Spot the Empire Librarian's blog

Welcome to a librarian's online musings on libraries, literature and information media.

Can you find a book by its cover……?

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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?

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Author: spotwin

While I am a librarian , I am a reading cheerleader. The purpose of this library blog is to better promote reading and information literacy to community. I love books, reading to my son,properly placed apostrophes,canoeing, locating the nearest Starbucks, cheering the Montreal Canadians, and Cherry Garcia ice cream.

One thought on “Can you find a book by its cover……?

  1. I have a problem, I don’t remember the title of a great book I read and I’m looking for it. I was hoping someone would be able to help me out. The cover has a girl with big black wings on the cover she is above a lake or river and she has on pants and her face is pointed down her dark hair is covering her front to about her belly..thanks

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