With two little boys who still can't visit the children's section without an adult, picking out library books for myself can be a bit of a challenge. Don't get me wrong -- I totally agree that little kids shouldn't be wandering the huge library building alone!
Browsing the new fiction section with a five year old and a six year old is a bit challenging. The last time I tried it, I wound up hissing at another woman's little boy to stop bounding up and down and touching the ugly stained glass. I honestly thought he was one of mine, and I immediately apologized to her, and I still feel bad about it.
It's better for everyone if I can just spirit my youngest upstairs to the children's section where everyone is okay with bouncing and there's no tempting art to manhandle. That's where the online card catalog comes in. I can browse books from home, reserve the titles I want, and bribe my teenager to get them off the shelf for me.
The descriptions on the library's website are vague, if not non-existent. That's where Goodreads comes in. It's got all the descriptions and reviews I could ever want, and it lets me keep a list of books I want to read. I haven't had the best luck with the new recommendations feature - maybe because it's basing its suggestions on books I read a long time ago and not what I'm reading now. It works better for me to pick a book I just read and loved, go to Amazon, and look at the "customers who bought this item also bought" lists.
I decide what I want to read, add it to my list of books to read at Goodreads and pick a couple of titles whenever I'm running low on things to read.
Works for me! To see what works for others, click over to We are THAT family.