I am a BIG user of Goodreads. I have my personal account with over 1300 books read (it sure beats the binder I was keeping pre-Goodreads with pictures, reviews, subjects, etc.) then I began joining groups related to YA literature and then I started moderating groups. Our Capital Region BOCES YA Book Group uses Goodreads, but infrequently because everyone has competing interests– right now I tend to post the books we’ve discussed and the widget is on the CapReg BOCES site so that everyone can see what we’re reading, but it lacks some umph because it doesn’t have our reviews, just the shelves we’d put it on and technically what’s we’re reading/discussing. There is some umph behind the other groups I moderate because I’ve successfully embedded it into professional development at our school. We’re now in our third iteration of a book group– there’s the professional reading, along with the discussions and sharing. My favorite feature of the group is that they can be “secret” as in “invitation only”, so there’s no fear that someone out there will see the opinion you have about X topic or your disappointment in school district Y’s policy on Z. One thing I did learn recently, because Goodreads has awesome support is the iOS doesn’t support the videos. I had added some great videos to preview the book with author interviews but anyone with an iPhone or iPad couldn’t view them. It’s not completely disappointing, but I guess I didn’t realize I wasn’t seeing videos when I use the Goodreads app because I go back and forth between my computer and phone a lot– it was only after one of the teachers asked. Her computer was broken and she couldn’t see it on her iPad after I had mentioned it at one of our face-to-face meetings.
But I digress, what I really want to get in to is boosting it’s use for students. So many are too busy with after school activities to come to a book group, so I figured we’d move it online. I use Goodreads with students in a hands-off way. When a teacher wants book suggestions for their students on a specific topic, I’ll create a list, drop in the titles and then place the widget on the library site (I love to play with the visualization of the widgets and how easily embedded they are). This past year, I’ve really used Goodreads.
So, for the new year, that school group I created will have some fresh info that will promote the Skype author visit we’ll be doing in May, books for our book group that will get off the ground as a new years resolution to themselves to READ MORE– which we’ll be promoting like mad in the library.