Nov 08

Browsing the DVD collection digitally

If your library doesn’t add genres to the MARC record of films, it’s really difficult to browse a collection that is shelved alphabetically by title (which is common). If you know what film you want to watch, you can search the OPAC/library catalog and go to the shelves to find it. But suppose you’d like a western or a romantic comedy or a horror flick for the weekend, and you want to browse the collection of horror films, you can’t do it onine — and you’re stuck browsing the whole collection of DVDs on the shelves until you land some satisfactory horror movie, romantic comedy, or western. To make a list browsable online by director, say, is easy enough since most directors are listed in a MARC record field from which the data can be exported. But if you want to sort by data that isn’t in the film’s MARC record….   Wouldn’t it be nice to have a list of DVD holdings browsable by genre? Let’s solve this problem, design the solution, and build it!

1 comment

  1. Amanda French

    Good idea! Social tagging might be one way to get around the genre issue (similar to the way it works in LibraryThing, which lets users browse by tags like “Chick lit” or “Dystopia” as well as by LC subject headings). Have you heard about the University of Pennsylvania’s PennTags project where they let their patrons add tags to records? Of course, the problem with tagging is that not everything gets tagged if you’re relying on your users to do it. So I think the approach would have to be a little different.

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