the world.   

List fall into one of two categories: general recommendations and ‘If you liked.... General recommendations covers everything from topic guides, genre guides, top picks, study guides and personal recommendations. So in other words, this would be lists with titles like “EUREKA! Books about fossils and dinosaurs”, “First Day of School Picture Books for Children”, “Getting hygge with it”, “Going Green – Sustainable Lifestyle, and “Mindfulness - downloadable audiobooks / Pleine conscience - livres audionumériques”. If You Liked offers up similar titles to hit books, so if you really enjoyed “Educated” by Tara Westover, then this list might be of interest, or if you were head over heels about “Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan, this list will be your cup of tea 

As you can see, that last list I linked to was from library staff in Calgary, so you really can access lists from all over. You can create your own lists to share if you have been reading in a particular genre or wish to create a resource on any topic. To make your own list: 

  • Sign into your account 

  • click on ‘Lists’ found in the “My Collections” section of the menu 

  • Click the Create a New List button. 

  • Click Guides and Recommendations, then select the type of list you want to make 

  • Give the list a title. The more informative it is, the more often it can be found through a search 

  • Add a description to elaborate on the title. This is optional but also helps others find your list and explains to others why you made the list 

  • Click Add to List to add catalog titles or website URLs to your list.  

  • When you’ve added all of your titles, click Finished Editing. 

  • Choose who can see your list.  

  • Click Publish. 

You can share your list with anyone on Bibliocommons, anyone in your library, anyone you send the list link to, or just yourself. You can also link items you find on the internet as well, so helpful websites, videos and other related URLs can be added.  

It’s good to keep in mind that any list you search might not have the freshest titles and items on it, especially if it’s on a topic that changes rapidly. You can always update these lists or start new ones. It’s also good to check to see who made a list and where they are located, in case what is recommended isn’t quite on topic, or if suggested titles are indeed available where you are. Try making a list and see what you think.