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BookLens recommends books for you to read from your local library. We add rating and social features to the Metro County online catalogs to make it easier to find new books you'll enjoy reading. BookLens also combines the diverse library communities across the metro area so that regardless of where you live or which library you prefer to visit, the predictions and recommendations we make are powered by a much larger user base. This also means you get to read the reviews of library patrons from Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, Washington County Libraries and Saint Paul Public Library.

BookLens was created by GroupLens Research at the University of Minnesota with support from the Metropolitan Library Service Agency. BookLens is in open beta, meaning we will continue to add useful features that help you find and explore new books to read.


BookLens enriches the online catalogs of libraries in a number of ways, listed below. Some features require you to log into the online catalog, which enables personalization.

  • Ratings - Every book, DVD, or CD can be rated by clicking on the star widget. Books you've already rated will be color-coded to show your rating.
  • Prediction - If you haven't rated an item, we will show you a personalized prediction, colored differently from a rating. If there is not enough data we will show you the average rating.
  • Reviews - Write your own review for any book or movie in the library and share it with your community. Benefit from the reviews written by the other patrons of your local library!


BookLens is being deployed to the libraries around the Twin Cities. Libraries where BookLens is live are listed below. We are working on adding BookLens to Carver, Scott, and Washington County Libraries.

  • Saint Paul Public Library

  • Ramsey County Library

  • Dakota County Library

  • Hennepin County Library

  • Anoka County Library

  • Washington County Library

  • Scott County Library


Book covers within BookLens widgets are provided by Open Library's free cover API.