Allen County Public Library has a cool way to browse its “new books” section online. Superpatron Ed Vielmetti first coded a “wall of books” a couple of years ago, and Mike Cunningham wrote a book cover browser for the 2006 Talis Mashing up the Library Contest, but this is the first public library implementation I’ve seen of something like this.
Personally, I’d prefer to go straight to the catalog record when I click on a cover, but this is a great way to translate some of the warm fuzzies surrounding physical books in our buildings to our online catalogs. As someone who never goes to my home library for new books because they are embargoed from checkout for a week (even when I am holding them in my hand), this would be a far easier way for me to browse new books remotely without having to strain my eyes reading through three hundred lines of text. As a user (not a librarian), I’d also love to see the summary of the book appear in a mouseover and have this list broken out by genre. If my library offered these things and threw in NetFlix-style delivery, they’d have a devoted follower for life.