How many times have I encountered a library patron, seeking a book with a purple cover? Let me be the first to explain to everyone who has lived under a rock for the past 100 year: we do not file items in a library by colour. Many of us use the Dewey Decimal System of Classification, others employ the Library of Congress classification system. Both facilitate subject access by allowing the user to find out what works or documents the library has on a certain subject. Secondly, they provide a known location for the information source to be located (e.g. where it is shelved). It works. It is kinda a big deal.
However, the benefit of technology has improved subject access dramatically, thanks to the help of Google Images. For example, on e of my young Falcon Students asks for a book about “T’was the night before Christmas”, but does not remember which version. However, the student does remember that it had a blue cover.
This is a very common statement at the reference desk. Luckily out new library Destiny catalog allows for a display of cover art in most cases, though not always. Of course, this does limit the search to what the library owns.
Luckily, a Google images search can help. By using the search terms ‘ night before Christmas’ and using the colour filter on the right hand tool bar, several items pop up – by Mary Englebright, Jan Brett and Walter Wick’s puzzle book, to name a few.
The beauty of using Google Image search to find books by various attributes: by colour, or face, or line art or photograph or such. At times, searching for something in Images is a great idea… especially if it’s a visual property you are seeking (such as “blue book cover”). Perhaps Destiny should take note of such filtered searching options in their catalog?