October 5, 2011
A Quick Look at DPLA ShelfLife's Beta Catalog Interface
David H. Rothman offers a quick look at DLPA ShelfLife project at Ingenious beta catalog interface—good for academics and other serious users on LibraryCity (republished on LLRX). He observes "ShelfLife lives up to the visual metaphor, even though I'd hope that DPLA Beta Sprinters would offer another, even simpler option for casual users at both academic and public libraries. Harvard-simple isn't necessarily public-library simple." Hat tip to Rothman for the below video.
ShelfLife is intended to provide users with a rich environment for exploring the combined content of the DPLA, discovering new works and engaging more deeply with them via social interactions. It displays the available content via a scrollable virtual representation of library shelves, providing users with their most familiar experience of physical libraries. But any work can instantly be shown in a variety of different shelves (facets), clustering it with other works to facilitate serendipity and contextual understanding. ShelfLife will support a "click and play" interface for reading/viewing available items. Users will be guided to new works by a recommendation system based on aggregated anonymous usage data and, importantly, via rich social interactions with friends and fellow fans of works. The information generated by users explicitly (by writing reviews, favoriting works, creating collections, etc.) and implicitly (by doing the digital equivalent of "checking works out", browsing interactively, etc.) will be fed back into the system's recommendation engine, so that it learns. ShelfLife will integrate data from local public libraries and will make available to its users the real-time expertise of librarians.