Way back in the day I seriously geeked out over a piece of software called Delicious Library. It allowed you to use a webcam to scan bar codes off of books, cd’s and dvd’s, and then organize them on digital bookshelves. You could see your entire collection visually and use it to keep track of what you had, what you wanted, and perhaps most importantly, who you had loaned things to!
What ultimately stopped me from buying it and scanning in everything I owned was that there was no way to take that information and share it online (although I did just discover that a few third parties did come up with tools to do that).
That’s why I was so excited to discover YourSharade. While it’s currently in private beta, it looks like a Web2.0 version of Delicious Library. It turns your webcam into a barcode scanner that lets you scan in your stuff. Interestingly, they don’t stop at books and movies. It looks like you can even scan in things like clothes or whatever else you might find that has a bar code! Then your friends and colleagues can browse through it, perhaps to arrange for a little swap.
Considering how much I spend on books every year, I would love to do some trading with people to try to save myself some cash. It looks like you can even sell stuff on there, so if I can’t trade my signed copy of Bruce Hornsby’s The Way It Is to someone, maybe I can sell it off.
I don’t know about your classrooms, but my bookshelves always started off nice, neat and organized. Wouldn’t it be a great summer project to scan in all of your books, and then use a tool like this for students to browse your class library and check books out?
I can’t wait till the public beta so I can give it a try!