List Making

One of the ways that I like to kick the tires of a new-to-me bibliographic system is to try to make a list of the CBC Massey Lectures with it.

This post briefly describes some of the outcomes of these experiments.


There are 56 printed works in the CBC Massey Lectures series. Thanks to LibraryThing, it takes no work to know that I own 42 works in this series.


Of course I have a Zotero folder filled with Massey Lectures. This allows me to export the list in pretty much any way I would need.

OMNI (Alma-Primo)

This is the system used at my place of work.

The reader is able to easily add items as ‘My Favourites.’ From there, the reader can add tags to each item as a means of separating this collection into more discrete lists.

The system is elegantly simple but it is decidedly not social as there is no way to share a list with others. There are two export options: as RIS or as CSV file or Excel spreadsheet. The columns of this export are kinda odd though.

And there’s the matter that items in Alma that can be found in Leganto are designated as such, but there is no link to the corresponding reading list.


Leganto is Exlibris’ “resource list management solution enables faculty to easily deliver course materials.” I tried to re-purpose it to share a list of Massey Lectures but the system resists this user-case in many little ways.


Once upon a time, the Windsor Public Library used Bibliocommons as its discovery layer over its catalogue. I used it to make a list of Massey Lectures.

Open Library

I began making a list of the Massey Lectures on the Internet Archive’s Open Library over ten years ago.

Fun fact: if you want to see a cover image for a particular book in an Evergreen-catalogue, you can add it to Open Library and sometime later, that cover will be picked up by the system.


I couldn’t remember if I had contributed to the Wikipedia entry for the Massey Lectures.

I did a user contribution search in the page’s history tab and it turns out that I did (!) around the same time I made the list in Open Library.


The Wikidata entry for Massey Lectures is Q2992965

Now we are getting to the examples of when making lists of books really helped me better understand the system at hand.

When Wikidata considers the Massey Lectures as both an instance of a radio program and lecture series, how does one connect an individual lecture / book to its parent series?

I’m not sure if this is the “right way” but my best guess to add each individual work can be added as a ‘part of’ the Massey Lectures. This, mind you, only works when you are adding entries that already exist in Wikidata.


Now, I could have made a list of the Massey Lectures in Goodreads.

But I opted to create a list in Bookwyrm instead.

Bookwyrm is part of federated web, otherwise known as the Fediverse.

BookWyrm is part of BookWyrm, a network of independent, self-directed communities for readers. While you can interact seamlessly with users anywhere in the BookWyrm network, this community is unique.

About BookWyrm

My list of Massey Lectures in BookWyrm is still a work in progress. I’m going to work on it while listening to podcasts in the near-distant future.

What does it mean to create a list of books in the fediverse? What does a distributed list of books mean in this system? At the moment, I don’t know.

And that’s why I make lists of Massey Lectures in new bibliographic systems.

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