Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Chapters/Indigo adds LibraryThing tags to store kiosks

Update: INDEX // mb just took another look at the Indigo Kisoks, concluding “The addition of the Library Thing tags make a heap of difference.”

Chapters/Indigo, the largest Canadian bookseller, just rolled out thousands of brand new in-store kiosks. (See the mostly positive review at Index//mb). Among other things the new search is enhanced by LibraryThing tags. The tags aren’t shown on the page, but they’re helping drive better search results.

For example, a search for “medieval murder mystery” turns up appropriate books, starting with the Ellis PetersBrother Cadfael books.

We wish we could link to the system, but kiosks are in-store only. So, if you’re in Canada, check it out. (And try big ones like “chick lit” or “steampunk” for us, will you?)

Other users of LibraryThing tags include Random House (example), AquaBrowser and the more than 150 public and academic libraries using LibraryThing for Libraries, from Seattle to Utrecht.

Labels: booksellers, chapters, chapters/indigo, indigo, tags


  1. elenchus says:

    I'm curious how this works: do they run LTFL in the background, in order to get updated tag data? Or do you provide an updated file that they log into their kiosk db?

    Also, is there any way that Chapters/Indigo can measure the improved search, or otherwise credit us (or I suppose, blame us) for improved service to customers? Seems unlikely that customers will know enough to say anything, since the tags aren't shown to them.

    Regardless, love that the LT data is out there helping out with in-store searches.

  2. Tim says:

    It's a data feed, not LTFL. (That would be a real integration nightmare.)

    No idea how they'll measure it, especially since it's a totally new system.

  3. Mike says:

    Our customers are vocal about the quality of the search results they get, and have been asking for a subject search function for a while — as you can imagine, we're watching their feedback closely to see whether this meets their needs.

    It'll be tricky in the short run to directly align sales to it, but once we get into the thick of the holidays, we'll be getting direct feedback from staff and customers on how helpful it is.

    So far the response has been very enthusiastic!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hey! That's soooo cool! I will check it out next time I'm in a Chapters and report back then.

  5. Margalioth says:

    Does this mean that there's hope that Chapters/Indigo might be added as a data source (for adding books) someday soon? It sure would be useful…

    (And yes, I know that these two issues probably aren't related at a technical/computer level — but perhaps the good will generated between the two companies might allow/encourage it?)

  6. Tim says:

    I don't believe Chapters/Indigo is an independent data source. I think they're using someone else, like Ingram or Bowker.

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