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ITS@SXSWInteractive2016July 29, 2015

In the Stacks @ SXSW Interactive 2016 Panel Picker

Beginning August 10, vote for the Librarians In the Stacks for SXSW Interactive 2016.

Watch this space and our social media for more information. In the meantime, here’s our submission:

In the Stacks Future15: Connecting Librarians & Booklovers

At the Stacks, we’re bringing the Librarian Brains out of the library. Some call it outbound reader’s advisory. We call it book discovery curated by some of the best book brains available: Librarians.

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July 22, 2015

Pitching the Librarian Brain from In the Stacks @ ALA 2015

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ViewfromFireEscapeJuly 1, 2015

View from San Francisco

I just uploaded hundreds more photos taken from my fire escape!—MEZ

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ALA_SFlogoJune 24, 2015


The Librarians In the Stacks will be at the American Library Association conference in San Francisco! Stop by the mobile app pavilion, check out our demo, and sign up for our private beta.

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LibrarianZombieMemeJune 10, 2015

Resurrecting the In the Stacks Crowdfunder

There’s only two weeks until In the Stacks demos our Book App at ALA SF! Between our crowdfunder and the Women Startup Challenge we should be able to reach our goal. DONATE TODAY Cheers—Michelle


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ITSBEA_laterJune 3, 2015

Back from BookExpo America with Great Feedback

We had an amazing experience presenting and pitching the Librarian Brain and our other expertly curated book discovery products at BEA in New York. It was inspiring to be in the company of other book lovers, coders, and digital innovators who are helping paper make the transition to digital.

It’s very encouraging to connect with other people who recognize librarians for the book experts we are. This is just the beginning of our story. More Soon—Michelle


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BookExpo15May 27, 2015

In the Stacks @ BookExpo Startup Challenge

My team and I are pitching our book recommendation products, including the Librarian Brain, at Startup Alley at BookExpo America Startup Challenge, a publishing startup competition.

Help us get there by backing the In the Stacks crowdfunder!

Wish us luck #booklovers—Michelle Z. from In the Stacks.tv

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ITSApp_Top5Picks_WrappedMay 13, 2015

Update on the In the Stacks Book Recommendation App

So what’s going on with the ITS app, anyway? Let me see….

You may have noticed the introduction of the new product from In the Stacks, the Librarian Brain. It’s a database of books reviewed by librarians. We’re compiling the data in a MySQL database, and this is what powers the web and mobile apps In the Stacks.

We’ve decided to run a private beta for the In the Stacks app, so we can do A/B testing on several different search scenarios within the Librarian Brain. Namely, experiments ranking the tallied book review data, using a basic recommender algorithm (we’re using the open source H20 product from 0xdata as the data dashboard over MySQL via Python) to give recs based on the bottom third, and using ensemble and semantic search strategies. We’re essentially mapping Librarian brains based on the data we’ve collected. After we run testing and land on search results we think are good enough to start with, we’ll begin training the data using machine learning and artificial intelligence, to encourage the database to think like a Librarian Brain, and provide the best book recommendations.

If the user is logged in, the app and Librarian List widget will combine the book suggestions from the Librarian Brain with user preferences, to provide Top 5 Picks personalized especially for them. If no user is logged in, the list will be a general Top 5 Book Picks at that point in time. We landed on this product 18 months ago and I’ve followed through with building it because I truly see the value in using librarian book recommendations to refine book discovery within a larger search engine.

That’s all I can share for now. Anyway, we need time to test this, and will use our appearances at conferences in the coming months to gather more beta tester users.

We’ve also reassessed our money-making options regarding which products realistically have the better chance of attracting users and turning a profit. Mobile apps don’t earn money unless they go viral, and an app sitting in the app stores priced at $.99 probably isn’t going to get noticed.

So, we’re offering a consumer-facing Librarian List of Top 5 Picks generated by the Librarian Brain, that can be installed within a digital experience. Bloggers, publishers, bookstores, authors, booklovers, and big enterprise clients can all partner with us to earn sales on any books sold. Booklovers will see the Librarian List everywhere (we hope!). Other options for products generated by the Librarian Brain seem endless, and we hope libraries will benefit, too.

The apps and the subscription-based Librarian List will be available in Fall 2015—or earlier, if you want to donate and be a beta tester! Or already have :)

Please spread the word and donate to In the Stacks crowdfunder and help us bring the Librarian Brain to life. THANK YOU. I love you xo—Michelle Z. from the In the Stack.tv

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