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Reviews in Context in the Physical World

   August 16th, 2011

Something the whole Web 2.0 revolution introduced was the ability for websites to include user-reviews right along side product/company information. Yelp.com is my favorite example, listing a restaurant's address and details, and reviews from diners about their experience. This, perhaps more than most things, changed the nature of how people use the internet (and how companies on the internet use people).

So anyway, this past weekend was one of my library's drop-off days for our annual Friends of the Library book sale. While going through some of the donations on Saturday, I found the movies below - the previous owner added their own review right to the cover.

I don't know if this was for personal use, or staff reviews from a video store, or someone writing reviews for a family member to read, but I love the idea. It's the same as posting reviews on Amazon, Yelp, or in the library catalog, but just in the physical world.

On-item user review
On-item user review
On-item user review
On-item user review

Every once in awhile I'll request a book from another library, or buy an old library book at a used book sale, and stuck inside the front cover will be a review from a newspaper or magazine. I would love it if my library could do this, but the volume of new items just makes this practice unsustainable. Not only would it be helpful for patrons, it would also remind me why I bought the book in the first place.

Of course, since I do most of my selection via RSS feeds, instead of by reading physical journals, I guess it wouldn't work anyway. Sigh.

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4 Responses to “Reviews in Context in the Physical World”

  1. Cedric Says:

    I actually imagine the first three as presents given to someone that went unappreciated. As though someone felt the need to explain why they’d chosen these particular DVDs to give to a friend… who then donated them to the library.

    On the other hand, you could consider yourself the intended recipient and that they were reviews written for you.

  2. Swiss Army Librarian » Reviews in Context in the Physical World :: Brian Herzog | Social Media in Libraries | Scoop.it Says:

    […] Swiss Army Librarian » Reviews in Context in the Physical World :: Brian Herzog Swiss Army Librarian is a blog by Brian Herzog mostly about library and technology issues relating to public libraries… Source: http://www.swissarmylibrarian.net […]

  3. Virgil Says:

    That’s wicked cool! At one library I work at we have whats called “Reader Reviews” in the back of the new fiction. Patrons give the book a rating on a scale of one to five and write a brief review.

  4. Swiss Army Librarian » More On-The-Item Patron Reviews :: Brian Herzog Says:

    […]    April 4th, 2012 A few months ago, someone donated DVDs to the library that had their personal reviews stuck to the covers. In that same theme, we recently found one of the library's Twilight books had been "reviewed" […]