Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Anatomy of a Blog: Wish List

Now that we have a basic understanding of what widgets are we are going to take a look at another item in our side bar: the Amazon Wish List

Just so you have some background, there are a several ways that the Darling Library acquires books. The first is through our book vendor, Midwest. We order many of our new books from them. This includes individual books as well as our standing orders, which we discussed in this month’s New Book Highlight. One of the primary ways we determine what books to add across the various subject areas is by working with faculty from each department. Both the faculty and the library receive catalogs from publishers, and based off those we determine what books to add each year. Faculty also recommends previously published material that they wish to see added as well.

A second way that books get added to the library is by donation. Many publishers, former faculty members, and other friends of Hope (or anyone who has books they would like to get rid of!) will donate items to us, and if they fit within our collection we add them into the library. If they are not added to our collection we send them on to Better World Books, a program that helps support literacy worldwide.

To further get the word out about books we would like to add to our collection, the library has an Amazon account. This allows us to take advantage of the Amazon’s wish list capabilities. By going to the wish list section of Amazon and searching “Darling Library” in the wish list search bar you will be able to find us and see what books are on our wish list. From there you can actually select on item to purchase and donate to us! The neat thing about this wish list is that it comes set up with a ship-to address, so when you are logged into your own Amazon account you can go to our wish list, pick out an item to buy from there, and have it sent to Darling Library automatically at checkout.

In order to more easily help you see what’s on our list, we have embedded a widget in the side bar of our blog entitled “Donate a Book”. This widget displays the three most recent items added to our wish list. You have the ability to sort the books that display by clicking on the drop down box and selecting “Date Added” or “Last Updated.” The date added option is fairly self-explanatory, with the most recently added books displaying; however, sorting by “Last Updated” will display any of the books we have recently changed or added information to. These updates could include adding “Requested by…” lines to the book so you can see which professor asked for that particular item or it might represent a change in that book’s priority level.

A further benefit to having an Amazon account and wish list is our participation in Amazon Associates. This means that whenever you go to Amazon through one of the Amazon links on our blog or website and purchase an item (it doesn't have to be through our wish list; it can be any Amazon link!), the library gets a percentage back for referring you to their site. So the more you buy by going to an Amazon page through a link on our site, the more money we raise!

This is just another way for you to get involved and help support our library!

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