March 31st, 2009

Stars and Thumbs!

We want your stars and thumbs!  Do you see something on our site that you’ve read, viewed or listened to?  If so, we want your opinion.  Your thoughts and ideas are important to us and to our website users.  Plus, they’re fun to read!

Way back when, we’d watch TV every week to see Siskel and Ebert match wits and thumbs as they critiqued current film offerings.  They would summarize with “two thumbs up” if they both loved a film.  Often as not, they disagreed – both civilly and passionately – with one thumb up and one thumb down.  So where does all this thumb business come from anyway?

This is your librarian speaking, so you are going to find out.  Webster’s Dictionary says simply thumbs-down was first documented in usage around 1889 as a gesture of rejection, disapproval or condemnation.  Thumbs-up is a gesture of approval or encouragement dating back in usage to around 1922.  It took 33 years for the old folks to see the bright side.

Wikipedia – the born-digital equivalent of the Encyclopedia Britannica, the World Almanac and every goofy theory you ever heard all rolled into one – shows us an actual picture of a thumbs up and delves into a discussion of “opposable thumbs”.  The theory may be that our progenitors were just happy they had thumbs – so thumbs up to that!

And that raises another question – did Siskel and Ebert really trademark “two thumbs up”?  According to Wikipedia, the phrase was trademarked in 1989 to protect it from fraudulent use.

Ok – so all we really want is your humble opinion about books, CD books and DVDs in the library.  We think people’s rating are interesting and helpful and that you will too!  And so as not to infringe or fraudulently misuse “thumbs up,” we give you the opportunity to rate in stars instead.  The more stars the better.  Set your own standard.  Find something you love or hate or even feel middling about and dole out those stars.  The magic comes from a built in database that will average the stars based on the number of raters and the number of stars.  Just hover over the stars by each title and click.  You get one rating per item so that the results won’t be skewed.

If clicking stars doesn’t come close to expressing your opinion, you have the option of getting your other fingers in gear and typing a short comment.  Your words let everyone know how you really feel!  Your comments will be reviewed and shared for all to see… and rate… and comment on.  It’s the Web 2.0 way.




2 Responses

  • Curious Posted April 30th, 2009

    Clarification needed on where the stars actually are…Are they only available on staff recommended books? I question this because searching through the catalog today, I didn’t see them. Am I missing them perhaps? Please clarify where you “rate” books, DVDs, etc. Thank you.

  • admin Posted May 1st, 2009

    Thanks for your question! Any book, DVD or other material that you see on our http://www.cecil.ebranch.info site can be rated by clicking the little stars, or you can also leave a comment. However, books and other materials in the catalog cannot be rated at this time. We are looking forward to expanding our rating and commenting system to the catalog in the future.