The Library Catalogue as Social Space
Promoting Patron Driven Collections, Online Communities, and Enhanced Reference and Readers' Services
by Laurel Tarulli
January 2012, 122pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-59884-629-4
$50, £39, 44€, A69
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-59884-630-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Professionals and library organizations such as Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) suggest that the most important factor for end-users seeking information is receiving that data conveniently—how they want it, when they want it. But users also want discovery-related information beyond the standard summaries, excerpts, and tables of contents. Can library catalogues meet these heightened demands?

Emphasizing the advantages of working together and exploring the future of library services in an online, socially connected world, this exciting book shows how all public library professionals can take advantage of our strongest community and information tool—the library catalogue.

This book is a guide to the library catalogue that all public library professionals will find enlightening and useful. Its technical services perspective provides a different point of view as compared to traditional public library literature, which is often written by frontline professionals. For example, it poses and examines this thought-provoking question: should library catalogues be considered the primary gateway to the library’s information, rather than the library website?

Author and collection access librarian Laurel Tarulli examines next-generation or “social” catalogues, discussing the theories and concepts behind them, their impact on core library services, and their potential in shaping future libraries and library services. Geared toward frontline and backroom staff, this book helps readers understand next-generation catalogues and see the collaborative opportunities that are possible between the frontline and backroom. Written to be much more than a “one-time” read, this resource book provides practical ideas for beneficial collaboration and implementation of social features in library catalogues.


  • An index of key concepts and terms
  • A foreword written by Barbara Tillett, chief of the Policy and Standards Division at the Library of Congress
Laurel Tarulli is collection access librarian at Halifax Public Libraries, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; a consultant for NoveList; and recipient of ALA's Esther J. Piercy Award.


"What a fascinating book and a must-read for all librarians! . . . The book is very well researched and well written, and the discussion is supported by examples of next-generation catalogues in use today. . . . This really is an excellent book that comprehensively discusses the current and future possibilities of library catalogues. It is recommended for anyone interested in learning about the capabilities and exciting potential of next-generation catalogues."—Australian Library Journal, February 1, 2013

"The book provides some thought-provoking questions, while at the same time introduces social technology. Several practical suggestions for implementing free social features in library catalogs are provided."—ARBA, January 1, 2013

"If you are thinking about what to do with your catalog to make it more interactive and relevant, this book is for you. Recommended."—Teacher Librarian, April 1, 2012

"With the growing use of Web 2.0 by library patrons, integrating this technology into the catalog is the best way to reach patrons, and Tarulli helps both novice and seasoned librarians to achieve success in any library setting."—Booklist Online, March 15, 2012
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.