Because so many users enjoy browsing the physical shelves, we've introduced a new Virtual Shelf Browse feature in Catalyst to supplement, but hopefully never replace, an in-person visit to the shelves.
There are some things Virtual Shelf Browse can do that aren't possible in-person:
• You can access it from home or anywhere you have an Internet-connected device. It works pretty well on a tablet and even on your phone.
• It includes books from various JH Libraries shelving locations in one single virtual stack, such as MSEL, Welch, and our off-site storage (Libraries Service Center).
• Books that are currently checked out by another patron still appear in the Virtual Shelf Browse. Even some (but not all) ebooks from our extensive ebook collection appear.
Note that not every book at Hopkins has a Library of Congress Classification number. While Virtual Shelf Browse includes more of our collection than any single physical location, you can't assume that you're seeing everything -- just as when you're looking at physical shelves too.
We hope the Virtual Shelf Browse provides another way to find material from the Hopkins Libraries collections. Please let us know what you think!
This post was originally composed by Jonathan Rochkind, a JH Libraries developer, for the Sheridan Libraries Blog. The user interface that we used for Virtual Shelf Browse was originally developed by the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, and shared with other interested parties, including Jonathan, under an open source license. Many thanks to Harvard for sharing their software!