Check out the competition

Fussy LibrarianAn interesting link came around at work recently – The Fussy Librarian. They claim, “The Fussy Librarian is the first website to match readers not only with the genre of books they like but also their preferences about content.” Really? Looks like a for-profit model of online RA, but very similar to the form-based services many public libraries are now offering. The focus is strictly on ebooks, and authors/publishers submit their work for inclusion directly to the site. I read in the fine print they are affiliated with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple.

Naturally I did some secret shopping. I signed up for the Literary Fiction and Biography categories, with no restrictions on language, violence or sex. The next day I received an email from “headlibrarian” with 2 titles: Broken In: A Novel in Stories by Jadi Campbell; and Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account by Miklos Nyiszli, accompanied by their publisher descriptions. I’m pretty sure this is machine-generated, and there’s no space on the form for comments like favourite (or despised) authors, etc. It is interesting that they are using our branding (the bespectacled, bun-headed “Librarian”) to sell the service. (I’ll admit I’m intrigued by the first title, which is a first novel, not available in my library system.)

I looked around, but I didn’t find any other for-profit sites in this market. Has anyone else come across anything?

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One thought on “Check out the competition

  1. taramatsuzaki

    Thanks for your investigation and report on the Fussy Librarian.

    I read The Novel Cure by Ella Berthoud & Susan Elderkin. This new book has had heaps of press. The authors promise that “Whether you have a stubbed toe or a stubborn case of the blues, you’ll find a cure in the form of a novel – or a combination of novels – to help ease your pain.”

    Their website lists remedies (republished entries from their book) and invites people to submit their ailments: http://thenovelcure.com/surgery I think this is a free service.

    They started out at the School of Life – which is a pretty great London-based website/institution and charge 80 pounds for their bibliotherapy services! http://www.theschooloflife.com/shop/individual-bibliotherapy/

    Reply

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