I don't think this is a new thing, but my Director recently showed me Edelweiss Interactive Publisher Catalogs.
It appears to be geared more towards bookstores than libraries, but Edelweiss is a free product from Above the Treeline for searching book vendors' catalogs. The goal seems to be to avoid wasting the paper of printed publisher catalogs, which I am all for. Searching can be filtered to limit to certain publishers or topics, and that is useful, but sometimes, flipping through a printed catalog is just better.
More features and explanation from their homepage:
- Paper catalogs are out of date and inaccurate before the ink is dry.
- Reduce expenses and environmental costs by eliminating wasteful catalog printing and reaching more, and more targeted customers.
- The American Booksellers Association has endorsed edelweiss as the preferred solution for its membership.
- Search keywords, authors, excerpts, and more across all participating publishers and catalogs.
- Easily tag, filter, sort, view, and export title lists in custom formats.
- Exchange notes, comments, and suggested order quantities between peers, publisher sales reps, and retailers.
So what's the difference between searching this and searching Amazon? The filtering for one, but the last point could make collaborative ordering easier. However, we use an entirely different system at my library, and are unlikely to change.