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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Libraries and BookCrossing.com

Libraries are a really big part of my life. I wish I could say books are too, but I read for fun and personal satisfaction much less than I used to before starting Tutor.com (New Year's resolutions maybe in a separate post later).

But libraries are always on my mind -- I've been to every American Library Association conference in the past 7 years and am a member and active sponsor of ALA; I am on the Board of Directors of Libraries for the Future (www.lff.org); more than 1,800 library locations in 45 states are customers of Tutor.com; and I often think back to the many days at the local public library in Queens as a very young immigrant (see brief story at http://www.tutor.com/libraries/we_love_libraries.aspx).

So when I read today's Cyberfamilia's column in the NYTimes (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/20/fashion/20Cyber.html), I got excited by the topic (new way to share books) and the creative perspective on libraries. As a result, I just created my account at http://www.bookcrossing.com. Just brilliant how one person with an idea can tap into the true power of the Internet to build a network of millions of people around the idea of spreading knowledge. I want to see BookCrossing break the million user mark, so go join, register your first book, set it free, and tell a few friends.

As you've seen from my previous postings, I rarely write about topics that aren't somehow related to Tutor.com, and this isn't an exception. Lots of fodder here for thoughts about building a community of users -- fodder that you'll see turning into reality in 2008...

George Cigale, gcigale@tutor.com