Library Journal Publisher Media Source Launches Book Reviews Database

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In a move to develop a larger audience among librarians and eventually build a consumer audience, Media Source, publisher of Library Journal and other media properties focused on the library market, has launched a book reviews database, Book Verdict.

The site launches with 300,000 reviews and the company calls it in a statement “the ultimate guide for book lovers.” The site will be updated weekly and 19,000 reviews will be added annually.

“When we start getting more granular in terms of rankings and ratings and stars, we believe we have a meaningful application for consumers,” said Ian Singer, vice president and group publisher at Media Source.

Subscribers of Library Journal or School Library Journal will have access to the site’s database of reviews. For a discounted fee, they can also buy access to the site’s tools, like creating and tagging lists, saving searches and exporting metadata. Non-subscribers have access to a limited version of the review site but can buy full access for $99 for a year.

While focused on librarians currently, the site will eventually also be targeted toward consumers who read and share book reviews.

According to Singer, the site is past the beta phase but Media Source will continue development on it to add more functionality.

“We wanted this out in the market so we could get feedback and we’re going to continue to enhance it,” said Singer.

The company will debut Book Verdict at the American Library Association’s annual conference next week in Anaheim, Calif.

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