Tuesday, January 23, 2007

name authority file

Years ago when I borrowed a book from the library it would be stamped in the back with a due date on a card. Often there would also be a card on which various borrowers would initial it to show themselves that they had read the book. Some would write their full name and a few comments, always in pencil. I enjoyed reading the names and comments so much that I took to leaving my name and a few comments penciled in as well. It was often surprising to get a loan of a book that I would have thought was popular and to find that the date on the back of it told a story of only being borrowed once or twice and then not taken out for three years.

Now that’s all gone. The books I get each week are scanned, often by myself, and there’s a truncated printout of what I have borrowed. I can however enter my library online from home or office and access and search the whole catalogue and more. I can see a list of what I have out and I can renew books. I still feel a bit guilty about renewing all my books the day after I borrow them, but I find it saves me many dollars in fines. And I justify it by reminding myself that if I “reserve” a book that is sitting at a far away library in the system, and I do it online to be picked up at my local library then it costs me $1.70. But if I physically walk into my local library and ask for the book to be transferred over it costs nothing. To my mind the online transaction should be cheaper.

Although I can see the books I have out online I cannot save the complete list as a .txt file with author etc. I can, funnily enough, save each book detail one by one on the library’s online system then email the details of each one, one at a time per email, to myself and then cut and paste it into a document. Time consuming and tedious.

I’d like to see a simple system whereby I could call up all the books I’ve borrowed in say the last year, save it as a text file or a .csv file with author etc. I would also like the ability to have a local library Wiki entry for each book where I could simply upload the record and note that I had borrowed an item and add some comments, as could other borrowers. I imagine that it would be helpful for me in choosing other books and I might get to meet others with similar reading interests.

I wonder if any library is fostering this sort of online thing – it seems simple enough to do

Anyway this is what I carried home this week according to my card:

Bert Stern's Jazz on a summer's day [dvd] With : Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Gerry Mulligan, Dinah Washington, Chico Hamilton, Anita O'Day, George Shearing, Jimmy Guiffre, Chuck Berry, Jack Teagarden, Thelonius Monk, Big Maybelle, Sonny Stitt, Eli's Chosen Six ... [et al.].Takes a look at the music, musicians, and spectators at the Newport Jazz Festival, 1958.

Burn : the epic story of bushfire in Australia / Paul Collins.

On murder 2 [text] : true crime writing in Australia edited by Kerry Greenwood.
On murder [text] : true crime writing in Australia edited by Kerry Greenwood.

Continent of mystery : a thematic history of Australian crime fiction Stephen Knight.

Gothic Matilda [text] : the amazing visions of Australian crime fiction -Michael Pollak, Margaret MacNabb.

Complicated shadows : the life and music of Elvis Costello - Graeme Thomson.

Tree-kangaroos of Australia and New Guinea - Roger Martin ; illustrated by Sue Simpson

Mystery : an illustrated history of crime and detective fiction - designed by Christopher Scott. Author: Haining, Peter, 1940-

North of the moonlight sonata. - Kerryn Goldsworthy.

The crime Tsar Nicola McAuliffe.

Visions of the universe : latest discoveries in space revealed Raman K. Prinja

The complete idiot's guide to extreme weather by Julie Bologna and Christopher K. Passante.

Sichuan cookbook [text] Fuchsia Dunlop

Native state [text] Tony Cohan

Call for the dead John le Carre

The education of a young Liberal John Hyde Page.

Slow burn [text] : a Leo Waterman mystery : G. M. Ford.