Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day 3 - Goodreads

Day 3 of the 20 day Blog Challenge

A website that I cannot live without, its features, and how I use it in my job.

This theme was a tough one for me as I use so many different tools and websites everyday. I have decided that Goodreads is my website of choice to talk about as I use it in so many different ways, and I keep finding more ways to use it.

I use Goodreads as a personal tool to keep track of the books I have read. I have a number of shelves that are used consistently, and I add to this list when needed. I do like to do short reviews of the books I have read. My shelf is embedded in this blog (see on the left hand side) and updates automatically. This year I have also signed up for the 2014 reading challenge on Goodreads I nominated how many books I wish to read in the year and as I log my reading, Goodreads keeps track for me.

I use Goodreads extensively in my job as a middle years Teacher Librarian in the following ways.
  • It is the one social media platform I am comfortable to be friends with current students. As I read mainly YA fiction, they can see what I am reading to hopefully be inspired to read some of the titles. I too can see what is trending amongst the students so I can keep abreast of what is being read widely that may otherwise go under the radar. The library has its own Goodreads account, which encourages students to be their friend as well.
  • Using Goodreads listopia for collection development  if I have a specific theme I am looking for, or just for ideas on new titles.
  • Creating lists on Goodreads for my and others benefit - (Asian teen voice to be read alongside Catcher in the Rye). Hopefully to be added to by others.
  • Reading reviews of books by real readers than reviewers is always beneficial to deciding on purchases. We have used QR codes on the books and displays directing the future reader to reviews on Goodreads.
  • Using it as a tool in Literature Circles through the groups function to promote discussion between students has had mixed results. If the students are keen, then it works well, but if not, then like anything, it has varied results. I have had students start up their own groups to discuss series such as Divergent and the Hunger games, so that has been a positive spin off. One student joined a group to create fan fiction of one her favourite series. So it can be extended as widely as the students take it.
  • There are quizzes that Goodreads members can participate or even create, and this can be used as an extension activity for wide reading or literature circles.
  • There is also an ebook page where sometimes surprisingly good fanfiction ebooks can be found and downloaded along with published titles.
  • Working with the English dept we are trying to have the students review their books read, both in and out of class time to extend their authentic writing to an audience. This is in the early stages.
  • There are also many authors featured on Goodreads with interviews and other information.
  • We have our Goodreads page linked from the front of the library page, our OPAC front page and the intranet page to give easy access to yet another great tool.
Goodreads is for over 13's along with most social media, and students do have access to read about books that may not be appropriate for them. Overall it is a great tool for managing reading, recommending titles, and participating in all things literature based.  It is constantly open on my computer.  Of course there is the Goodreads app for mobile devices so you can also take it with you!

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